Singapore Premier League • March 23, 2014
Qiu Li Return for Harimau Clash
Harimau Muda vs Home United
(March 23, Sunday, 7.30pm, Pasir Gudang Stadium)
Written by: Kenneth Ho
Harimau Muda’s continue their quest to gain points in the 2014 Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League campaign when they host Home United at Pasir Gudang Stadium on Sunday
However, the Young Tigers are blighted by the absence of two key players which will undoubtedly make their task harder.
Captain Ashmawi Yakin and goalkeeper Ramdhan Hamid will be unavailable for coach Razip Ismail after the duo received their marching orders in the 3-0 loss to Warriors Football Club a week ago.
Standing in for Ramdhan will be 18-year old Ahmad Solehin Mamat while Razip will deploy either Akmal Chin or Afiq Azuan at the back.
Having lost all their matches and conceding eight goals in three matches, the Malaysian developmental side will no doubt be cautious against the Protectors who are known for their attacking mindset.
Home will be looking to snap their two match losing streak in all competitions, and it should be possible against a spirited but inexperienced Harimau side.
Harimau will have to be wary of Yasir Hanapi who has scored three goals in five games, including a superb solo effort against Persipura Jayapura in the AFC Cup tie.
The winger will be aided by midfield maestro Lee Kwan Woo, and the return of Qiu Li should enhance the firepower of Home.
Holding the fort for the Malaysian side will be Afiq Fazail who has featured in all their matches this season. The 20-year old combined well with Irfan Zakaria in the central of midfield, supplying the ammunitions to their strikers.
But if Harimau were to take any points away from this match, their attackers Syafwan Syahlan and Ramzi Haziq will need to be more clinical in front of goal.
Key Men To Watch
Harimau Muda: Afiq Fazail
Afiq is a reliable central midfielder for Harimau, notching up crucial passes through the middle and is known for his interchangable play with the teammates. Although Harimau have suffered three straight losses, Afiq has put up a decent performance in all those matches.
The 20-year old was also a star performer in their 3-0 loss to Albirex Niigata (S), notching up an impressive 84% accurate passes and 67% challenges won in the match.
But Afiq will be hoping that his teammates do not disappoint the team and put up a reasonable fight against the Protectors and hopefully gain their first point of the campaign.
Home United: Yasir Hanapi
Given Harimau’s average defensive performances so far, Lee Lim Saeng’s side will most probably look to switch their focus on attacking their opponents defence more keenly.
After three goals in five games, Yasir will be expected to continue his potent performance upfront, and the winger should play a huge part in this encounter.
However Hanapi cannot afford to be complacent and take his foot off the gas as the Young Tigers will be desperate to stem their losing streak and gain their first points of the season.
This may see the hosts parking the bus in front of goal and if that happens Yasir and his team will find it hard to breakdown Harimau’s defence if they do not play their best.
Harimau Muda – LLLDD
12/3/14 Warriors FC 3-0 Harimau Muda
27/2/14 Albirex Niigata (S) 3-0 Harimau Muda
24/2/14 Harimau Muda 1-2 Tanjong Pagar
5/11/13 Warriors 1-1 Harimau Muda
31/10/13 Harimau Muda 2-2 Brunei DPMM
Home United – LLDWL
18/3/14 Churchill Brothers 3-1 Home United (AFC Cup)
14/3/14 Home United 0-3 Brunei DPMM
11/3/14 Home United 1-1 Persipura Jayapura (AFC Cup)
1/3/14 Home United 4-1 Geylang International
21/2/14 Tampines Rovers 1-0 Home United
Head to Head (S.League)
26/8/13 Home United 4-0 Harimau Muda
20/4/13 Harimau Muda 0-1 Home United
8/4/12 Home United 2-1 Harimau Muda
15/9/12 Harimau Muda 0-3 Home United