Singapore Premier League • March 22, 2014
Taufiq Header Grants Woodlands First Win
Written by: Muhammad Yazid
Woodlands Wellington registered their first victory of the 2014 Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League season as they narrowly beat Tanjong Pagar United 1-0 at the Queenstown Stadium courtesy of Taufiq Ghani’s second-half header.
The hosts started the game brighter as they had three chances in the opening 20 minutes.
Fridaus Idros’ shot sailed a whisker above the bar after a swift counter-attack initiated by Monsef Zerka in the 11th minute, before Zerka’s shot from the edge of the penalty area was pushed away by Yazid Yasin.
On the other end, the Rams had a real chance five minutes before half-time when Shafuan Sutomoh’s long-range effort flew above the crossbar.
After an insipid first-half, the game burst into life after the interval and it was Darren Stewart’s side who came out stronger.
Andy Ahmad’s precise long ball found Chang Jo Yoon, and the forward whizzed past a few defenders before unleashing a left-footed shot which took a deflection and flew over the bar.
Tanjong Pagar almost took the lead 15 minutes into the second-half when Sebastien Etiemble directed Firdaus’ cross towards goal, but Yazid brilliantly tipped it over the bar.
Woodlands then took the lead in the match, and for the first time this season, on 64 minutes when Rosman Sulaiman whipped in a delightful inswinging corner to the near post for Taufiq to glance his header past Tanjong Pagar goalkeeper Aurelien Herisson.
After taking the lead, the Northern side became more alert and defended well to maintain the lead, while the Jaguars continued to press for the equaliser.
Substitute Moon Soon Ho was a constant menace after his late introduction, and nearly grabbed a goal with several efforts.
Moon first hit a left-footed grounder just wide, before coming close with a dipped shot and free-kick which both were just over the bar in the 82nd and 90th minute respectively.
The home side tried hard to penetrate in the attacking third but it was to no avail, as Woodlands defended resolutely to bag their first win of the season after three consecutive draws.