Tanjong Pagar snapped a two-game winless streak as they came back twice to eventually see off Hougang United in a goal-fest
Both teams displayed steely resistance throughout to provide the crowd with an exciting display of box-to-box football that ultimately ended with a 3-2 score in favor of Tanjong Pagar.
The first goal of the night came from Hougang in the 12th minute when Robert Eziakor was left unmarked in the penalty box as a cross came in. The striker produced a strong header that looped into the far corner of the net to give his side the lead.
Tanjong Pagar’s midfield were playing impressively as they strung passes with ease, but they failed to create any clear chances.
Hougang’s three-man attack were posing problems and Eziakor almost had a chance to double his tally, only to see his shot blocked by the Cheetahs’ defence.
Kamael Ramdani sent a freekick straight into the arms of Hougang goalkeeper Fadhil Salim as the Jaguars sought an equalizer with increased urgency.
A slick through pass Hafiz Nor to Ismael Benahmed then provided the striker with a clear sight of goal, but a bad first touch saw Tanjong Pagar’s best chance of the night go to waste.
However, the Jaguars managed to equalize just before the end of the first half through an own goal by Hougang defender Syaqir Sulaiman. A superb cross from the left was received by Hafiz, whose sharp volley deflected off Syaqir onto the bar and into goal.
Hougang retook the lead just six minutes after the restart though, as defender Hazree Zais fired home from close range.
The crowd was by now urging both teams forward, as they got caught up in the excitement of the game.
The first substitution of the night came in the 67th minute when Fairoz Hasan replaced Liam Shotton, who looked like he had injured his ankle.
The Jaguars came close in the 70th minute when Ahmad Latiff’s cross forced Syaqir to clear the ball at the back post, and the defender was lucky not to have scored another own goal.
That was a sign of things though, as they equalized for the second time of the night just minutes later. Latiff’s cross from the right was met by Benahmed this time, with the Frenchman stealing in at the far post to head home.
Hougang responded by bringing on Sobrie Mazlan for Jerome Baker, as they attempted to up the ante. However, it was their opponents who would go on to score again.
Benahmed struck again with a spectacular volley from the edge of the penalty box in the 83rd minute, giving the Jaguars a lead that they held on to despite four minutes of time added on.