The Unofficial Hougang United FC Supporters Blog

Monday, April 9, 2012

Jung Hee Bong and Hafiz Rahim shine as hosts overcome 10-men visitors to record first home win of the season

Photo: Chris Harvey
Jung Hee Bong 8’
Hafiz Rahim 69’

Mamadou Diallo 43’

The Bulls pair each grabbed a goal to record a vital win for the hosts, while the Cheetahs played with 10-men for the last part of the game as Syaqir Sulaiman was sent off.

In a battle of the mid-table teams of last season, Gombak United beat 10-men Hougang United 2-1 at the Jurong West stadium to record their first home win of the season in front of 861 spectators.

Jung Hee Bong and Hafiz Rahim were majestic as they created the goals for each other over two halfs, while Mamadou Diallo's equalizer before half-time proved to be a mere consolation for the visitors, who had Syaqir Sulaiman sent off before the game ended after amassing two yellow cards.

Both teams were looking for a win going into the match in order to move themselves up in the table and Gombak who finished sixth last season made a single change to the starting line-up who lost 3-0 to Brunei DPMM last week, with Julien Durand starting ahead of Muhd Nur Naiim.

Hougang who finished seventh last season missed out on defender Stanislav Vidakovic and midfielder Azhar Sairudin. The former had accumulated four yellow cards, triggering a suspension while the latter is currently serving his two-match suspension.

It was Gombak who drew first blood, thanks to a defensive error from the Hougang backline in the 8th minute.

Bong was left unmarked in the area and when teammate Hafiz headed down Nurullah Hussein’s cross to the Korean striker, he made no mistake and fired it into the net to give his team a 1-0 lead.

The Cheetahs then fought back through the attacking trio of Jordan Webb, Ante Barac and Diallo but a resilient Gombak defence kept it all out.

It was a very physical match where tackles were flying all over and Gombak’s Mustaqim Manzur was substituted in the 35th minute after going down with a neck injury and Fareez Farhan came on for the midfielder.

Photo: Chris Harvey
Sobrie Mazelan then came close to equalising for Hougang in five minutes before the break when Diallo broke through and laid off a pass, but the forward’s shot from outside the area went narrowly wide.

Three minutes later, Hougang’s hardwork finally paid off when Webb crossed for Sobrie, and although the forward's shot was blocked, Diallo was there to poke it in and make it 1-1.

The Cheetahs then dominated and created better chances in the second-half but a moment of brilliance in the 69th minute allowed Gombak to retake the lead.

Goal-scorer Bong received the ball in a crowded box after K.Vikraman whipped in a corner-kick from the left and the Korean slid it to an unmarked Hafiz who slammed the ball home from two-yards out to make it 2-1.

Gombak then went on to dominate the game and create several good chances to extend their lead but it was Hougang who nearly equalised.

Barac sent in a corner and it was met by defender Hasree Zais, whose header seemed to be going into the net but was tipped out in the nick of time by Gombak custodian Zaiful Nizam.

Photo: Chris Harvey
Four minutes later, Hougang’s miseries worsened when Syaqir was given his marching orders by referee Leow Thiam Hoe after receiving his second yellow card of the match.

Time eventually ran out for the 10-men Cheetahs as they swallowed their third defeat of the season.

They will look to bounce back when they host Albirex Niigata next Friday at the Hougang stadium while Gombak will visit Clementi stadium next Sunday to take on reigning S.League champions Tampines Rovers. (SOURCE)

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