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  • July 10, 2013
  • • 20:00
  • • Hougang Stadium, Singapore
  • Referee: Muhd Farhad

Yasir the hero as Eagles edge Cheetahs

Yasir the hero as Eagles edge Cheetahs

Stanford Sng

The winger blasted in the only goal of the game as the hosts were condemned to a third consecutive loss in a hard-fought encounter

It was deja vu for Hougang United on Wednesday night as they went down 1-0 again in S.League combat, having lost to Woodlands Wellington and then Tanjong Pagar United in their previous two games.

This time, it was Geylang International who made it three in a row as a goal from Yasir Hanapi condemned the hosts to defeat and moved the Eagles up to seventh in the table.

The hosts started the game on the front foot as they pressed high up the pitch, forcing mistakes from their opponents.

Despite the domination, they failed to present any real threats, with one of their more promising attacks in the 18th minute snuffed out by a superb block from Delwinder Singh on Jerome Baker in the box.

Geylang had a penalty shout waved away minutes later when Yasir went down in a tangle with Thomas Beattie at the other end, with the ball eventually being hacked clear.

Both sides continued to trade barbs without any producing any real stings for the rest of the half, but it was a different game after the break as the ante was upped.

The Cheetahs were denied the lead when Takuma Ito made a fine block to deny Azhar Sairudin after he had latched onto a weak clearance from the edge of the box before taking the shot.

Subsitute Shotaro Ihata then nearly benefitted from some great work by Yasir as he looked to skip clear in the area, only to be denied by a fine intervention from Syaqir Sulaiman.

Fellow half-time change Liam Shotton was a whisker away from giving Hougang the lead four minutes past the hour mark, his looping header dropping just wide as a helpless Ito looked on. Three minutes later, the striker crashed a fierce effort into the side netting after brushing past his marker.

Geylang were finding Beattie an obdurate presence in the middle of the pitch, as the Englishman screened his defence well with a series of timely interceptions.

The visitors had Syaqir to thank again when he made a brilliant last-ditch block on Taufiq Ghani, who had looked set to score after Jozef Kaplan headed a cross back to him.

The Geylang skipper made his next through pass count in the 73rd minute though. Ihata found Kaplan on the left and the Slovakian kept his cool to pick out Yasir at the far post, who slammed a fine finish past Fadhil to break the deadlock.

Kaplan then turned villain when he received a straight red card in the 83rd minute for appearing to lunge at Diallo, with the midfielder looking bemused at the decision as he walked off the pitch.

Hougang threw the kitchen sink at their opponents in a desperate bid to find the equaliser but the white Geylang wall held on for the rest of the game, including an additional five minutes of injury time, to come away with three precious points.