Bottom-table Courts Young Lions played hosts to Tanjong Pagar United at the Jalan Besar Stadium and were crushed 4-0 by the visitors despite putting up a tough fight.
Tanjong Pagar United kick things off as favourites to come out as victors.
The game started rather even and it took five minutes for the first real chance to show.
Surprisingly, it came from the Courts Young Lions’ Iqbal Hussain who was on the end of a Sherif El-Masri cross but his effort strayed wide.
Three minutes later, the Jaguars had their opportunity through Ismael Benahmed who failed to hit the target with his header.
The home side, despite being the underdogs, put up a good show against third-placed Tanjong Pagar.
Patrick Vallee was furious in the technical area when his defence were a little too complacent in their penalty area which allowed Fareez Farhan to strike at goal – the visitors were lucky not to concede.
The battle then went back and forth with no real threat at either end until the 35th minute when a Young Lions’ lapse in concentration saw the first goal of the game.
Ahmad Latiff launched a cross from the right but Rudy Khairullah misjudged it, allowing it to fall at Benahmed’s feet who made no mistake from close range.
In the closing minutes of the first period, Raihan Rahman and M. Anumanthan had chances to equalise but their efforts were not good enough to find the net.
At the break, Tanjong Pagar led 1-0.
Patrick Valle must’ve given his men a lashing for being just one goal up because just seven minutes into the second half, Asraf Rahid whipped in a beautiful left-foot cross to find an unmarked Benahmed at the edge of the six-yard box who calmly puts it past the keeper for his second.
It was then the wake up call the home side needed to open up an attacking foray at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
At the 59-minute mark, Iqbal made room for himself to shoot but his weaker left foot sends it wide.
The Young Lions continued charging at the Tanjong Pagar United goal for the next 10 minutes but to no avail.
Their best chance came in 68th minute when Fareez Farhan made a run down the middle to pick out El-Masri. The latter shakes off his marker but dug too deep when striking his shot only to send it rising over the bar.
The Jaguars then delivered a sucker punch of sorts to score against the run of play in the 70th minute.
Ahmad Latiff sent a cross to an unmarked Monsef Zerka at the edge of the six-yard box who did well to find the net beyond an outstretched Rudy.
Four minutes later, Ismael completed his hatrick after he easily glided past Firman Hanif to cheekily lob the ball over the Young Lions keeper.
Patrick Vallee’s side at this point had a convincing four-goal lead.
The Young Lions’ night was summed up when Zulfairuuz Rudy replaced an out-of-sorts Rudy in between the posts.
However, the huge deficit did not dampen Aide Iskandar’s boys as they still pushed on for a consolation goal.
The Jaguars then held on for the win that momentarily puts them second in the league table.