Singapore Premier League • October 22, 2014
Young Lions Earn Second Consecutive Win
Written by: Muhammad Yazid
Courts Young Lions earned their second consecutive victory after a 2-1 win over fellow second-tier dwellers Woodlands Wellington as they look set to finish this season on a high note.
Iqbal Hussain and M.Anumanthan scored the two second-half goals to award the Young Lions another three points in their bags after they won Hougang United a few days ago.
Woodlands did pull one back soon after thanks to an own goal but that was too little too late.
The game was pretty even with both sides trying to find their feet and rhythm early.
The Young Lions were comfortable in possession and build-up play from the back, but could not complete the transition at the final third with proper finishes.
Anumanthan was shifted to his favourite holding midfield position and was efficient in controlling the flow of the game while Shakir Hamzah made a decent debut in defence.
Woodlands on the other hand had to play without their suspended skipper Shahril Alias, whose void was filled by Armanizam Dolah, with the latter partnering Milos Jevtic at the heart of defence.
The Rams almost drew first blood at the brink of half-time, but Moon Soon Ho’s low finish off Fadhil Noh’s cross went wide.
The visitors responded almost immediately with an attempt by Faris. The winger was at the end of an Al-Qaasimy cross in a counter-attack, but Yazid Yasin executed a point-blank space to keep the score goalless at half-time.
Sahil’s long range free-kick was well parried away by Yazid before the Young Lions broke the deadlock at the hour mark through Iqbal.
The winger skipped past a couple of challenge before powering the ball into the bottom corner of the net from just outside the penalty box in the 59th minute.
The Rams almost responded with an equaliser but captain Al-Qaasimy Rahman was up to his task in clearing Taufiq Ghani’s finish off the line.
With the lead, Aide Iskandar’s side started playing the ball around without intending to make any risky moves.
They could have doubled their lead but Yazid had other ideas as he once again stretched out to deny Sahil.
Eventually the Young Lions did make it two in the 74th minute, this time through Anumanthan as he coolly slotted the ball into Yazid’s far post after the Rams fail to clear a corner away to safety.
In the 82nd minute, Woodlands grabbed a consolation thanks to an own goal by Farhan Rahmat.
Moon was at the right place at the right time to force Rudy into pulling off another save, but the ball got deflected by substitute Farhan Rahmat and creeped into the back of the net.
The game started heating up from then on as Woodlands were hungry for the equaliser while the Young Lions wanted to kill the game off with a third goal.
The northern side were a whisker away from claiming an equaliser a couple of minutes later, but Moon’s curling effort struck the crossbar.
At the other end of the pitch, Sahil could have extended Young Lions’ lead but his attempt was foiled by the experienced Woodlands custodian.
The man in the middle blew the final whistle soon after as Woodlands once again failed to put a halt to their losing streak.