BY MARLON CHEN
Home United 1-1 Tampines Rovers (Thurs 4 Mar, Bishan Stadium)
The much-anticipated clash between the two title aspirants drew a good crowd of 3,551 to Bishan Stadium and it stood up to its billing–at least in the first half.
Home’s former German Bundesliga forward Ken Ilso produced a virtuous run down the left byline before squeezing the ball past Singapore no. 1 Izwan Mahbud on 35 minutes. However, Tampines struck back almost immediately via a Jermaine Pennant masterpiece.
Twenty-five yards away from goal, the former Arsenal and Liverpool midfielder curled a raking effort past the defensive wall and past a rooted Hyrulnizam Juma’at in the Home goal.
Both side had chances in the second half but failed to put them away, with the match eventually ending all square.
Geylang International 0-0 Balestier Khalsa (Thurs 4 Mar, Bedok Stadium)
Looking to build on last week’s 2-0 victory against the Garena Young Lions, Geylang were stopped in their tracks by a resolute Balestier side.
After an uneventful first half, the Eagles threw in Indra Sahdan after the break and the former Singapore international nearly made his mark with a free kick from just outside the box.
Yuki Ichikawa’s header then seemed destined for goal before being plucked out by the imperious Balestier goalkeeper Zaiful Nizam.
Eventually Hasrin Jailani’s side had to settle for the point which enabled them to maintain their unbeaten start to the season.
Warriors FC 2-0 Garena Young Lions (Fri 5 Mar, Choa Chu Kang Stadium)
Nine-time league champions Warriors FC finally picked up their first win of the season by dispatching the Young Lions 2-0.
The uniformed side dominated proceedings, but had to be contented with just two goals–both coming at the end of each half as Young Lions debutant Benjamin Bertrand pulled off several saves to keep the score down.
First Hafiz Rahim swivelled well to turn home the loose ball from close range after Nikola Rak’s corner was not properly dealt with.
Then French forward Jonathan Behe put the result beyond doubt with his third goal in as many games by bundling home Fazli Jaffar’s low left-wing cross.
Hougang United 0-0 Brunei DPMM (Fri 5 Mar, Hougang Stadium)
Defending champions DPMM continued their stuttering start to the season as they were held to a stalemate by a rejuvenated Hougang side.
Paulo Sergio and Rafael Ramazotti found the going tough against a Hougang backline led well by Yusiskandar Yusop, thus failed to sparkle.
Hougang coach threw on star man Fumiya Kogure in the second half and the reigning S.League Player of the Year delivered a brilliant set piece for Wahyudi Wahid to head home what looked like the winner in injury time.However the ‘goal’ was ruled out for offside to leave the Hougang HOOLS (Hougang’s unofficial supporters’ club) heartbroken, as both sides settle for a point apiece.