News • October 19, 2016

Cheetahs And Eagles To Duke It Out For Continental Spot


Written by: Darren Ho

Hougang United vs Geylang International
(Thursday, 20 October, 7.30pm, Hougang Stadium)

With the 2016 Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League season coming to an end and the final 2017 AFC Cup spot still up for grabs, Hougang United and Geylang International will be vying to snatch a crucial victory when they face off at the Hougang Stadium on Thursday night.

Both teams are currently seperated by a point in fifth (Hougang with 32 pts) and sixth (Geylang with 31 pts), and a win will see either side leapfrog their rivals to a possible fourth position in the league should Home United, who are sitting on 34 points, lose to 2016 champions Albirex Niigata (S) in the match that is played concurrently on the night.

With first-seeded Albirex and third-seeded Brunei DPMM not being able to represent an S.League side in the 2017 AFC cup, a fourth position team in the league will join an already qualified Tampines Rovers side in their continental ambitions.

The Cheetahs have won four of their last five S.League meetings with the Eagles and
Hougang’s coach K.Balagumaran will be gunning to continue his team’s impressive run-of-from against Hasrin Jailani’s side who have picked up three wins in their last five matches coming into this fixture.

Hougang will once again be determined to press their opponents high up the pitch, as instructed by Balagumaran, and they will certainly be more spirited at the backline to deny any long balls tactics deployed by their opponents after their costly 3-0 defeat to Albirex last weekend.

“We might have lost to Albirex but the players are more serious to make up for that loss when they take on Geylang,” suggested the Cheetahs’ coach.

Undaunted by the AFC Cup pressure, Balagumaran has backed his players to “look up to their future and focus on taking three points game after game, with their winning mentality.

“Whoever give their best and show their desire, whoever will win the game,” he said.

Both teams haven’t been producing many goals in their last five fixtures but the Eagles will once again be faced with an omnipresent threat of the Cheetah’s top scorer Stipe Plazibat, who has already scored twice against Geylang this season.

The green and white outfit has displayed their indomitable spirit in their 2-1 comeback win against the nine-time champion Warriors FC last week and they are sure in the running to lock horns with Hougang in a mouthwatering clash on Thursday night.

Hougang’s defence will be boosted by the return of Yusiskandar Yusof from injury while both teams will come into this fixture without any suspension concern.

Hougang United  – WLWDL

14/10/16  Albirex Niigata (S) 3-0 Hougang United (S.League)
01/10/16  Hougang United 1-1 Balestier Khalsa (S.League)
23/09/16  Garena Young Lions 0-2 Hougang United (S.League)
26/08/16  Hougang United 1-2 Brunei DPMM (S.League)
17/08/16  Tampines Rovers 1-2 Hougang United (S.League)

Geylang International – DWWLW 

14/10/16  Geylang International 2-1 Warriors FC (S.League)
22/09/16  Albirex Niigata (S) 1-0 Geylang International (S.League)
25/08/16  Geylang International 2-1 Balestier Khalsa (S.League)
18/08/16  Garena Young Lions 0-2 Geylang International (S.League)
11/08/16  Geylang International 1-1 Brunei DPMM (S.League)

Head-to-Head (S.League)

18/06/16 Geylang International 1-2 Hougang United
07/04/16 Hougang United 3-1 Geylang International
19/05/15 Hougang United 1-0 Geylang International
12/03/15 Geylang International 0-0 Hougang United
21/10/14 Geylang International 0-4 Hougang United