|Photo: Andrew JK Tan|
Hougang United are making the habit of breaking records.
After Jordan Webb became the club's record scorer in a single season with 16 goals, the Cheetahs notched another milestone in front of 759 fans at the Jalan Besar Stadium last night.
They defeated Geylang 2-1 to become the Hougang team, since their debut in the S-League in 2006 under the name SengKang Punggol, to beat every team in the league in the same season.
"This was a great victory," said Hougang assistant coach Hasrin Jailani.
"The last two times we played Geylang, we were the better team but lost. Today, we showed we could beat a team with a much bigger budget than we have."
The Cheetahs certainly had to work for their victory.
Geylang, who started brighter of the two teams, took the lead after 34 minutes through midfielder Jeon Byung Euk, who scored from a rebound after Hougang goalkeeper Fadhil Salim saved from Rizawan Abdullah.
The Eagles, who had beaten Hougang in the last seven meetings dating back to May 2009, missed a couple of chances before the break - which they would later pay for.
The Cheetahs improved in the second half, but must have thought the was lost when Sharil Alias was sent off in the 57th minute for fouling Yuta Nakano as he raced through towards goal.
But four minutes later, Mamadou Diallo, making his return to the side after a lengthy spell of injury, struck a sweet grounder to tie the game.
When Vitor Borges scored Hougang's second after some good work from Webb and Md Noor Ali down the wing, Geylang's spirits dampened.
Daniel Hammond missed a penalty moments later - saved by Fadhil Salim - and Geylang failed to test their 10-men opponents for the rest of the game.
Said Eagles assistant coach V.Kanakarajan:" We lost confidence after that missed penalty. All credit to Hougang when they went down to 10 men, I thought we would win the game."
"But they came back very strong... they played really well in the second half." - The New Paper