League Cup • July 23, 2014
Vallee Jubilant After Victory
Written by: Phoon Jia Hui
Hougang United suffered penalty heartbreak as they bowed out of the StarHub League Cup, losing 4-2 on penalties to Tanjong Pagar United after the scores were tied after extra-time at Queenstown Stadium on Monday evening.
Tanjong Pagar coach Patrick Vallee was delighted with the result which set up a final date with Brunei DPMM but he admitted things could have been different had either team scored an early goal.
“Of course I’m very happy. I should say we deserved the win but I’d also say both teams deserved to win [but there can only be one winner] and it was a close game,” he said after the match.
“We had a plan because we know we had one day less to rest and recover so we needed to take our time to handle the pace of the game and for that we did well.
“Two years, two finals. I cannot ask for more and I think we deserved it. I hope we can get one title for Tanjong Pagar this year. Even if we don’t win, it’s still a good achievement because you must take all the competitions seriously and we did.”
While Vallee was full of praise for goalkeeper Aurelien Herisson who played an important role in the victory by making two saves in the shootout, the Frenchman was all the same pleased with what he saw from the rest of the team.
“I need to congratulate my keeper because he showed everybody that he is the one of the best keepers in Singapore, not only today but also in the league. He’s young and he’s one of the best keepers to me,” he remarked.
“He helped the team win tonight and did his job. But the team did their job as well, because they fought throughout the 120 minutes. It’s very nice and good for the team and Tanjong Pagar.”
Despite the defeat, a downcast Amin Nasir on the other hand still managed to draw positives and was eager to bounce back.
“It’s painful to lose on penalties. I felt that we were the better side up till the penalty shootout,” said the Hougang coach.
“It was a bit tough but again, we created chances and could not score but they defended well. Credit to them [Tanjong Pagar] and congratulations to them.
“I can take a lot of positives from today. They played with a lot of character, nobody expected us to go so far in this tournament but we did especially as we fought with all the good teams. That’s a good sign that we are going towards the right direction if we keep the consistency.
“We have to move forward from here, it’s now full focus for the league. We play Brunei DPMM two weeks from now and we have time to recover. Definitely the players are sad and down but we need to regroup.”