Singapore Premier League • November 3, 2015
Razip: Win Important To Stay Ahead Of Young Lions
Written By: Kenneth Ho
Harimau Muda coach Razip Ismail said his side’s 1-0 win over Home United was especially important as it allowed them to stay ahead of rivals Courts Young Lions in the league table.
Both teams are still within touching distance of each other, with Harimau in seventh spot and three points ahead of the Young Lions, with two games remaining.
With the competition between both sides set to go down to the wire, Razip asserted that nothing less than maximum points against the Protectors would have sufficed.
“I am very happy – it’s our last game home and we collected three points,” Razip said.
“We can’t afford to lose points and we need to win and stay at where we are. We can’t finish below CYL (Courts Young Lions). we must go above them – that’s why I wanted us to win our last three matches, beginning from tonight against Home United.”
Against Home, Harimau once again showcased the same defensive capability that they displayed in their last game against the Courts Young Lions.
While the style may be too negative for some, Razip shared that it was a tactical victory which his young side will gain much more.
“It’s simple, we wanted to win, that’s ours strategy tonight,” he said. “Against Home you can’t play open football, but I felt we played excellently even though we were more defensive.”
Home coach Philippe Aw could only rue the fact his side were unable to breach Harimau’s defence despite working so hard.
“I am very proud of the boys in the way we came out in the second half,” Aw said. “At times it was like attack versus defence. It’s very difficult when people park the bus.
“Based on our performance, yes (this was an undeserved loss) but they scored the goal, we didn’t that’s why we lost.”
This was also the second game in a row that the Protectors had to play with ten men on the pitch.
In the previous game against Geylang International three days ago, Hyrulnizam Juma’at was sent off.
This time round, Ang Zhi Wei came off the field injured in the 76th minute, and with Home were made to play with a numerical disadvantage after using up all their substitutes.
While Aw will mull over how lightning could strike twice so soon, he believed he made the right decisions with regards to his substitutions.
“We played with ten but we never gave up, the boys worked hard,” he added. “We made a change at half time, and it transformed the performance – we came out more dominant in the second half.”