News • August 3, 2017

Cheetahs Prowling For A Win



Hougang United vs Warriors FC

(4 August, Friday, 7.30pm, Jalan Besar Stadium)

Written by: Rashid Sulaiman

Hougang United will be looking to continue their good run of form when they face Warriors FC in the Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League at Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday night.

The Cheetahs – who are on a seven-match unbeaten run in all competitions – currently lie in sixth spot in the league on 20 points, five points behind fourth-placed Warriors. Their previous league meeting earlier in the season saw the club from the North-East come away with a 2-0 win courtesy of a goal each from Fumiya Kogure and Fareez Farhan.

The two clubs also met recently in The New Paper League Cup, sharing the spoils in a 2-2 draw.

Philippe Aw’s charges are coming into this match on the back of a lacklustre goalless draw against seventh-placed Balestier Khalsa. Hougang ended the match with 10-men as Nazrul Nazari saw red in the second half.

Despite missing the nippy full-back, Aw believes they have sufficient depth to replace Nazrul against Razif Onn’s team.

“To play with ten men for almost the entire second half and to come with a point. I think at the end of the day for the ten players that continued in the game, we didn’t just sit back to get the point. We actually went for the three points as well,” said Aw.

“Our next game is against the Warriors and we are on a good run. We will set up to beat Warriors.”

With Nazrul out for this match, Aw can either call upon Wahyudi Wahid or Afiq Noor to fill the gap on the right side of defence.

Warriors head coach Razif meanwhile, was livid with his team’s inability to finish off their chances in the final third, as evident in his comments post-match.

 “We didn’t take our chances, as simple as that. We had three or four situations which we could have scored but didn’t convert,” said Razif after their 2-1 defeat to league leaders Albirex Niigata (S) a week ago.

Although the nine-time S.League champions do harbour a glimmer of hope of snatching the title from the White Swans, Razif acknowledges that it might be slipping away from their grasp.

“It will be difficult for the title but we are not giving up and I am not blaming the tight scheduling because my team is relatively injury-free,” he said.

While eyes are usually on the striker, one must not take away credit from the man between the sticks.

For Hougang custodian Khairulhin Khalid, he has played in all but one of the Cheetahs’ league matches, keeping a clean sheet in five of those matches.

He revealed that goalkeepers’ task are more than just saving shots coming their way.

“In the modern game, we are more than just a goalkeeper. We are like a sweeper too. Coaches usually hands out instruction to us and we communicate with the rest of the teammates,” said Khairulhin.

“For the past matches we have been scoring and sticking to the coach’s instructions. We are preparing well for this match against Warriors and I feel we can do well.

“It is a team game and we all have to work together and play as a unit and go for the win.”

While Warriors will only be missing Baihakki Khaizan due to suspension, Hougang will be without the suspended Nazrul as well as the duo of Lionel Tan and Amir Zalani who are away in Perth, Australia with the Singapore National U23 Team as part of their preparations for the upcoming Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Suspensions: Nazrul Nazari (Hougang United); Baihakki Khaizan (Warriors FC)

Hougang United – WDDDD

29/07/17 Balestier Khalsa 0-0 Hougang United

13/07/17 Hougang United 2-2 Warriors FC (The New Paper League Cup)

10/07/17 Home United 1-1 Hougang United (The New Paper League Cup)

07/07/17 Hougang United 0-0 Albirex Niigata (S) (The New Paper League Cup)

03/07/17 Hougang United 2-1 Albirex Niigata (S)

Warriors FC – DWLDL

29/07/17 Warriors FC 1-2 Albirex Niigata (S)

25/07/17 Home United 1-1 Warriors FC

21/07/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 1-0 Warriors FC (The New Paper League Cup)

18/07/17 Brunei DPMM 1-5 Warriors FC (The New Paper League Cup)

13/07/17 Hougang United 2-2 Warriors FC (The New Paper League Cup)

Head to Head (S.League)

11/05/17 Warriors FC 0-2 Hougang United

25/10/16 Warriors FC 5-1 Hougang United

23/06/16 Hougang United 1-3 Warriors FC

14/04/16 Warriors FC 0-1 Hougang United

26/10/15 Warriors FC 2-0 Hougang United