Singapore Premier League • June 24, 2014
Title-Chasing Warriors Return To Winning Ways
Written by: Phoon Jia Hui
Warriors FC returned to winning ways with a comfortable 4-1 victory over Tanjong Pagar United at Choa Chu Kang Stadium on Monday evening to move to second spot in the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League standings.
Shi Jiayi struck a first-half brace before Irwan Shah and Nicholas Velez grabbed a goal each for a victory which may see the Warriors hold onto second spot should Tampines not win their next game.
The Jaguars replied briefly after Shi’s opener through Sebastien Etiemble but it proved to be inconsequential as they slumped to their tenth defeat of the season.
Welcoming forward Miroslav Pejic back from suspension, Warriors coach Alex Weaver also reinstated Marin Vidosevic back into the starting line-up as the centre-back replaced Agu Casmir in the side.
The first chance of note came after ten minutes when Velez trapped a Pejic pass before volleying wide. It was a warning Tanjong Pagar failed to heed as they conceded four minutes later.
A Velez low cross was not cleared and Ismail Yunos’ shot was deflected into the path of Shi who was on hand to fire home the rebound from close range.
The visitors tried to muster a response immediately after going behind but Asraf Rashid and Firdaus Idros both saw their low shots easily dealt with by Warriors custodian Hassan Sunny.
Hassan would finally be beaten on 38 minutes when Etiemble escaped the attention of his marker before proceeding to plant a firm header past Hassan to level the scores.
However, Warriors regained the lead a mere two minutes later as Shi sneaked in at the far post to nod home a Pejic corner delivery to hand his side a slender one-goal lead going into the break.
The home side continued from where they left off after the restart and nearly made it 3-1 in the 56th minute but Irwan could only drill one wide after beating Hafiz Osman to a long ball.
Making amends for that miss, Irwan tapped home a Velez cutback from the byline to further extend the lead for his side two minutes later.
Velez then turned from provider to scorer just before the hour mark, slotting the ball underneath Herisson for his 13th goal of the season which settled affairs in this match.
The Argentine was unlucky not to have added a second for himself in the 63rd minute as his effort came off the foot of the post before his powerful shot was parried by Herisson eleven minutes later.
Substitute Agu Casmir also came close in the final minute of regulation time but Herisson did well to push his attempt away as Warriors emerged with all three points to keep their title charge back on track.
The result saw the uniformed outfit go on 34 points – four behind leaders Brunei DPMM – although they could be overtaken by defending champions Tampines Rovers who play Balestier Khalsa on Tuesday.