Cheetahs and Young Lions Aiming For A Win
Hougang United vs Garena Young Lions
(15 September, Friday, 7.30pm, Hougang Stadium)
Written by: Rashid Sulaiman
Hougang United will be seeking to return to winning ways when they welcome Garena Young Lions in the Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League at the Hougang Stadium on Friday night.
The Cheetahs are currently in sixth position on 20 points while the Young Lions are in ninth spot, with three draws this season.
Hougang have not had the best of form recently as they lost their previous two matches, going down 1-0 to Geylang International before suffering a 5-1 reverse against title challengers Tampines Rovers a week ago.
That loss against the Stags was a bitter pill to swallow for Hougang head coach Philippe Aw as he had expected a better performance from his players.
“We started well but we were defensively poor today. For a team like us to concede five goals today, it was really very poor,” said Aw.
“The goals we conceded today were all really soft. First goal was a penalty but for the second goal, we wanted to play out from a goal kick.
“With not much time left in the half, we should have been clever enough to know to tuck in, go long and lose the ball up top. Ball goes out finish, we go into half-time 1-1. It would have been better for us.”
“But we conceded and the morale drops and you know the half-time team talk has to change - you now need to chase the game,” added the 39-year-old.
The two teams had met earlier in the season and it was the Cheetahs who went away the happier of the two. Fareez Farhan and Fumiya Kogure scored a goal each in that match against the Young Lions played in March this year.
While Lionel Tan is suspended for this tie, Aw will have to reshuffle his pack.
In attack, Aw is likely to keep faith with the pairing of Kogure and Fareez with Pablo Rodriquez and Iqbal Hussain providing the head coach with additional offensive options on the bench.
For the Young Lions, although they come into this match at the back of a 1-0 and 4-0 losses to Albirex and Tampines respectively with newly appointed head coach Vincent Subramaniam taking charge of the team following their return from the Southeast Asian Games in August.
Although they are still searching for their first win of the season, Vincent feels that the team will learn from their previous matches.
“It has been a difficult three months for most of these boys and I had to lift up their spirits and motivate them although there is still a lot of work to do. We definitely can learn some lessons from them,” said Vincent after their match against Albirex.
“We lost 4-0 but we know where went wrong and I believe the team will get better. We play Hougang three days from now and hopefully the boys can recover and put up a better performance,” added the former Singapore national team coach following their encounter with the Stags.
Suspension: Lionel Tan (Hougang United)
Hougang United - LWWLL
09/09/17 Tampines Rovers 5-1 Hougang United
18/08/17 Hougang United 0-1 Geylang International
14/08/17 Nagaworld FC 0-4 Hougang United (RHB Singapore Cup)
11/08/17 Hougang United 4-1 Nagaworld FC (RHB Singapore Cup)
04/08/17 Hougang United 0-1 Warriors FC
Garena Young Lions - DDLLL
12/09/17 Garena Young Lions 0-4 Tampines Rovers
08/09/17 Garena Young Lions 0-1 Albirex Niigata (S)
02/07/17 Geylang International 2-1 Garena Young Lions
28/06/17 Garena Young Lions 0-0 Warriors FC
22/06/17 Garena Young Lions 0-0 Balestier Khalsa
Head to Head (S.League)
11/03/17 Hougang United 2-0 Garena Young Lions
23/09/16 Garena Young Lions 0-2 Hougang United
19/05/16 Hougang United 1-1 Garena Young Lions
10/03/16 Garena Young Lions 1-3 Hougang United
01/10/15 Hougang United 2-2 Garena Young Lions