Aide hails team effort in Young Lions' first league victory

The delighted coach believes his side were fitter and hopes for more to come, while his Tanjong Pagar counterpart Patrick Vallee offered no excuses for the defeat

It has taken the Courts Young Lions all season to record their first win in the 2013 Great Eastern-YEO’s S.League, though they managed one win in the StarHub League Cup earlier in the year.

This time they needed an own goal to secure the points, but they all count.

They will even overlook two failed penalty attempts, one either side of their goal being scored.

“They were our two best penalty takers and I expected them to score,” sighed Young Lions coach Aide Iskandar when it was all over.

Asked if he would consider bringing on late substitute Ignatius Ang earlier in matches or even giving him a start next time, the former Singapore captain agreed that leaving him out might be difficult now.

“It was purely tactical not to bring him on earlier, but I will have to think about giving him his chance in our next game,” Aide admitted.

“This win is definitely a confidence booster for the boys, they have worked extremely hard in training and I think we were the fitter team this evening.

“I thought around the 75-minute mark that we could probably go on and win the game, but Tanjong Pagar are a strong side and I was unsure whether to try and earn the point or go for the win.

“I finally decided to go for the win; I always want to win every game if I can, so I sent ‘Iggy’ on with 10 minutes to go and happily it paid off.

“[Sherif] El-Masri won both penalties and I think we were physically the stronger [side] today, not just fitter.

“Everybody has worked so hard to get us the three points today. The pitch was bumpy, but we were more stable tonight and very compact and I think that helped us a lot.

“It took us 20 matches to get there, but we finally won tonight and we’ll be hoping for more now we’ve broken through.”

Beaten Jaguars gaffer Patrick Vallee could offer few excuses and he made a point of congratulating the Young Lions.

“I can’t complain, this is football; had Ismail [Benahmed] scored with that chance he had in the first half, we could have gone on and won the match,” he said.

“I don’t want to blame my team or offer excuses like suspended players or lack of options on the bench tonight.”

Despite missing out on the chance to move into second spot with victory, the Frenchman remained positive.

“The season is not finished by any means and we have another game on Wednesday [against Geylang International] to put things right again,” Vallee asserted.

“We lost Ahmad Latiff to a red card today so we won’t have him for that match, but we will have [Kamel] Ramdani back in the side to balance things out.”