Singapore Premier League • October 31, 2014
Woodlands End Season With Long-Awaited Win
Written by: Muhammad Yazid
Woodlands Wellington bagged their first Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League win in four months, after a 3-2 victory over Harimau Muda in their final match of the season.
Moon Soon Ho, Fadhil Noh and Milos Jevtic got on the scoresheet for Woodlands as they cancelled out Nurshamil Ghani’s opener early in the game, before Akhir Bahari pulled one goal back late in the game.
The Rams’ last league win was in June when they beat Warriors 1-0 on Salim Moin’s debut as coach, but they have struggled to string together a decent run of results since then..
With the win, Woodlands avoided finishing the season as wooden-spoonists and instead left that woeful spot to Harimau.
Woodlands started the game hungrier, with Stefan Milojevic being denied his first competitive Woodlands goal with a snapshot which sailed inches over the bar before Fadhil’s shot went just wide in the opening three minutes.
Although Woodlands seemed likely to break the deadlock with their comfortable ball possession and competent movement, it was their opponents who put their noses in front.
Skipper Shahril Alias could not handle the pressure enforced by Nurshamil as he lost possession of the ball, allowing the latter to strike the ball into the back of the net with one touch.
Having deployed Farouq Farkhan and Fadhil to maraud up and down the flanks, Salim Moin’s charges made use of the duo’s speed by sweeping in long balls from the centre.
The Rams finally found the equaliser in the 33rd minute through Moon, who scored his first goal in two months.
The joint-top-scorer for last season was at the end of Fadhil’s through ball before slotting the ball past Ramdhan Hamid in his trademark fashion.
Moon could have put his team in the driving seat but luck was not on his side as he next saw his curler spectacularly saved by Ramdhan.
The Young Tigers were reduced to ten men in the 53rd minute as Afiq Fazali received his marching orders for an off-the-ball incident with the referee.
The Rams made full use of their numerical advantage as they threw bodies forward and looked to take the lead.
Goh Swee Swee almost awarded his side the lead, but his curling long-range free-kick was tipped over the bar by the custodian.
With many chances at their disposal, it seemed almost imminent that Woodlands would gain a second goal.
Fadhil was in a one-on-one situation with Ramdhan and the winger tapped home from close range after the custodian failed to clear the ball to safety in the 59th minute.
The hosts became difficult to outwit from then on. Chang Jo Yoon’s header clashed onto the crossbar before they made cemented the win with a third goal in the 66th minute.
Jevtic powered his header off Goh’s free-kick into the bottom corner of the net to cap off a brilliant comeback for his side.
Harimau did pull one back through a diving header by substitute Akhir Bahari in the dying moments of the game, but that was too little too late as they concluded the season as cellar-dwellers.