For The Record...
"In an interview with Yahoo! Singapore, Zainudin (Nordin, FAS President) reiterated that the S-league will not become a "poorer cousin" once the LionsXII start their Malaysia Cup campaign."

Friday, June 28, 2013

S.League returns with Protectors and Jaguars shared the spoils at Bishan

Ismael Benahmed saved Jaguars
Ismael Benahmed's 84th minute equalizer resulted the 1-1 draw between his Tanjong Pagar United and Home United at the Bishan Stadium that ultimately saw the positioning of both teams on the table remained status-quo after a month break.

The S.League season resumes its fixtures following an adjournment for the mid-season League Cup tournament and saw the third-placed Jaguars travelled away to take on the fourth-placed Protectors last evening.

The match also saw former Singapore international John Wilkinson turning out for the Queenstown outfit in his first return to Bishan after his much-publicized exit from Home United middle of the last campaign.

Herisson denied Lee Kwan Woo's (center) effort

The hosting side were having much of the possession in the first period of play by pinning the Jaguars in their own half, but couldn't break down the resilient defence led by skipper Walid Lounis with the assistance from Zahid Ahmad, Anthony Aymard and not forgetting the reflexes of goalkeeper Aurelien Herisson to hold the Protectors at bay.

For that defensive approach, D Tokijan, the Jaguars assistant coach, explained after the game that it was the plan for this match.

Walid Lounis (right) kept things in order at back

"We were being cautious, as we were not when we met them (Home United) in the first game (that saw them lost 3-0 at home back in March)," said the former national striker, who stood in for the suspended head coach Patrick Vallee.

"That explained why we were a bit defensive, as we were trying to absorb their attacks and in the second half, we thought we closed them down early but saw us concede the goal because of lack of concentration." added coach Tokijan.

Firdaus Idros (left) scored the game's first goal

That goal was scored by Firdaus Idros in the 59th minute amid some confusions taken place in the Tanjong Pagar's penalty and saw the 26-year-old striker to give the home side the lead.

Unfortunately, they failed to build up from this advantage and eventually saw the Frenchman tapped home to level the scores in the dying moments that proved to a vital point earned for the Jaguars.

Despite the late damper, Home United coach Lee Lim Saeng lauded his boys' displays in the post-match media briefing.

Anxious moments for Home Utd in second half

Said the former Korean international:"The players had tried their best and we did not concentrate that lead to the conceding of that equalizer, we are not perfect but we tried and dominated the possession."

In the meantime, coach Lee updated that defender Ismail Yunos had a knock at the back of his neck that led to his substitution in less than one minute after kick-off.

(UPDATE: Ismail did reply to this blogger's text and said he's feeling okay after that knock sustained in the game)

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