The Unofficial Hougang United FC Supporters Blog

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Gutsy Cheetahs 'outplayed' by Harimau Muda's time-wasting tactics

Thamil Arasu 21' pen)
Wan Affize 39',90'

Jordan Webb 49'

It was a game of two halves, as Hougang and Harimau Muda both playing a 'Jekyll and Hyde' game that saw a measely 459 attendance in Harimau Muda's adopted home, Yishun Stadium.

Harimau Muda saw four of their stalwarts, Wan Zack, Gary Robbat, Fadhli Shas and Mahali Jasuli, who were in Kuala Lumpur, on international duty against Hong Kong. However, having played together ever since they were young, the Young Tigers' players had telepathy in each of their play.

Hougang had a surprise exclusion in the first eleven - Jordan Webb starts his place in the bench, instead Basit Hamid start in his place in a 4-5-1 formation. Azhar Sairudin was also out, due to a recurring knee injury, which had troubled the midfielder in the early parts of the season

The first half saw an Harimau Muda team full of confidence. And its of no surprise they took the lead in the 21st minute - with the help of referee Muhammad Taqi.

A controlled chest from Fazli Jaffar, was adjudged to be manhandled by the left winger. The referee pointed to the penalty spot. Thamil Arasu, one of their main goalscorers this season, wasted no chance in converting the spot kick.

A string of chances by Harimau Muda then followed through, and even had a goal disallowed through an offside position. However, they managed to increase their lead, again through the help of the referee.

Lau Meng Meng was adjudged to manhandle one of the Harimau players. The resulting freekick by Wan Affize flew over the Hougang wall and into the bottom left hand corner, past custodian Fadhil Salim.

By then, Nenad Bacina had enough of his team's inability to cope with Harimau Muda's attacks, and introduced his top scorer Jordan Webb in the 40th minute.

The second half saw a stronger Hougang United, who had introduced playmaker Ridhwan Osman into the field to add more edge into their midfield. It worked wonders, as the substitute earned results.

A good run from Mamadou Diallo from the right flank fooled the defence of Harimau Muda. His shot managed to be saved by Idzham Tarmizi, however the ball rebounded into the path of Jordan Webb, who managed to bring Hougang back to the game.

Jordan then almost equalized the game, when Diallo's pass found him unmarked, but he managed to sky his shot.

Jordan then was handed the best chance, when a long ball from Ridhwan Osman fooled the Harimau Muda defence. Jordan then had a one-on-one chance with Idzham Tarmizi, however, the custodian managed a fingertip save, to deny Hougang the equalizer.

Hougang fans got worried in the 76th minute, when a collison between Stanislav Vidakovic and Nazmi Faiz caused the Croatian to collapse in a heap, and an ambulance had to be called to send him to hospital.

However, as the game reached to its climax, Hougang had their hearts broken, when a mix-up between Fadhil Salim and Hasree Zais, was taken advantage by Wan Affize, and he slotted home to earn the three points for Harimau Muda.

CHEETAHS MAN OF THE MATCH: Jordan Webb again earns plaudits to turn the game into Hougang's favour, however if he was clinical enough, it would earn Hougang the points and the famous result in Yishun.

CHEETAHS' VERDICT: For the last five games, apart from the fixture in Jurong West, Hougang was dominant, either in one half or the entire game, but once again, their finishing touch was dismal. However, Hougang were left being rued by Harimau Muda time-wasting tactics and simulation, which was left unnoticed by the referee himself. Hougang would need to regain their confidence in their next game, to a more difficult opponent in DPMM FC in Brunei. Nenad Bacina would need his man to gain back their confidence in their first three games, which saw them scoring freely and climbing up the table again.

Fadhil Salim, Hasree Zais, Stanislav Vidakovic (Ignatius Ang, 76), Faizal Amir, Lau Meng Meng (c) , Ante Barac, Basit Hamid (Ridhwan Osman, 45), Nurhilmi Jasni, Mamadou Diallo, Fazli Jaffar (Jordan Webb, 40), Sobrie Mazelan.

SUBS NOT USED: Ridzuan Fatah, Syaqir Sulaiman, Fazly Hasan, Farhan Rahmat

Idzham Tarmizi, Shahrul Saad, Nazirul Naim, Wan Affize Faisal (c), Syazwan Tajudin, Nazmi Faiz, D Saarvindran, Izuan Salahuddin (Wan Zaharulnizam, 52), Azizan Nordin Fferris Danial, 76), Thamil Arasu, Syahrul Azwari

SUBS NOT USED: Farhan Abu Bakar, Amer Saidin (SOURCE)

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