News • April 30, 2016

Cheetahs Punished By Excellent Protectors


Written by: Aysha Ridzuan

Home United defeated Hougang United 3-2 in an exciting Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League encounter at Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday night.

The designated hosts took the lead through Ken Ilso early in the game before Song Ui-young doubled their lead just 12 minutes later. Hougang, however pulled one back with a penalty from Stipe Plazibat before the break.

In the second-half, Faris Ramli scored the Protectors’ third goal and Home looked set for a comfortable win until Raihan Rahman headed in Cheetahs’ second goal four minutes from time.

However, the Protectors managed to withstand the Cheetahs’ assault on their goal and hung on for the important three points in the end.

Hougang had a chance to break the deadlock just eight minutes into the game when Jozef Kaplan headed Fumiya Kogure’s free-kick into the net, but the goal was disallowed because Stiepe Plazibat was ruled to have handled the ball.

Kaplan tried a shot after cutting in from the left flank minutes later, but failed to trouble Home custodian Hyrulnizam Juma’at.

The Protectors broke the deadlock in the 16th minute with their first sight of goal when Nizam and Ilso exchanged a quick one-two, before the Dane calmly slotted the ball past Cheetahs custodian Khairulhin Khalid.

Hougang was punished again in the 28th minute when Faris played Song through on goal after a brilliant counter-attack and the South Korean blasted the ball past Khairulhin to double the Protectors’ lead.

Nazrul Nazari had an opportunity to reduce the deficit for the Cheetahs in the 38th minute, but his fierce drive from outside the box hardly troubled Hyrulnizam.

The woodwork then denied Kaplan in the 40th minute when his shot hit the post, before he stumbled onto Hyrulnizam as he tried to get to the rebound.

However, seconds later, Hougang was handed a reprieve after Zulfahmi Arifin had been adjudged of bringing down Nazrul inside the box. Plazibat then fired home the resulting spot-kick to pull a goal back for the Cheetahs.

The Protectors came out firing after the break and wasted opportunities to increase their lead as Azhar Sairudin’s and Ilso’s efforts went wide of the mark.

Hougang should have restored parity in the 56th minute when Iqbal Hussain connected with Kogure’s cross, but saw his header just cleared the crossbar.

Home continued to create chances, but failed to convert them as Azhar skewed his shot high and wide despite being unmarked in the box three minutes after the hour mark.

The Cheetahs continued their search for an equaliser and almost found it when Plazibat was put through on goal in the 66th minute, but Hyrulnizam was quick off his line to gather the ball.

The Protectors finally increased their lead in the 78th minute when Syahiran Miswan, who had just came on minutes earlier, sent Faris through on goal with a fantastic defence-splitting pass and the latter curled the ball past Khairulhin.

Home then made things hard for themselves in the dying minutes of the game when an unmarked Raihan was allowed to run to the near post to meet Kogure’s corner and nodded the ball past a stranded Hyrulnizam.

The Cheetahs then launched waves after waves of attack on the Protectors’ goal to find the equaliser, but Kaplan saw his piledriver saved by Hyrulnizam as the final whistle arrived minutes later.

Home United coach Philippe Aw: “We were looking good in the first half but there was a threat from our left, Nazrul Nazari did well tonight. In the second half, we created plenty of chances. We could have made things easier for ourselves. We gave away lousy goals.

“We need to finish our chances better. It has been difficult for us to win games because it’s always close until the last minute.”

Hougang United coach K.Balagumaran: “Sometimes in big matches, players get a bit excited. Earlier in the game I think we did well. Home packed their midfield and the boys tried to penetrate through the middle but they were not able to.

“I think our back four went to sleep too. They could have done better. But at the same time they did try their best to comeback with a good fighting spirit. It was after all an exciting game which I think was a treat for the fans.”

Home United: Hyrunizam Juma’at (GK), Juma’at Jantan (C), Abdil Qaiyyim, Sirina Camara, Zulfahmi Arifin, Uiyoung Song, Azhar Sairudin (Syahiran Miswan 72’), Aqhari Abdullah, Faris Ramli, Ken Ilso (Sufianto Salleh 85’), Khairul Nizam (Shamil Sharif 46’)

Hougang United: Khairulhin Khalid (GK), Yusiskandar Yusop, Faiz Salleh (Huzaifah Aziz 68’), M.Anumanthan, Fumiya Kogure, Nazrul Nazari, Nurhilmi Jasni (Fairoz Hasan 66’), Raihan Rahman, Iqbal Hussain (Nur Na’iim Ishak 82’), Jozef Kaplan (C), Stipe Plazibat