The Unofficial Hougang United FC Supporters Blog

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Match Preview: Tampines vs Hougang

By Hougang Hools
Poster: Jeff Teo
Match Day: Sunday, 25th March, 2012
Venue: Clementi Stadium, 7.45pm kick-off
Tickets: $5.00 (Adult), $ 1.00 (Student)

Travelling to Clementi Stadium this Sunday against Tampines Rovers will be another test for underdogs Hougang United who have now conceded back-to-back defeats courtesy of Balestier Khalsa's 1-0 and Home United's 2-1 win.

Protectors winger Qiu Li put the visitors early in lead with a penalty and Japanese striker Shotaro Ihata adding a second in the 56 minute.

Though Hougang United's Croatian centerback Stanko Vidakovic managed to pulled one back 10 minutes from time and Jordan Webb brought in bolster attacks, it wasn't enough to salvage the situation and the second loss summarizes their plight of late.

The Cheetahs slide closer to mid-table and are level with Tampines Rovers at 7 points each but Stag's have a game in hand. Not too far behind is Woodlands Wellington with 6 points.

Tampines Rovers have had a lacklustre start to the S-League season drawing 2-2 with DPMM Brunei and edged out by Balestier Khalsa 1-0 but have bounced back brilliantly, pulling no punches when they saw off Woodlands Wellington 4-1 in front of their Clementi home crowd .

More recently the east side club claimed a 2-1 injury time victory against a resilient Tanjong Pagar United side and held off Vietnamese side Song Lam Nghe An to goalless draw in the AFC Champions League Group F.

But Hougang United have never shy away from taking on tougher opponents. Last May, the Cheetahs shocked the title holders to a 2-0 thriller at the Hougang Stadium.

Defender Syaqir Sulaiman put the Cheetahs into the lead with a timely header and former Hougang United midfielder maestro Carlos Delgado sealing victory from the penalty spot.

Syaqir may not feature in this Sunday's match after suffering a knee injury during Home United game last week and could see defender Hasree Zais filling in the position and partnering Vidakovic instead. Both will have their hands full seeing to it that Tampines Rovers target man Alexsandar Duric is stamped out.

Also wanted on the Danger Men list are Stag's Jamil Ali and Mustafic Fahrudin both veteran midfielders who are still very much potent with the ball and can cause some serious problems if they do infiltrate gaps between the Hougang back four.

Jordan Webb should be well enough to start after a week's long flu which resulted in him featured only in  the second half of the previous game. Azhar Sairudin had to step up a gear in the absence of the Canadian's flanking duties; and occasionally causing problems for Home.

This Sunday would most likely field a 4-4-1-1 formation. And with the return of Jordan Webb, Nurhilmi Jasni majavascript:void(0)y play the hole behind the striker. Fazli Jaffar to patrol the left channel.

We expect little changes from the line up and a game mindset of soak and counter. But it's up to Croatian coach Nenad Bacina to formulate his team tactics.

Hougang Hools will of course be the 12th player as part of the off-field tactics, in which we hope our taunts and banter will bring much cheer to the folks at Clementi and Tampines Rovers fans as well . *wink wink at StagMania*

Come on Hougang!! Come on Hougang!! Come on Hougang!!

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