Singapore Premier League • October 5, 2014
Jaguars Rise To See Off Young Lions
Written by: Phoon Jia Hui
Tanjong Pagar United recorded their first win in four games as they saw off Courts Young Lions 3-1 at Queenstown Stadium on Saturday evening.
First-half strikes from Firdaus Idros and Monsef Zerka coupled with Kamel Ramdani’s 50th-minute goal rendered Iqbal Hussain’s penalty conversion midway through the second-half inconsequential.
The match also saw one player from each side being given their marching orders.
Tanjong Pagar’s Ruzaini Zainal was dismissed for his second bookable offence in the 72nd minute while Young Lions’ Fadli Kamis was also sent off for the same five minutes from time.
Without suspended regulars Sebastien Etiemble, Asraf Rashid and Ahmad Latiff, Tanjong Pagar coach Patrick Vallee handed starts to Prime League duo Afiq Tan and Marcus Wheeler who took their spot down the flanks.
The game though, got off to a relatively slow start with both teams unable to create clear chances.
Iqbal sent a low shot harmlessly straight at Aurelien Herisson inside the opening minute of the game before Zerka glanced a header wide off Ramdani’s free kick.
Ruzaini was first to test Young Lions custodian Syazwan Buhari with a rasping shot which the latter kept out with a flying save on 18 minutes.
It was a warning sign the visitors failed to heed as the deadlock was broken eight minutes later.
After Zerka was sent free into the penalty box, he unselfishly squared the ball across goal for the lurking Firdaus to tap home from close range to make it 1-0.
The Jaguars grew in confidence after the opener and doubled their advantage in the 34th minute as Zerka turned scorer this time round, sending a header past a hapless Syazwan after his defenders failed to clear their lines from Nor Azli Yusoff’s cross. .
The Young Lions ended the half strongly as Jordan Webb came close twice in the space of a minute but contrived to fire straight at Herisson before his effort came off the wrong side of the post.
After the break, Tanjong Pagar continued from where they left off and tripled their lead five minutes into the second-half as Ramdani hit a firm shot into Syazwan’s bottom corner from inside the penalty area.
Substitute Sahil Suhaimi who came on at half-time, nearly pulled one back for Aide Iskandar’s side shortly after the hour mark with a well-taken free kick but Herisson managed to claw his effort away to safety.
The deficit was however reduced on 74th minute as referee Lim Kok Heng pointed to the spot after Ruzaini hacked down Sahil from behind in the penalty box and was dismissed.
Up stepped Iqbal and he made no mistake from six yards, sending Herisson the wrong way for 3-1.
It proved to be a mere consolation and with Harimau Muda’s 1-0 victory over Hougang United on the same day, Young Lions slipped to bottom of the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League standings while Tanjong Pagar remain in ninth but are three points clear of Harimau and Woodlands Wellington.