League Cup • July 18, 2014
Amin Happy With Cheetahs’ Fighting Spirit
Written By: Kenneth Ho
Hougang United had to score two late goals against Home United to end up as 2-1 winners in the StarHub League Cup 2014 quarter-finals, and the determination shown by the underdogs pleased Hougang coach Amin Nasri.
Although Home had taken the lead in the first half, Amin revealed that he was optimistic his charges were able to mount a comeback despite lacking star striker Diego Gama who was unavailable.
“We missed Diego Gama a lot, he was our target man. We played Erwan Gunawan, and even though he is a quality player, he has a different quality to Gama,” Amin said.
“First half, we were second to them, somehow we found ourselves1-0 down and I couldn’t wait for the second half to come. I rectified some things, and I am glad in the second we came back strongly.
“In football, we cannot give up. Looking at my team for this season, I knew there was always a chance. There have been a couple times that we are down and we came back, so I was positive.”
While the Hougang coach was not willing to look past the semi-finals and only wanted to take it a step at a time, he admitted that the club had surpassed all expectations to make the semi-finals.
“Definitely, looking at our history, for a couple of years we never expected to be here. I would say yes, they exceeded expectations. I did not put a target for the boys, but I told them there is an opportunity and we have fought hard. We really want to grab this opportunity and together we can get results,” Amin added.
“Of course we did like to aim high for sure, when you participate in tournaments, you want to aim high but when you look at our this set of players we have to be realistic. Even though I can’t say we will win, but what cannot be doubted is that we want to win.”
Home coach Lee Lim Saeng cut a forlorn figure at the post-match conference, as he assumed the blame for the defeat.
The coach went on to add that his side should have killed off the game when they had the chance, but did not and led to their own demise
“We made the chances, but we didn’t score, I want to take the blame as the head coach when we lose. I really don’t want to blame the players, their tried to play with my plan,” Lee told the press.
“We lose, and I think it’s all my fault. I think when we are leading 1-0, we should have one more goal, just so that we can lead the game more comfortably, but unfortunately we just couldn’t score,” he lamented.
However, Lee expressed hopes that Home will do better in the other fronts they were competing in, as he shifted his focus to the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League and RHB Singapore Cup.
“We need to climb the S.League, we still have a chance, and we still have the RHB cup semi-finals.”