Singapore Premier League • June 5, 2014

Razip Rallies Troops to Halt Title-Chasing Warriors


Harimau Muda vs Warriors FC

(Jun 5, Thursday, 8.45pm, Pasir Gudang Stadium)

Written by: Khalis Rifhan

Both Warriors and Harimau Muda come into this Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League match on the back of defeats in the RHB Singapore Preliminary Round a week ago. Warriors lost to a Park Kang Jin-inspired Balestier Khalsa while the Malaysians were edged out on penalty shoot-out after putting on a brave fight against Tampines Rovers.

On paper, Warriors are firm favourites to nick maximum points, but one can never discount Harimau’s young and energetic players. Although they are stuck at the wrong end of the league table, they have shown that they are capable of pushing their opponents to the limit.

Razip Ismail’s charges are an adventurous side, streaming forwards in numbers and pack an extra burst of stamina. But the developmental side tend to leave their backline exposed while they are on the search for goals.

After their penalty shoot-out despair against the Stags, Razip called on his players to bounce back against Warriors and steal points from the title chasers.

There is not much difference in the two teams number of attack in their last league match, with both preferring to use their right flanks to venture forward.

For Warriors, Miroslav Pejic terrorises his markers down that area of play while Shahrul Igwan conjures up menacing run for Harimau on the right.

Several players will not be playing any part in the tie due to suspension and injury. Alex Weaver will be without long-term casualty Jeremy Chiang while Zulfadli Zainal is suspended. With Thomas Beattie still doubtful, Shi Jiayi will probably start in the middle of the field alongside Kevin McCann.

For Harimau, although they will be welcoming Ashmawi Yakin back from suspension in the Singapore Cup, Razip will be sweating on the fitness of strikers Syafwan Syahlan and Ramzi Haziq.

Suspension: Zulfadli Zainal (Warriors FC)

Key Men To Watch

Harimau Muda: Syawal Nordin

The central defender may have his bad days but he is one of the most consistent and reliable players for Razip at the back.

One can’t fault the 20-year old for several of the goals that Harimau conceded. But whenever the team is down, Syawal stood tall and provided a pillar of strength for the young players on the pitch.

Against Albirex Niigata (S), Syawal got an InStat index score of 71. He also successfully made 55% passes and won 67% of challenges in defence.

Warriors FC: Kevin McCann

All eyes have been on the club’s top scorers Nicholas Velez (9 goals) and Pejic (8 goals). But working quietly and effectively holding the fort together in the centre of midfield is McCann.

The Englishman is not the most creative player around but he stood his ground well and stamp his authority throughout the season. Against DPMM, McCann proudly earned an InStat index of 105 for his brilliant performance.

The midfielder also registered a 76% successful passes and 60% tackles won.

Harimau Muda – LLWWL

29/5/14    Harimau Muda (5) 1-1 (6p) (AET) Tampines Rovers

23/5/14    Harimau Muda 1-4 Albirex Niigata (S)

16/5/14    Tanjong Pagar United 1-2 Harimau Muda

7/5/14      Harimau Muda 1-0 Woodlands Wellington

30/4/14    Balestier Khalsa 2-0 Harimau Muda

Warriors FC – LWWDL

27/5/14    Warriors FC 1-3 Balestier Khalsa (RHB Singapore Cup)

22/5/14    Warriors FC 1-0 Brunei DPMM

16/5/14    Geylang International 0-1 Warriors FC

8/5/14      Tampines Rovers 3-3 Warriors FC

2/5/14      Warriors FC 1-4 Home United

Head to Head (S.League)

12/3/14    Warriors FC 3-0 Harimau Muda

5/11/13    Warriors FC 1-1 Harimau Muda

17/7/13    Warriors FC 2-1 Harimau Muda

6/4/13      Harimau Muda 2-1 Warriors FC

1/9/12      Harimau Muda 4-1 Warriors FC

1/4/12      Warriors FC 1-2 Harimau Muda