On papers, it was an easy game for the unbeaten Harimau Muda as they hosted the winless Young Lions at Yishun Stadium on sunday evening. But it was not to be, as the Malaysians were made to work hard to overcome the Singaporeans.Bouyed by a reasonable crowd of 1029, given the heavy downpour and two other matches at the same time, the home team fell behind to a Jonathon Toto’s goal in the 16th minute as the former Etoile forward whizzled past two defenders before slamming the ball into the roof of Izham Tarmizi’s goal. This was the first time that the Malaysians have conceded a first half goal in their S-League campaign. Harimau Muda tried hard to attack but they were not helped by the form of Sirina Camara, as he put in an almost flawless performance in the first half. Ong Kim Swee made two early changes as the underperforming Wan Zak Haikel and D Saarvindran were replaced by Syahrul Azwari and wonder boy Nazmi Faiz on the half hour mark. The half time read Harimau Muda 0 Courts Young Lions 1, and this was the first time the Malaysians were down at the break.
The second half started brightly for Harimau Muda as Nazmi scored the equalizer just three minutes after the break. The second goal came in the 74th minute when Fandi Othman’s free kick on the edge of the box was met by a Fadhli Shas header which came off the bar, but Ahmad Hazwan slotted the rebound home to put his team ahead. The final goal of the game came from Nazmi, who scored his second and his team’s third of the night as his shot from outside the box was deflected into goal.
Speaking after the loss, Courts Young Lions coach, Robin Chitrakar was happy with the commitment and performance of his charges, especially the first half. The team is looking better than before, but they will need to maintain their performance throughout the game. His counterpart, Ong Kim Swee, felt the Singapore-Malaysia rivalry had a part to play in this match, but it was a case of needing the three points to keep up with the top five in the league. When asked if the two early substitutions were a result of the goal conceded, Ong’s reply was “If I have to make three substitutions in the first half, I will. I don’t care who he is, if he’s not performing, i will take him off.”
With the win, Harimau Muda moves up to second, a point behind Home United with a game in hand. Courts Young Lions remained bottom with zero points and four games played.
Following is a video of Harimau Muda’s fans who stayed on after the game to cheer on the Harimau Muda’s players.
Harimau Muda will be playing SAF in their next game at Choa Chu Kang Stadium on 1 April 2012
Courts Young Lions will be hosting Balestier Khalsa at Jalan Besar Stadium on 1 April 2012
Both matches will be kicking off at 7.45pm
Some statistics from the game:
Harimau Muda 11 (6 on target, 5 off target) Courts Young Lions 4 (2 on target, 2 off target)
Harimau Muda 10 Courts Young Lions 19
Harimau Muda 6 Courts Young Lions 2
Harimau Muda 2 Courts Young Lions 5
Statistics are self tabulated, we try to be accurate to the best we can.
Other S-League Results
Tampines Rovers 1 (Benoit Croissant 90″)
Hougang United 1 (Mamadou Diallo 45″)
Home United 4 (Frederic Mendy 22″ 65″, Shotaro Ihata 29″, Qiu Li(pen) 63″)
Albirex Niigata (S) 2 (Sho Kamimura 3″ 65″)