|Photo: Great Eastern Yeo's|
Goh Swee Swee 71'
Jordan Webb 28' 49'
Stanislav Vidavoic 56'
The match attendance stands at only 688, but the atmosphere of the game was as electrifying as any La Liga, EPL, Serie A or Bundesliga game.
Dubbed by football enthusiasts as the “Noisy Derby”, Hougang United brought along the Hougang Hools to face the Rams of Woodlands, along with the Black Sheep of Woodlands, in a pulsating game.
Both teams are looking to restart their season with a victory, after both picking up one point from their last three games. Coincidentally, both teams’ last victory was against Geylang United.
Hougang started the game with almost the same team against Tampines, albeit for one. Sobrie Mazelan starts the game, in place of the suspended Azhar Sairudin. Jordan Webb, Hougang’s leading scorer so far, is looking to end his 3-game goal drought.
Hougang started the game brightly, however, the first chance came at 12 minutes, to Woodlands. A good exchange of passes between Hussein Akil and Moon Soon Ho found the Korean with a chance to gain the hosts a lead, but Moon wasted the chance.
However, with the visitors leading the game possession, it was no doubt that Hougang took the lead. Jordan Webb, the most recognizable player on the field, capped up a solo effort with a thunderbolt from 30 yards out, smashed passed Ahmadulhaq Che Omar, and into the top corner.
Hougang could increase the lead on 42 minutes and a fine exchange between Fazli Jaffar and Sobrie Mazelan found the latter with a chance one-on-one with Ahmadulhaq, however, Sobrie managed the shot the ball straight into the Woodlands custodian.
Hougang’s gameplan was tiring the Woodlands midfield at half time, that was when Salim Moin decided to introduce the pacy wingback K.Sathiaraj just before half time, to prevent any Hougang counter attacks.
However, three minutes after the start of the second half, Hougang increased their lead. Fabian Lewis fouled Diallo in the box, which led into a penalty. Jordan Webb wasted no chance in converting the penalty. 2-0 to the Cheetahs.
Seven minutes later, Hougang virtually sealed the three points. Ahmadulhaq half cleared the ball from an Ante Barac corner. The ball found Nurhilmi Jasni, who volleyed the ball, which deflected past Hougang’s giant defender Vidakovic and into the net.
Hougang then decided to rest their star midfielder, who was earlier nursing a groing injury on 58 minutes. In his place, is Ridhwan Osman.
Woodlands then managed to find a consolation goal through Goh Swee Swee, however it proved too late, as the Cheetahs and their Hools went home happy with the three points.
The end of the match, however, was a scene of friendship and close bonding in football, as the Hougang Hools and the Black Sheep of Woodlands get into a group huddle and cheer together to promote the goodwill of the game.
CHEETAHS VERDICT: Hougang looks more of the hungrier side throughout the game, with excellent diagonal passes from their outstanding playmaker, Ante Barac. Taking advantage of the Rams’ weak left wing, which was missing former Cheetah Duncan Elias, Hougang looked more dangerous on the right, putting the Canadian Assassin Jordan Webb to trouble the Woodlands defence into disarray.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Jordan Webb may have scored two important goals for this victory, however it was the Cheetah’s backline who had the most impressive display in the match. Keeping quiet the two most lethal Rams’ players, Hussein Akil & Moon Soon Ho, it was to be said that Lau Meng Meng deserves the plaudits in leading his backline as the skipper of the team.
Fadhil Salim, Hasree Zais, Stanislav Vidakovic, Faizal Amir, Lau Meng Meng (c) ,Jordan Webb(Ridhwan Osman, 64), Ante Barac, Nurhilmi Jasni (Basit Hamid, 84), Fazli Jaffar, Mamadou Diallo (Ignatius Ang, 88), Sobrie Mazelan
SUBS NOT USED: Ridzuan Fatah, Khayrulhayat Jumat, Benedict Chua, Farhan Rahmat
Ahmadulhaq Che Omar, Daniel Hammond (c), Fabian Lewis, Edward Tan, Vincent Lee (K. Sathiaraj, 30), Han Yiguang (Armanizam Dolah, 61), Shamsurin Abdul Rahman, Farizal Basri (Aloysius Yap, 70), Goh Swee Swee, Hussein Akil, Moon Soon Ho
SUBS NOT USED: Ang Bang Heng, Danny Chew, Guntur Djafril, Andy Ahmad