|Poster: Ian Su|
Venue: Jalan Besar Stadium, 7.45pm kick-off
Tickets: $5.00 (Adult), $ 1.00 (Student)
Hougang United supporters bring your season pass as this is considered a home game.
LATEST: For the half-time lucky draw
Only paying spectators will be eligible for the draw
And season pass holders will have double the chance!
Do sign up for the season pass tomorrow pre-match!
(South Gate, near the King George stand)
Another big cat fight looms as the Cheetahs of Hougang United and Balestier Khalsa Tigers face-off this Thursday at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
Last month Balestier Khalsa delivered a shocker when they beat S-League Champions Tampines Rovers to a 1-0 scoreline courtesy of a Ruhaizad Ismail effort in the final moments.
And more recently, Balestier drew 1-1 with Gombak United at the Toa Payoh Stadium even though Bulls commanded most of the possession; but in the end, Gombak's poor finishing rue their chances. Credit to Balastier's captain Paul Cunningham for marshaling the Tigers tight defences and salvaging point each for the mid-dwellers; placing Gombak in 8th and Balestier slightly ahead in 5th.
Previous meetings between Hougang and Balestier yield 2 wins and a draw for the Cheetahs. Last season, Hougang only managed to draw 2-2 at home; that was followed by a 4-2 win over the Tigers at the Toa Payoh Stadium. And finally, former Hougang United midfielder Nor Ali put one of the two goals past the Balestier in the later part of the S-league campaign. Hougang United prevailed 2-0 in that match.
Fast forward to 2012, Hougang United's fortune of late continues to favour them but coach Nenad Bacina was quick to downplay Hougang's success at this initial stage.
He stressed that he wants his players to be more potent upfront; this comes after their 2-0 victory over Geylang united last Saturday at the Hougang stadium; but he also said collecting 3 points was good too. Goals from Jordan Webb and Ignatius Ang help Hougang United maintain their highest position yet - second behind league leaders Albirex Niigata.
In an interview with TNP, Webb talked about his recent form, he said: "Sure, I want to score in every game and keep this streak going... But it is more important for the team to win, otherwise the goals will have no meaning."
Three goals in three matches puts the "Canadian Assassin" in the top scorer contingent together with Albirex Niigata striker Soya Toshikazu.
Hougang United will be looking to cap this Thursday's clash with Balestier Khalsa with yet another victory only if they can maintain their current form. And if they do, for the next 24 hours the North East pride will ascend to the summit; a rare treat for the Hougang fans.
Possible formation for Thursday should appear as 4-4-1-1 with the back line consisting of Captain Isaac Lau, Syaqir Sulaiman, Stanko Vidakovic and Faizal Amir. These 4 were effective in dealing Geylang's threat last week with Isaac Lau occasionally creating space to venture forward.
Midfielder Nurhilmi Jasni played the hole behind Guinean forward Diallo Mamadou who is still in line to open his account for Hougang. Both Diallo and Ignatius Ang were able to post havoc in the Geylang's defence with the latter scoring with a header. Ang is a potential striker in the making and it remains to be seen if the youngster can deliver the goods when he is called upon.
Fazli Jaffar is another player to look out for, he can operate in the left-back position or in left-midfield when the occasion arises, thus providing attack and defending options for the coach.
As for us fans, we will definitely be there in full voice just as we have last season because the 12th player is definitely instrumental in a club's progression and we cannot discount that fact. So cheers and see you all at Jalan Besar Stadium. :)