K. Balagumaran's men ran out easy winners against a sluggish Phillipines outfit in the 3rd/4th-placing match of the Singapore Cup.
|FROM JALAN BESAR STADIUM
By Khalis Rifhan
It was a walk in the park for the Gombak United, as they went on a rampage against the Loyola Meralco Sparks in the 3rd/4th-placing match of the Singapore Cup at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Sunday night.
The game was settled in the first half as the Bulls scored two in the opening and closing ten minutes as the Sparks defence crumbled upon a barrage of attacks.
Both teams had full squads at their disposal and started in identical 4-4-2 formations. But both sides exhibited different styles of play, with the away team making use of the flanks, while the hosts utilized mainly the middle of the field.
It did not take long for the dead-lock to be broken as Gombak scored just seven minutes into the match.
From an Ismail Yunos freekick, Iqbal Hussain managed to squeeze himself in between Chad Gould and Park Min Ho to toe-poke the ball beyond the helpless Ref Cuaresma in the Sparks goal.
The Bulls did not have to wait long for their second, which arrived four minutes later.
Receiving the ball from Iqbal at the edge of the box, Mustaqim Manzur wriggled his way past the Sparks defenders before sending it to the bottom corner, much to the frustration of away coach Kim Chulsu.
It was over for Sparks in the first half, as they conceded two more goals before the break.
Ten minutes before half-time, Cuaresma needlessly gave away a freekick at the edge of the box as he handled the ball outside his area.
It proved costly, as Fairoz Hasan drove the ball hard and into the back of the net for the Bulls’ third.
Eight minutes later, Julien Durand added a fourth as he strolled through the defence before cheekily lobbing the ball over Cuaresma.
The second half was a more even affair, but the Sparks were unable to find a way past the Gombak defence led by towering central defender and captain Obadin Aikhena and eventually had to accept their fate as the fourth-best side in their debut Singapore Cup campaign.