Singapore Premier League • March 27, 2014

Zerka Hat-Trick Down Valiant Young Lions


Written by: Phoon Jia Hui

A sensational performance by Monsef Zerka helped Tanjong Pagar United to a 3-2 victory over the Courts Young Lions at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Wednesday evening.

Amy Recha opened the scoring in the 18th minute before Zerka capitalised on a defensive error to level things in the 36th minute.

The Moroccan then put Tanjong Pagar ahead for the first time in the match minutes into the second-half before Muhaymin Salim equalised with an unstoppable volley. However, it was Zerka who had the last laugh as he sealed the win and his hat-trick in the 54th minute.

The hosts started the brighter of the two as they took the game to Tanjong Pagar, pressing high up the pitch and tried to force their opponents to making an error.

The Young Lions nearly got off to a flyer two minutes in when Iqbal Hussain pounced on a sloppy back-pass from Hanafi Salleh before hitting one which skimmed the bar.

Ammirul Emmran was next to try his luck minutes later but his effort flew well over before Sheikh Abdul Hadi’s header off a corner from the right was cleared off the line by a yellow shirt.

However the Young Lions would get the goal they deserved when Amy Recha tapped home from close range after Sherif El-Masri’s shot was parried into his path.

After falling behind, Patrick Vallee’s side tried to find a way back into the game as they settled down and came close through Sebastien Etiemble and Asraf Rashid in the space of two minutes.

Zerka would then open his account for the season minutes before the break when he tapped into an empty net after Syazwan’s clearance came off his own defender.

The Jaguars marquee player went on to get his second of the night in the 48th minute when he glanced a header past Syazwan off a corner kick from the left.

Muhaymin Salim however scored the equaliser three minutes later to make it 2-2. A mazy run from El-Masri saw the Canadian lay the ball off for the forward who took a touch before rifling a dipping shot which gave Tanjong Pagar goalkeeper Aurelien Herisson no chance.

But poor defending proved to be the Young Lions’ downfall yet again as they allowed a long ball from Hafiz Osman to bounce and Zerka got to the ball first as he lifted it over Syazwan before slotting into an empty net.

It proved enough for the Jaguars as they saw off the remainder of the game to halt a three-game losing streak.