The Cheetahs lost well. It wasn't one of those matches that lack steam once a big team dominated the scoreline but a night of continuous attacking from both ends. Even the supporters got into the thick of things, with Home United's 'Chao Recruits' and Hougang United's 'Hooligans'.
The Protectors opened the scoring in the 18th minute with a Qiu Li set piece. Frederic Mendy earn a freekick just outside the Hougang pentaly box and Qiu expertly swung the ball in beating Cheetahs custodian Fadil Salim.
Cheetahs missed a couple of chances to level the score from the other end. Noor Ali was able to drill through an opening from the right channel but his shot found safe hands in national keeper Lionel Lewis.
Hougang United's top goal poacher Jordan Webb also had his chance squandered when he ballooned his shot into row Z.
Home United swiftly replied with a counter that doubled their goal lead. Federic Mendy the scorer this time. Winger sufian Anuar broke from the center of the pitch and fed a though ball for the french stiker to slot home the goal.
Hougang United fought back and clawed the score back to 2-1. Jordan Webb's runs down the flanks allowed Mamdou Diallo to ledge on the cross and fired in a low shot into the back of the Protectors net.
2-1 at Half Time.
The goal thrill kick started itself again and Home United increased their goal advantage 3 mins from the restart. Winger Firaus Idros scored from close range when he connected with a Shi Jia Yi cross.
The drama was not to end here as lucky Hougang United got a goal back through some unfortunate defence error that resulted in an own goal. Carlos Delgado's free kick force defender Nor Azli to clear the ball but his clearance faltered and concede the O.G.
However, the own goal was soon canceled out as Home United bagged their 4th goal of the evening. Winger Qiu Li's counter down the flanks allowed him to knock a cross into the Cheetah's six yard box, providing Firdaus Idors with the simplest of tip ins. 4-2 to the Home United.
“I’m quite pleased with the way the boys have played, we created a few scares and had some moments of domination and possession,” elaborated the former national captain.
“We have to give credit to Home United. They took their chances well and punished us for our sloppy defending. Of course I would have been happy to come out of this game with a point, but they are the obviously better side today.” - Aide Iskandar
I was greatly entertained even though Hougang United lost the game, but not without a fight to the end. The atmosphere seemed a little intimidating for the Hougang United Supporters as we were outnumber interms of vocal strength but hey, atleast we weren't "summoned" to appear in the stands or rewarded with "day offs" from our commanding orcifer. Plastic...
But this night did offer a peek into what S-League matches potentially might be when crowds coming in their thousands. :)