News • January 10, 2014
Young Lions force impressive draw against Felda in pre-season friendly
By Kenneth Tan
SINGAPORE, 10 January 2014: The Courts Young Lions played out an impressive two-all draw against Malaysian Premier League side Felda United at Yishun Stadium last night.
All four goals came in a pulsating second half, as Aide Iskandar’s side had to come from behind twice to share the spoils.
Having achieved victories against S.League sides Hougang United and Tampines Rovers earlier in the week, the visitors came into this game full of confidence.
That showed in the first 15 minutes where they dominated affairs and fired off-target on just two occasions.
The Young Lions soon rode out those early nerves and settled into the game midway through. Anumanthan Mohan Kumar and Shamil Sharif were starting to impose their presence in the middle of the park, while wingers Stanely Ng and Fareez Farhan forced some good inroads.
Stanely found himself with a one-on-one opportunity against Felda keeper Farizal Harun after some good build-up play, but a heavy first touch let him down at the crucial moment.
Goalkeeper Syazwan Buhari ensured both sides went into the break goalless by denying Felda forward Edward Wilson in a one-on-one encounter.
Aide brought on the likes of Faris Ramli, Sherif El-Masri, Sahil Suhaimi and Amy Recha, and those changes ensured a much more open second 45 minutes.
Felda took the lead on 56 minutes via a lightning corner attack, which saw Wilson shaking off the attentions of Sheikh Abdul Hadi on the left before firing a fierce shot which Syazwan got a touch but could not keep out.
However against the odds, Young Lions drew level six minutes later.
A Shamil free kick from the centre eluded everyone in the Felda box except an alert Sheikh who touched home past a rooted Farizal in goal.
The joy lasted just five minutes though.
After Felda winger Solihin Kanasian was brought down inside the box, centre back Yuraslov Khulchelnitskiy stepped up from the spot and duly sent Syazwan the wrong way.
Felda could have extended their lead on a number of occasions but was let down by a combination of poor finishing and heroics from Syazwan.
A superb point-blank save from Abdul Latif by the 21-year-old custodian paved the way for a grandstand finish.
Sahil was brought down at the edge of the box, but his appeal was waved away by referee Sukhbir Singh.
El-Masri then scuffed a close-range shot after being set up by Faris.
Time looked to be running out for the Young Lions until the 89th minute when Faris was brought down by a Felda shirt inside the box.
The 21-year-old winger duly dusted himself up to dispatch home the spot kick which drew his side level.
Aide’s boys could have even found a late winner deep into injury time, but Sahil’s free kick was only able to clear the bar.
Aide: There’s further room for improvement
Despite stopping Felda’s winning run in their final game of their three-game training tour in Singapore, Aide was not about to get carried away at this result.
“We did nothing special,” insisted the former national skipper.
“We just came out here to try to play. It’s just our second game (of our pre-season) and there’s still a lot of room for improvement.
We are not sharp enough yet and our match fitness is still not there. However I’m quite pleased with the way we performed and we’ll definitely put in a lot more work in the upcoming weeks to get ready for the new S.League season.”
Do check the S.LEAGUE’s website and Facebook page for further updates on the Young Lions as they gear up for the upcoming S.League season!