Singapore Premier League • June 23, 2014
Cheetahs Aim To Add To Eagles’ Woes
Hougang United vs Geylang International
(June 23, Monday, 7.30pm, Hougang Stadium)
Written by: Phoon Jia Hui
Hougang United have been a surprise package in this year’s Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League season, claiming the scalp of heavyweights in recent weeks, namely Warriors FC (3-2), Albirex Niigata (S) (1-0) and Home United (3-1).
Those victories have propelled them to sixth on 29 points, six points off leaders Brunei DPMM and they are still pretty much still in the running for the title.
They held reigning champions Tampines Rovers to a 1-1 draw in their last game with Geison Moura cancelling out Miljan Mrdakovic’s first-half strike as they extended their unbeaten run to four games.
Their rise in the standings this campaign can be attributed to their high level of teamwork and discipline on the pitch, with their foreign legion playing a huge role in providing guidance to the rest of the team.
Forwards Moura and Diego Gama have combined for twenty goals this season while defender Igor Cerina’s leadership and influence at the back has been highly commended by their counterparts and Hougang coach Amin Nasir.
Cerina also has an eye for goal, evident when he scored twice in their win over Warriors FC although he could miss out due to a knee injury.
But Hougang have recruited Brazilian defender Igor Ferreira to replace the outgoing Durica Zuparic and he is expected to feature again as he tries to stop the Eagles.
Wahyudi Wahid, Shunsuke Nakatake and Erwan Gunawan will also return from one-match suspensions and this will give the Cheetahs a much-needed shot in the arm.
But they will have to be wary of the threat Geylang can pose under coach Jorg Steinebrunner.
The Eagles took many by surprise when they defeated reigning champions Tampines Rovers in Week 14 while the previous meeting between the two saw Steinebrunner’s charges coming back from two goals down to snatch a memorable 3-2 victory at Jalan Besar Stadium.
They will be eager to bounce back from a shock 3-2 defeat to an unfancied Harimau Muda in their last game and three points here would take them within two points of seventh-placed Balestier Khalsa.
Geylang have swooped for German Thorsten Schneider in the transfer window to add some firepower to the team and lend some support to lone striker Leonel Felice, with the Geylang faithful keen to see what their new man has to offer.
Key Men To Watch
Hougang United: Geison Moura
Hougang’s top-scorer with 12 goals so far, Moura along with strike partner Diego Gama has been the main reason for their rise in standings in the league this season.
Not only does he score, but the Cheetahs forward can hold up play and pass too.
While he did not score, his two shots against Warriors FC in their 3-2 win were on target. Also, 72% of his passes found its intended target and one of his three key passes were accurate according to InStat.
Geylang International: Thorsten Schneider
Being a new signing to the team as well as to the S.League, Schneider is still a relative unknown and that could play in the hands of the Eagles.
His desire, power and shooting accuracy was what impressed coach Steinebrunner and coupled with his lanky frame, he could be a constant menace in the Hougang backline led by Igor Ferreira if he does start.
Hougang United – DWWWL
19/6/14 Tampines Rovers 1-1 Hougang United
13/6/14 Hougang United 3-1 Home United
8/6/14 Hougang United 3-2 Warriors FC
5/6/14 Albirex Niigata (S) 0-1 Hougang United
26/5/14 Tanjong Pagar United 1-0 Hougang United (RHB Singapore Cup)
Geylang International – LDDWW
19/6/14 Geylang International 2-3 Harimau Muda
14/6/14 Brunei DPMM 0-0 Geylang International
9/6/14 Courts Young Lions 0-0 Geylang International
6/6/14 Geylang International 1-0 Tampines Rovers
27/5/14 Woodlands Wellington 1-5 Geylang International (RHB Singapore Cup)
Head to Head (S.League)
11/4/14 Geylang International 3-2 Hougang United
29/10/13 Hougang United 4-1 Geylang International
10/7/13 Hougang United 0-1 Geylang International
27/3/13 Geylang International 2-0 Hougang United
11/7/12 Geylang International 1-2 Hougang United
3/3/12 Hougang United 2-0 Geylang International
30/9/11 Geylang International 1-2 Hougang United
20/6/11 Hougang United 0-2 Geylang International