The Unofficial Hougang United FC Supporters Blog

Monday, April 23, 2012

Late Karoglan header steals points for Warriors in lacklustre clash

Photo: Chris Harvey
Mislav Karoglan 81’


A late header by Mislav Karoglan gave the Warriors 3 much-needed points against Hougang United in a lacklustre draw at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium

For the second-time this season, the floodlights went off at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium in the clash between SAFFC and Hougang United. Play was stopped for 12 minutes early into the second-half and when play resumed, Mislav Karoglan grabbed a late winner with a header to give the Warriors 3 much-needed points.

The game started with Hougang showing their intent from the kick-off. Karoglan was sloppy in possession and allowed Mamadou Diallo to steal the ball from under his feet, drive at the Warriors goal and fire narrowly wide. That chance seemed to spark the home side into live and 3 minutes later Shimpei Sakurada glanced a header narrowly wide after a dangerous free-kick from winger Tatsuro Inui.

Diallo almost broke the deadlock on 10 minutes after turning his defender expertly and firing low and hard at goal but Shahril Jantan produced a great-double save.

Ante Barac then tested keeper Jantan with a low free-kick but saw his effort easily saved.

In the 20th minute a header from Bah Mamadou off an Inui corner was heading for the roof of the net but was expertly tipped over by keeper Fadhil Salim to keep the scores level.

The half ended with both sides failing to create further clear-cut chances.

Play was stopped on 52 minutes when the floodlights went off and resumed 12 minutes later.

Both sides laboured to create chances with Hougang United having the better chances.

Shimpei Sakurada fired wide on 69 minutes after good build-up play by Karoglan.

Forward Jordan Webb then stung Jantan's hands with a firm drive after a cut back by Diallo.

Hougang should really have taken the lead on 73 minutes. Webb and Diallo broke with pace at the Warriors defence and played a series of one-twos before Diallo attempted to round the keeper but Jantan produced an outstanding save from the feet of Diallo.

Diallo had yet another chance to give his side the lead when he raced through on 80 minutes only to see his lob over Jantan go agonizingly over the bar.

The Warriors then made Hougang pay for their missed chances with an incisive counter attack.

On 81 minutes, Inui who had been the Warriors' brightest spark all-night broke free on the right and delivered a pin-point cross for Karoglan to power a header home from 5 yards. Karoglan was mobbed by his team-mates highlighting the significance of the goal.

The final whistle was greeted with relief by the Warriors' faithful who had just seen their team stem their run of 3 games without victory. (SOURCE)

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