The Hougang coach admitted his side were pushed for the win but that they were still the better side at the end of 90 minutes
A 2-1 defeat to Hougang United on Sunday night meant the Young Lions would have to battle it out with the other last placed teams for the Plate title.
It has definitely been a hard lesson for Cubs coach Robin Chitrakar who has had to see his team trailing to an early goal in both matches in the group stage of the League Cup.
“In both games in the group, we conceded an early goal and that certainly did not help us," he bemoaned.
"It is not easy for young players to concede early in any game. When that happens, the players need some time to get their rhythm together.
“We tried to mount a comeback in the second half, which we did, but it was a bit too late.”
Robin was not too pleased at how his team had given Azhar Sairudin acres of space outside the penalty box to score the Cheetah’s second goal.
“I feel that we were very sloppy in the game," he added.
"Especially in conceding the second goal. But the boys kept on pushing till the final whistle and we actually got another chance in injury time but it was brilliantly saved by the Hougang goalkeeper.”
But even with the defeat, Robin felt that his boys deserved some praise for their work-rate in the latter stages of the game, saying: "Overall, I think the boys performed better in the second half. The boys moved the ball around quicker and they gave their best and they did not give up till the final whistle.”
Hougang United coach Nenad Bacina was glad that his players were able to hold on to a win and felt that even though his team had conceded a late goal, they were the better of the two.
“It looked like a tough game for us, especially in the last couple of minutes," said Bacina.
"But even so, I think that my team had controlled the game especially in the first half and we also created the most chances on goal in the game.
“In the second half, both teams made several changes and they managed to pressure us and got their goal towards the end of the game.
“My players were able to control possession and also control their emotions in injury time and hold on to the win. For that I am very happy with their performance.”
Nenad revealed that he was not expecting an easy game as he had seen his opponent's performances in their past few matches in the league and also in this competition, adding: "I was expecting a tough game as I had seen them play and defeat Harimau Muda and SAFFC. They also did well in their previous game against Home United losing only by a single goal.”
“Anything can happen in the last few minutes of a game as players are tired and we also had our own chance on goal in injury time.”
Hougang who have ensured a spot in the quarter-finals will take on Home United in the final group game on Wednesday night.