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  • April 24, 2014
  • • 19:55
  • • Jalan Besar Stadium, Singapore

Velez brace sends Warriors top

Velez brace sends Warriors top


The striker continued his exceptional form and his two goals, along with Marin Vidosevic’s header, proved enough to see off a late rally from the home side

Warriors FC climbed to the top of the S.League table after a 3-2 win against the Courts Young Lions at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Thursday evening.

Nicolas Velez was the man of the moment yet again as his brace - one in each half - along with Marin Vidosevic’s header, proved to be too much for the Young Lions, despite a late rally from the home side with strikes from Muhaimin Suhaimi and Sahil Suhaimi.

The Argentinian had scored all four goals in the Warriors' last game as they thrashed Albirex Niigata 4-0 and the striker wasted no time in adding to his tally, breaking the deadlock after half an hour.

Velez reached the end of Miroslav Pejic’s pass and beat goalkeeper Syazwan Buhari from close range, with referee Mohd Irwan overruling an offside flag as the ball had hit a defender before it reached the 23-year-old.

The Young Lions had arguably their best chance to equalise five minutes after the break, but Hassan Sunny made a stunning point-blank save to deny Sherif El-Masri from close range.

They were left to rue that miss as Velez doubled his tally for the evening on the hour mark, with Pejic again the provider. The Croatian did well to reach the byline and squared the ball, leaving Velez with a simple tap-in from six yards.

It was soon 3-0 a few minutes later as Pejic completed a hat-trick of assists after his corner found Vidosevic, who rose highest to power home a header.

However, it was far from comfortable for the visitors as their young opponents pulled a goal back 14 minutes from time as substitute Muhaimin converted from close range to raise their hopes of an unlikely comeback.

Sahil, who had caused problems for the Warriors’ backline all night, then curled a superb free-kick into the top corner from the edge of the penalty box in stoppage time, but it proved to be too late as his side slipped to their seventh defeat of the season.

The result saw Alex Weaver’s men move to the top of the table and unsurprisingly, the Englishman was pleased with his charges' efforts.

“It was a good result tonight against a difficult opponent that can give you problems if you are not focused,” he told Goal Singapore after the game.

“We’ve done really well in training this week to keep away complacency after the Albirex game, so the lads deserve a lot of credit for tonight’s result. It sets us up nicely for the Home United game now.”

Warriors will face Home next in the uniformed derby on Friday, May 2 while the Young Lions will take on Hougang United on the same day.