A shabby looking Warriors were lucky to come away with a point in their goalless draw against a disciplined and cohesive Courts Young Lions side at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Saturday night.
The fallen giants were fortunate not to concede a goal barely 20 seconds into the match as Marin Vidosevic had mistimed his jump and allowed Sahil Suhaimi to run through on goal.
But the Warriors were let off the hook as Sahil’s first touch let him down and Warriors goalkeeper Hassan Sunny was able to gather the ball.
Warriors then settled down and had several chances of their own but were let down by poor finishing and the Young Lions defence was keeping a tight line at the back, holding their opponents at bay for most of the match.
Mislav Karoglan, wasted a golden opportunity to put his side a goal up in the 16th minute, latching onto a through ball from Shimpei Sakurada inside the box.
But the 2011 golden boot winner would not get his name onto the score sheet as his attempted lob failed miserably and the hosts' custodian Syazwan Buhari had an easy catch of the ball.
Warriors were beginning to wear out in the second half but they had to thank Singapore international Hassan Sunny for keeping them in the game with his saves, which frustrated Aide Iskandar’s side in the last 45 minutes.
Sahil was proving a tough nut to stop as he was displaying nifty footwork and was taking cracks on goal from long range and linked up well with Sherif El-Masri in the final third.
In the 77th minute, although Sahil’s effort from a set-piece hit the Warriors’ wall, the 21-year-old followed up with a thunderous shot which forced a stupendous save from Hassan.
Young Lions bench were in shock six minutes before the end when Iqbal Hussain squandered a glorious opportunity to snatch all three points.
Daniel Bennet’s intended back pass to Hassan went awfully wrong and Iqbal intercepted it in the penalty box but with only the goalkeeper to beat, the former Gombak United player miraculously shot wide of the target.
That was the last chance of the match and both sides had to be contended with a point each from the tie.