|Photo: St mufc|
Hougang United claimed their third victory in 7 days with last night's 4-3 scrappy win against Tanjong Pagar United.
But the victory did not come easy for the host as they lost the initiative from leading 3-0 just after the break, to allow the Jaguars to level things at 3-3, only for Jordan Webb to rescue the orange black outfit in the dying minutes.
Light rain failed to dampen the mood, as the Cheetahs started the match as expected, and seven minutes from the whistle veteran Md Noor Ali commenced the goals galore with a simple header from a corner.
Twenty minutes later, Hougang were 2-0 up when Carlos Delgado drove in a pile driver from 30 yards out. The Argentine midfielder received a loose ball when Tanjong Pagar failed to clear further, he latched on and fired a screamer past the Jaguars' custodian.
Aide Iskandar made a couple of changes at half time with defensive midfielder Fathi Yunus coming in for Md Noor Ali and Sobrie Mazelan for Carlos Delgado, positioning himself just behind striker Diego Oliveira.
Hougang United were on the roll and on the 64th minute increased their lead to 3-0 when Sobrie Mazelan nailed in a low grounder from outside the penalty box, in the same manner as his Argentine counterpart.
The super-sub stunned everyone with an out of nothing goal, as he received yet another loose ball and drilled past a sea of legs to beat the keeper at the far post. Even the Hougang HOOLs were like .."Wha..?! Goal? Goal!!" Ha.
But the mood changed for the Hougang faithful, as the Cheetahs' strategy of soak and preserving their 3-0 lead began to backfire.
Minutes after Sobrie's goal, Tanjong Pagar United rallied in beast-like fashion most neutral supporters would envy and they mustered one of their best comebacks of the season.
One might guess what Terry Pathmanathan said to his guys during the break but his directions worked and his charges began turning the game on Hougang's head, as the Jaquars reduced their deficit to 3-1.
Tanjong Pagar's Cyril Bagnost made sure Hougang's right back had a nightmarish time. The French winger dribble past a host of orange black on the left flank, cut into the six yard box and sneaked one past Fadhil Salim.
On the high, Tanjong Pagar took advantage of their momentum and delivered their second goal in similar fashion. Cyril the culprit again, as he marched down the left wings and squared the ball to for Japanese striker Takaya Kawanabe to finish. It's was 3-2 in 5 minutes!
Jaguars liberated themselves not twice but thrice as they conjured a classic comeback that really made Hougang United sit up and re-examined their plans.
This time striker Patrick Paran getting his name on the score sheet. In the midst of a confusion amongst the Cheetahs defence, the Singaporean forward managed to toe poke the rebound into the far post.
That was the first time seeing Jaguar fans going delirious to the core with their team's extraordinary comeback and they were chanting, "Jaguars! Jaguars!"
Hougang United had to answer. With 10 minutes left to pound a result out, Aide instructed his charges to an all-out-do-or-die attack. Everyone went forward.
And the rewards finally came in injury time when Hougang United received a corner. The ball swung in and it was Jordan Webb who launched himself above a mass of Jaquar defenders to knock in the winning blow.
Although a win for Hougang United, we were breached 3 times tonight. And if it wasn't for the heroics of Fahdil Salim, we could be looking at a drop of 2 points or worse, but hey it's win after all and Hougang United are sitting at 6th in the league, at least for this weekend :)