Singapore Premier League • June 21, 2014
Salim’s Magical Touch Revives Rams
Written by: Muhammad Yazid
Warriors FC failed to leapfrog Tampines Rovers into second place and close down the gap on Brunei DPMM after their latest 1-0 loss to Woodlands Wellington allowed newly-appointed coach Salim Moin to make a winning return to the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League.
Former Warriors defender Bah Mamadou grabbed the only goal of the match and destroyed the Warriors’ chances of chasing down the league leaders with a second-half goal.
Despite having six players suspended, the Rams still managed to have the lion’s’ share of possession during certain periods of the game.
The Warriors meanwhile only had Miroslav Pejic suspended. Coach Alex Weaver played with three strikers Hafiz Rahim, Nicholas Velez and debutant Agu Casmir.
In the eighth minute, Woodlands were handed the first opportunity to break the deadlock through Chang Jo Yoon, who had his free-kick from the edge of the penalty box parried away by Hassan Sunny.
Shi Jiayi could have given his side the lead ten minutes before half-time as he beat the offside trap to receive Hafiz’s pass but blasted the ball over the bar.
The Warriors were closest to taking the lead when Hafiz’s diving header off Shi’s cross met the woodwork before rebounding towards Velez who tapped it in past Ahmadulhaq Che Omar, only to be be denied by the offside flag.
The visitors were keen in entering the dressing room with the lead but it never paid off as Velez’s effort was well-saved by Ahmadulhaq.
After the restart, Velez once again missed another glorious opportunity to put his team in the driving seat as his low effort rolled just wide.
Fadhil Noh’ 40-yard thunderbolt sailed just over the bar, before Chang had his finish saved by Hassan Sunny.
The deadlock was finally broken and Woodlands put their noses in front in the 72nd minute through Bah.
Rosman Sulaiman curled in his trademark corner which was headed into the path of Bah by Chang, and the centre-back made no mistake from close range as he rose the highest to powerfully head home.
The northern side never took their feet off the gas pedal as they went in search of a second goal.
Atsushi Shimono could have doubled the advantage five minutes before the end as his shot from just outside the penalty box went a whisker above the bar.
The referee blew the final whistle soon after as Salim relished his first game in charge with a win, lifting them to ninth place while the Warriors remain four points behind DPMM and one point behind Tampines.