League Cup • July 12, 2014

Bah Keeps Woodlands’ Quarter-Finals Hopes Alive


Written by: Muhammad Yazid

A solitary goal by Bah Mamadou ensured Woodlands Wellington relished a slender 1-0 victory over National Football League (NFL) Division One side Singapore Recreation Club in the StarHub League Cup 2014 Group C game.

The win ensured that the Rams are placed in second place in the three-team group, and near certainty of progression as SRC need to overcome S.League giants in their final game to harbour any hopes of making the quarter-finals.

The Rams were going into the game after a 6-1 defeat to Home United in the opening game, and were looking to rebound with a win. Woodlands coach Salim Moin started with an attacking-minded approach as he played with a 3-5-2 formation.

The backline consisted of Goh Swee Swee, Bah Mamadou and Rosman Sulaiman, while Moon Soon Ho and Chang Jo Yoon led the lines in attack, supported by Oswind Suriya.

SRC on the other hand used a traditional 4-4-2 formation. Daniel Hammond, Ali Imran Lomri, Duncan David Elias and former Singapore International Itimi Dickson, were four players who have previously donned the Woodlands’ colours and are plying their trade for the National Football League (NFL) club.

Despite being a relatively experienced side with the average age of the first eleven being 30 years, SRC were forced to defend for most parts of the game, as at least ten players were behind the ball on most occasions.

The Rams were handed their first opportunity as early as the seventh minute when Moon unleashed a low shot from outside the penalty box which got deflected for a corner.

The hosts were maintaining ball possession very effectively and it was their accurate short passes which assisted them in their build-up play.

Woodlands broke the deadlock in the 29th minute through Bah, who rose the highest to meet an outswinging corner by Oswind and pull off a point-blank header which bashed the back of the net.

The visitors only started creating chances in the second half especially through Dickson, who saw his low drive roll wide.

Unfazed by the half-chances of SRC, Woodlands continued their quest for the second goal, as Moon’s shot whizzed past the post.

Despite the one-goal lead, the Rams did not exhibit any intention of sitting back to defend it, and they displayed large amounts of hunger during the numerous offensive plays.

SRC had other ideas and were a whisker away from equalising, when Anderson Thomas’ finish from Imran’s cross was parried away by Ahmadulhaq, who was tested for the first time this match.

In the 77th minute, the Rams had a couple of chances to double their lead when substitute Fadhil Noh whipped in a deep cross for Farouq Farkhan to head it wide, before Andy Ahmad’s shot-cum-cross was tipped over the bar by David Smollet.