The Unofficial Hougang United FC Supporters Blog

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Cheetahs win battle of big cats


Hougang's victory last night means eight straight loss for Balestier Tigers.

Balestier Khalsa's wretched run of form continue last night, going down 2-0 to Hougang United.

The Tigers have not won since beating Tanjong Pagar by the same score line in July, and last night's defeat at the Hougang Stadium made it eight losses in a row.

"It just seems like one of those seasons, nothing's going our way," lamented Balestier captain Paul Cunningham.

"We haven't scored since the SAFFC game (Sept 14). That's a problem"

Had it not been for the Cheetahs' goalkeeper Fadhil Salim, that is a record Balestier may well have banished last night.

Sublime in the home goal, the 28-year-old twice rescued his side when Balestier appeared certain to score.

With the score at 1-0, Nurhilmi Jasni embarked on a wonder run from inside his own half.

Meandering past the Hougang defence, his shot seemed destined for the far corner until Fadhil somehow got his finger tips to it to keep it out.

Balestier thought they had scored eight minutes later when Ridwan Osman's pile driver nearly found it's way into the bottom corner, but for Fadhil's heroics.

Little wonder Hougang coach Aide Iskandar was singing praises of his goalkeeper after the game.

"Fadhil stood out," said Aide. "He was superb against all the shots that were levelled at him."

Hougang took advantage of their opponent's inability to take their chances, and took the lead against the run of play.

Defence Splitter

A superb ball from Fathi Yunus from inside his own half split the Balestier defence, allowing Noor Ali and space to take it round Balestier keeper Ahmadulaq Che Omar and the home side ahead.

Despite rallying in the second half, the visitors failed to make their chances count.

As the match wore on, the hosts took advantage of some tired legs as Fazli Jaffar and Noor Ali caused chaos in the Tiger's defence.

In the end, it was Diego Oliveira who put the game to bed as he fired home Fazli's cross from eight meters out.

"What was important was to get the three points," said Aide.

"We took our chances to score and I am happy with the performance."

Meanwhile, Balestier coach assistant coach Nasruddin Jalil emphasised the need for his players to be stronger mentally.

He said: "We started well the first 20 minutes and we managed to create chances, but we didn't take them." - The New Paper

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