Singapore Premier League • March 28, 2014
Fazrul to Protectors’ Rescue Against Gallant Cheetahs
Written By: Kenneth Ho
Home United and Hougang United played out an entertaining 2-2 draw at Bishan stadium on Thursday evening.
Despite having the numerical advantage after Lee Kwan Woo’s sending off in the 47th minute, Hougang were twice pegged back by Home to ensure the spoils of the game were shared.
Geison Moura opened the scoring for Hougang with a clinical strike in the 51st minute while Bruno Castanheira capitalised upon Nazri Sabri’s mistake in the 60th minute to equalise for the hosts.
The Hougang-based side then grabbed the lead again two minutes from time through Diego Gama but Home replied instantly with Fazrul Nawas scoring in his second consecutive game.
The opening twenty minutes of the game was littered with half-chances, as both sides were more inclined to try their luck from distance.
Hougang midfielders Azhar Sairudin and Shunsuke Nakatake saw their attempts fly over the bar while Qiu Li experienced the same for Home United.
It was not till the 21st minute that Home goalkeeper Shahril Jantan was called upon to make an important stop for the home side when he parried a Erwan Gunawan curling shot from distance.
At the other end, the Protectors came close with Lee Kwan Woo’s shot from 20 yards just clearing the bar while Bruno was stopped in his tracks by Igor Cerina before he could pull the trigger from seven yards out.
However, Home suffered a setback right after the break when their talismanic midfielder Lee was dismissed for earning a second caution after he took a free kick without the referee’s consent.
Geison soon made the visitors’ superiority in numbers count by putting the ball beyond Shahril. The custodian had saved Geison’s initial effort but the rebound fell kindly for the Brazilian and he made no mistake with his follow-up shot.
The lead did not last long as Nazri made a hash of his clearance to gift Home the equaliser in the 60th minute.
Nazri came out of goal to clear a loose ball but his clearance ricocheted off his defender Firman Hanif’s back and into Bruno’s path, leaving the winger with the easy task of kicking the ball into an empty net.
Gama then thought he had scored the winner for the Cheetahs just before the end of regulation time. Azhar’s slide-rule pass found substitute Nurhilmi Jasni and the latter swung in a cross which Gama drove into goal.
But there was more drama to come.
Fazrul replied instantly for the Protectors with his third goal in two games by finishing off into an unguarded goal once again after Nazri allowed Qiu Li’s cross to slip through him.
With only one minute of added time thereafter and not much being made out of it, both sides had to settle for a point when the final whistle came.