Singapore Premier League • July 31, 2014
Late Castanheira Strike Sinks Jaguars
Written by: Phoon Jia Hui
Home United moved third in the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League table on goal difference after they left it late to beat Tanjong Pagar United 2-1 at Queenstown Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Goals from Sirina Camara and Bruno Castanheira rendered Sebastien Etiemble’s strike for Tanjong Pagar inconsequential, as they closed the gap between themselves and leaders Brunei DPMM to a mere four points.
Both teams also had players dismissed. Yasir Hanapi was given his marching orders for a second bookable offence for Home while Tanjong Pagar’s Kamel Ramdani and Monsef Zerka both saw straight reds.
Despite that, it was an evenly-matched affair as chances were aplenty throughout.
The first chance of note came on eight minutes when Tengku Mushadad’s low drive was deflected goalward by Firdaus but an alert Shahril Jantan managed to push it out for a corner.
The deadlock was however broken as the Protectors drew first blood when an unmarked Camara capitalised on a defensive error to fire past a hapless Aurelien Herisson.
Their joys were short-lived though, as Etiemble made it 1-1 on 18 minutes.
Latching onto a terrific through ball from Tengku, the Frenchman took a touch and calmly stroked the ball past Shahril from close range.
It was all-Tanjong Pagar thereafter as they came close on numerous occasions but were unable to find the net.
Ahmad Latiff nearly put his side in front for the first time in the match on 20 minutes but the effort from the Jaguars skipper trickled just wide before Firdaus’ curler was pushed around the post by Shahril moments later.
Patrick Vallee’s side continued to threaten and Firdaus then sneaked in between two defenders to connect with Latiff’s cross, only to send a header narrowly over just after the half-hour mark.
After the break, Firdaus was agonisingly close from making it 2-1 when his lob shot from the edge of the area beat Shahril but not the post.
The tide then soon swung in Home’s favour as Herisson was called into action, first parrying Noh Rahman’s powerful effort on 63 minutes before making a brave block from Castanheira who had engineered space in the box minutes later.
Despite the pressure piling on them, Tanjong Pagar stood firm and Latiff found himself at the right place and time to deny Lee Kwan Woo as he cleared the South Korean’s shot off the line in the 69th minute.
A flurry of red cards in the space of six minutes then saw Ramdani, Yasir and Zerka all sent for early showers with Castanheira finding the winner three minutes from the end.
After picking up a pass from Masrezwan Masturi, the former Albirex Niigata (S) star proceeded to hit a shot which took a deflection on its way in as it trickled into goal past a wrong-footed Herisson.