Woodlands did well against a wasteful SAFFC with star striker Moon Soon Ho scoring a brace to share the spoils with the Warriors
Woodlands striker Farizal Hasri beat the offside trap in the fifth minute but was unable to trouble goalkeeper Shahril Jantan.
A few minutes later SAFFC striker Mislav Karoglan also had an opportunity after Woodlands captain Daniel Hammond slipped on his challenge, but also failed to capitalise.
In the 10th minute Fazrul Nawaz should have pounced on a miscommunication between Woodlands goakeeper Ahmadulhaq Che Omar and defender Edward Tan to score, but Ahmadulhaq recovered quickly enough to close Fazrul down for a corner.
Woodlands striker Moon Soon Ho then fashioned himself an opportunity from 20 yards out by trying to beat Shahril Jantan with a well struck shot that went just over the bar.
But just over a minute later Moon was able to convert. Armanziam Dolah’s excellent through pass from the middle found Moon on the right, who beat the offside trap and was faster to the ball than goalkeeper Shahril Jantan, who rushed out to collect the ball and found himself stranded in the process.
Woodlands left winger Guntur Djafril then thought he had been gifted the ball from a confusion in the SAFFC central defence, but the linesman’s flag was already up for offside.
SAFFC then equalised, somewhat against the run of play, through an excellent free kick delivery from Tatsuro Inui. Mislav Karoglan beat his marker Fabien Lewis to the ball in the penalty box to send a header past Ahmadulhaq.
Just a few minutes later SAFFC had the chance to score yet again, with Fabien Lewis keeping Fazrul Nawaz onside although this time he was well blocked by Ahmadulhaq.
After the half hour mark Inui did well to get himself out of a sticky situation with Moon, and made a decent cross to Ruzaini Zainal, but the latter’s cross into the penalty box was so poor that he waved apologetically to his team-mates for close to twenty seconds.
Inui then won a free-kick just outside the Woodlands penalty box, but while his attempt was blocked by the wall, the ball landed to Shukor Zailan, whose stinging shot from 25 yards was punched away to safety by Ahmadulhaq.
Noh Rahman was then booked in the 36th minute for pushing Woodlands midfielder Goh Swee Swee in the back. Just a few minutes later Noh could have found himself sent off with a trip on Moon, but referee W. Ravisanthiran kept his cards to his pocket.
Inui was a thorn in the Woodlands’ defence throughout the game, and could have scored after creating for himself an opening in the penalty box, but was unable to keep his shot down.
At the start of the second half Inui’s free kick found Bah Mamadou in the penalty box, but the defender quickly lost possession.
Woodlands then attempted a quick counterattack with Shamsurin Rahman releasing Moon, but although he beat the offside trap, the ball rolled into the hands of Shahril Jantan.
Fazrul Nawaz should have done better in the 56th minute with a half volley after a pass from the left flank by the excellent Inui, but his left-footed attempt bounced harmlessly out for a goal kick.
SAFFC striker Karoglan then won a free kick at the edge of the box just over the hour mark, but Tatsuro Inui’s attempt only hit the chairs of the empty St George’s Stand behind Ahmadulhaq’s goalpost.
Just half a minute later Moon Soon Ho could have snatched a goal for Woodlands but after beating three defenders his powerful shot went just wide.
Increasingly desperate to score, SAFFC pushed forward in numbers, but were caught on the counter by Moon, who was calm enough to finish after receiving Armanizam’s pass from deep within the Woodlands half to make it 2-1.
But a minute later SAFFC produced a spectacular assault at goal and was rewarded with an equaliser. Ruzaini Zainal’s shot from the edge of the box was deemed by the linesman to have struck the underside of the bar and was ruled to be a goal, after Mislav Karoglan’s determination had produced several great saves from Ahmadulhaq.
In the 84th minute Woodlands substitute Andy Ahmad, who had come on for the quiet Farizal Basri, came agonisingly close with his long-range effort but it whistled just over the bar.
Karoglan’s solo effort on 88 minutes could have found the back of the net, but after beating two defenders his shot tamely rolled wide and out of play.
At the start of injury time Fazrul Nawaz was booked for a poor challenge on Edward Tan, and then for getting into a spat with Fabien Lewis.
Even though there was a bit of a spark from SAFFC in the last few minutes they did not produce a winner by the time Ravisanthiran’s whistle blew for full time.