News • April 15, 2016
In-Form Cheetahs Return To Summit After Defeating Warriors
Written by: Aysha Ridzuan
Hougang United returned to the summit of the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League after defeating Warriors FC 1-0 at Choa Chu Kang Stadium on Thursday night.
An early goal from Fumiya Kogure was enough to hand the Cheetahs all three points as Warriors struggled to break through Hougang’s defence.
Both sides started slowly, failing to create any real chances in the first 15 minutes while trying to find their rhythm.
The visitors’ first shot on target three minutes later saw them breaking the deadlock when captain Jozef Kaplan drove down the byline before cutting the ball back to Kogure and the Japanese midfielder fired home from the edge of the box to put the Cheetahs ahead.
Warriors almost found an immediate response after going down when Jonathan Behe’s cut-back found Hafiz Nor, but the midfielder failed to convert his chance from inside the 18-yard box.
Nicola Rak attempted an ambitious drive from outside the box on the half-hour mark, but his shot went wide and failed to trouble Hougang goalkeeper Khairulhin Khalid.
Soon after, Kaplan latched on to a long ball and dribbled his way towards the goal, but the Slovakian’s shot straight into the arms of Warriors custodian Yazid Yasin.
The hosts came out firing after the break though and almost pulled level four minutes into the second period when Hafiz dazzled his way to the edge of the box, but fired just over the crossbar.
Hougang had a chance to double their lead in the 53rd minute when Kaplan’s cross from the left flank found Kogure, but Yazid was on hand to deny the latter, who attempted a similar shot like his first goal.
The woodwork then came to the Cheetahs’ rescue thrice in a space of half an hour when Rak’s thunderous free-kick crashed off the frame of the goal, before Hafiz’s 20-yard piledriver smacked against the crossbar.
Warriors knew it was definitely not their night when substitute Ignatius Ang’s ferocious shot came off the bar again two minutes from time.
Warriors FC coach Jorg Steinebrunner: “I think we were second best today. We made them look good especially in the first half. Some players didn’t turn up and I think it’s a good wake up call for them.
“We didn’t perform in the first half and then you’re made to chase after conceding the goal.”
Hougang United coach K.Balagumaran: “We were more organised in the first half. We were patient in our build up. Warriors were only waiting for us to come at them.
“It was also a good goal from Fumiya. In the second half we sit back and they started to trouble us a bit. But in the end it’s a good three away points.”
Warriors FC: Yazid Yasin (GK), Zulfadli Zainal (C), Kento Fukuda, Madhu Mohana, Syaqir Sulaiman (Ignatius Ang 69’), Emmeric Ong (Ridhuan Muhamad 84’), Poh Yi Feng, Hafiz Nor, Hafiz Rahim, Nicola Rak, Jonathan Behe
Hougang United FC: Khairulhin Khalid (GK), Yusiskandar Yusop, Faiz Salleh, Fairoz Hasan (Afiq Noor 72’), M.Anumanthan, Fumiya Kogure, Nazrul Nazari, Raihan Rahman, Nurhilmi Jasni (Iqbal Hussain 85’), Jozef Kaplan (C), Stipe Plazibat