Singapore Premier League • April 20, 2014
League Strugglers Gun For First Win
Harimau Muda vs Courts Young Lions
(April 20, Sunday, 8.45pm, Pasir Gudang Stadium)
Written by: Muhammad Yazid
Rooted to the foot of the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League table, Harimau Muda welcome Courts Young Lions to the Pasir Gudang Stadium on Sunday evening as both teams go in search for their first win of the season.
After seven rounds of matches in the S.League, Harimau remain point-less having lost all their games so far while the Young Lions lie a spot above them with a solitary point after managing a draw against Woodlands Wellington in early March.
Coincidentally, both teams were thumped by Brunei DPMM by a five-goal margin most recently when they visited the Sultanate this month with Harimau losing 5-0 and the Young Lions, 6-1.
Among all the matches thus far, one still etched in the minds of the Young Tigers would be the defeat to reigning champions Tampines Rovers.
Having established a two-goal lead midway through the second-half, they allowed it to slip and suffered yet another defeat as they fell to late strikes from Noh Alam Shah, Miljan Mrdakovic and Roberto Martinez.
A tough midfield battle awaits as defensive midfielder Anumanthan Kumar will be given an important role in preventing Harimau from making penetrating passes, while the Malaysians will be trying to keep the ball around in midfield looking for space.
At stake here is not only three points which both sides desperately crave, but the pride of being the developmental side of Singapore and Malaysia. In essence, this is a match-up between the Causeway rivals and it should be a fiery affair as both sides try to show who have the better talent in football.
Key Men to Watch
Harimau Muda: Akhir Bahari
Harimau Muda has only scored three goals so far this season, and two of them have come from Akhir. The striker is Harimau’s current top-scorer and all eyes will be on him this Sunday to grab the goals.
Courts Young Lions: Sherif El-Masri
Not many teams step into the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Brunei and take the lead against Brunei DPMM, but Courts Young Lions did that last week thanks to their talismanic striker El-Masri.
The Canadian put his side in front in the 23rd minute before the opponents blitzed in six goals to send off Aide Iskandar’s side back to Singapore in disbelief.
His pace and dribbling skills has been a catalyst to his performance so far this season, together with his telepathic understanding with his compatriot Jordan Webb, which will be key in banging the goals in for the developmental side.
Harimau Muda – LLLLLL
11/4/14 Brunei DPMM 5-0 Harimau Muda
3/4/14 Harimau Muda 0-3 Geylang International
27/3/14 Tampines Rovers 3-2 Harimau Muda
23/3/14 Warriors FC 3-0 Harimau Muda
Courts Young Lions – LLLLD
10/4/14 Courts Young Lions 1-2 Albirex Niigata (S)
6/4/14 Brunei DPMM 6-1 Courts Young Lions
26/3/14 Courts Young Lions 2-3 Tanjong Pagar United
20/3/14 Geylang International 1-0 Courts Young Lions
13/3/14 Courts Young Lions 2-2 Woodlands Wellington
Head to Head (S.League)
27/10/13 Harimau Muda 0-3 Courts Young Lions
1/8/13 Courts Young Lions 1-2 Harimau Muda
13/4/13 Harimau Muda 2-1 Courts Young Lions
19/7/12 Courts Young Lions 1-0 Harimau Muda
25/3/12 Harimau Muda 3-1 Courts Young Lions