The winger struck twice to help his side to only their second win of the season, as their opponents remained point-less still
|FROM CHOA CHU KANG STADIUM
By Khalis Rifhan
Languishing near the bottom, eight-time S.League champions Warriors FC were eager to make it right against a Courts Young Lions team that had yet to register a single point this season, and they started their match with ferocious intent.
The signs were there early in the match as Mislav Karoglan connected with Tatsuro Inui’s cross, but the Rudy Khairullah pulled off a spectacular one-handed save to claw away the header.
The front two of Karoglan and Sufian Anuar was a constant menace for the visitors’ backline as they demonstrated a telepathic understanding, unlike in the previous matches.
That was evident when Sufian played a defence-splitting through ball to his strike partner, who only had an empty net front of him as Rudy rushed out of his goal. However, Sufianto Salleh recovered in time and cleared for a corner to prevent the Young Lions from going behind.
The Warriors did not have to wait long to open the scoring though, as the visitors were guilty of not clearing their lines from a corner in the 11th minute.
With the ball bobbling inside the penalty area, Erwan Gunawan took advantage of the situation and blasted the ball home to make it 1-0.
It could have been two for the hosts nine minutes before the break, as a hopeful long punt from Ruzaini Zainal found Sufian, who had beaten the offside trap. With only the goalkeeper to beat, the striker opted for an audacious chip that unfortunately went awfully wrong.
Warriors finally doubled their lead five minutes later, as Erwan was once again at the right place at the right time in the box to sweep a rebound in.
It was not one-way traffic as the Young Lions had their chances, but were let down by poor finishing in the second half.
Shamil Sharif’s shot went sky high on the hour mark, while Sherif El-Masri failed to find the target from inside the six-yard box.
Those misses would prove to be costly as the home side put the match beyond their opponent’s reach in the 65th minute.
From a tight angle on the right flank, Inui unleashed a speculative grounder that creeped underneath Rudy’s body and into goal.
With the win – their second of the season – the Warriors moved up to seventh spot, a point ahead of Geylang International.