News • March 18, 2016

Cheetahs Eager To Heap More Misery On Tigers


Written By: Stanley Yeo

Hougang United vs Balestier Khalsa
(Saturday, 19 March, 7.30pm, Hougang Stadium)

Hougang United will host Balestier Khalsa at Hougang Stadium on Saturday night as both teams come into the game with vastly different results after four games in the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League 2016

The Cheetahs are currently sitting in fourth place on the league table, while the Tigers are second from bottom and still searching for their first win of the season.

Being able to grind out result is a key component of Hougang’s season thus far with M.Anumanthan and Raihan Rahman providing the steel in midfield while striker Stipe Plazibat has gotten off to a sensational start by scoring four goals in four games.

In their win against Home United, the Cheetahs hardly put up an attacking masterclass but still managed to come away with all three points by edging out the Protectors with a resolute defence and a delightful Plazibat’s freekick.

Two weeks later, Hougang was able to put up a dominating display by taking advantage of the inexperienced Garena Young Lions players, something the Tigers failed to do in their season opener.

With their current form, the Cheetahs are surely favourites to win the game, but games against Balestier are never easy. Both Warriors FC coach Jorge Steinebrunner and Geylang International coach Hasrin Jailani have described Balestier as a “tough opponent”.

Both coaches were probably referring to Balestier’s iron-clad defense that have conceded just three goals in four games. Hence, Hougang must bring their A game offensively if they wish to find a way through the Tigers’ defence.

The Cheetahs also have to be wary of Balestier’s set-pieces. In fact, the only two goals for the Tigers this season came from dead-ball situations – both times from free-kicks taken by Fazli Ayob.

Key Men To Watch

Hougang United: Stipe Plazibat

The Croatian striker has been a revelation this season, racking up four goals in four games.

The 1.85m striker has proven that he can score from anywhere – be it a free kick from the edge of the box or coming up at the right place at the right time.

Against a resolute Balestier side, Plazibat has to be at his best to make his mark.

Balestier Khalsa: Fadli Kamis

An increased amount of exposure to playing alongside and against more experienced players, in local and continental football, has benefitted the young defender tremendously.

Notching up both assists and goals in the AFC Cup and the S.League, Fadli will be key to the Tigers backline and will be tasked with keeping Plazibat and Jozef Kaplan quiet.

Hougang United – LWLDW

10/03/16 Garena Young Lions 1-3 Hougang United (S.League)
04/03/16 Hougang United 0-0 Brunei DPMM (S.League)
26/02/16  Tampines Rovers 4-1 Hougang United (S.League)
18/02/16  Hougang United 1-0 Home United (S.League)
20/11/15  Albirex Niigata (S) 1-0 Hougang United (S.League)

Balestier Khalsa – LDDDD

11/03/16 Balestier Khalsa 1-1 Warriors FC
03/03/16 Geylang International 0-0 Balestier Khalsa
27/02/16 Balestier Khalsa 1-1 Albirex Niigata (S) ( S.League)
23/02/16  New Radiant 2-2 Balestier Khalsa (AFC Cup)
14/02/16  Garena Young Lions 1-0 Balestier Khalsa (S.League)

Head-to-Head (S.League)

01/11/15   Hougang United 1-1 Balestier Khalsa
07/08/15   Balestier Khalsa 3-2 Hougang United
18/04/15   Hougang United 0-1 Balestier Khalsa
27/08/14   Balestier Khalsa 4-1 Hougang United
09/05/14   Hougang United 2-1 Balestier Khalsa