Singapore Premier League • March 21, 2014
Pejic’s Double Brings High-flying Cheetahs To The Ground
Written by: Khalis Rifhan
Warriors Football Club halted Hougang United’s three-match unbeaten run in the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League as they registered a 2-0 win over their opponents at Choa Chu Kang Stadium on Thursday evening.
Miroslav Pejic scored both goals in this fixture to give the Warriors their third win in four games, apart from the 2-0 defeat by DPMM.
Warriors’ first goal of the night came when confusion struck the Cheetahs defence. The visitors were rooted to the ground as they thought the assistant referee Mohd Hidir had raised his flag.
However Irwan Shah continued play and laid it off to Nicolas Velez who delivered the ball into the six-yard-box and Pejic, who was lurking at the far post, had the simplest of tap-in to give his side the lead.
The 27-year old Croatian snatched his fourth goal of the campaign when he latched on to Vidosevic’s long ball down the left flank. Zipping past his marker, he rounded Hougang goalkeeper Nazri Sabri and slotted the ball into an empty net.
The host had feared the worst when custodian Hassan Sunny was shown the red card by referee W.Ravisanthiran for handling the ball outside of the penalty box in the 37th minute, seven minutes after Miroslav Pejic scored the match opener.
Yet despite playing against ten men, the Cheetahs were unable to take advantage of the numerical superiority as their misery were compounded when Pejic grabbed his second goal of the evening late in the match.
Former LionsXII goakeeper Neezam Aziz came on for Irwan Shah and took Hassan’s place in goal after the sending off, and did well in his debut for the Warriors.
The number two goalkeeper was on his toes throughout the game, and pulled off a stupendous fingertip save from substitute Nurhilmi Jasni’s header in the 88th minute to deny the Cheetahs a consolation goal.
Amin Nasir’s charges started the better of the two sides, with Shunsuke Nakatake and Faizal Amir combining well to control the midfield.
But their attacking duo, Diego Gama and Geison Moura found it hard to penetrate the tight Warriors’ defence marshalled by 35-year-old Daniel Bennett and Marin Vidosevic.
Erwan Gunawan who made the switch from to Hougang this season after four years with Warriors, initially showed glimpses of trickery and nifty footwork on the right flank but fizzled out as the game went on and was eventually replaced by Nurhilmi midway through the second half.