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Vallee urging his Jaguars to remain focused after their comeback win against Hougang

GOAL! as Ismael Benahmed scored the winner
Tanjong Pagar United reaffirmed its claim as the "surprise package" of the season with their comeback victory against Hougang United after the "Battle of Cats" saw the Queenstown outfit defeated their counterparts 3-2 at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

Prior to this live televised match, the designated "visitors" were on a two-game win-less streak (losing to Home United three-nil after a scoreless affair against Harimau Muda) that somehow cast a doubt on whether they were hitting bad patches following a thumping 6-1 win over traditional powerhouses - Warriors FC in late February.

To add salt to the wounds, the Jaguars had to deal with the Cheetahs onslaught with a makeshift center defence line with the absence of both skipper Hafiz Osman and Anthony Aymard and inevitably saw them conceded the first goal of the game in the 13th minute with a Robert Eziakor's header.

Jaguars were struggled to contain Liam Shotton (14) in first half
An unfortunate deflection off Syaqir Sulaiman from a Hafiz Nor's ball floated in from the right flank levelled the scores at one a piece before the interval brought some reliefs to the men in white-red stripes, but that didn't stay too long when Hasree Zais pounded off a near post opportunity to snatch the lead back to Hougang seven minutes after the restart.

Nonetheless, credits should be given to the Jaguars for their relentless efforts to turn the game around after fallen behind again with their much dominance play in the remaining of the match.

To some, a draw might be a fair outcome for the game when Ismael Benahmed finished a cross from Ahmad Latiff from the right in 75th minute to put the game on level terms.

Another brilliance from Ahmad Latiff saw Jags' fightback

However, the 24-year-old striker still have some tricks in his bags to prove his job wasn't done just yet with his brilliant individual effort from just outside the box to claim the full points for Tanjong Pagar in the 84th minute.

Speaking to the media after the win, Tanjong Pagar's coach Patrick Vallee shared his thoughts on the efforts shown by his men.

Said the Frenchman:"We played a very good game, but in the end I am happy with the performance in the second half, however, the same thing can't be said for the first half,

"I don't care what happened in our last two games, as our objective is to stay focused and like I told the team at the start of the season, one of the objective is to achieve 10 points out of the possible 15 points in first five games, which it would be very good if we would meet that objective." added the grey-haired coach who led Etoile FC to the league title in 2010.

A happy Coach Vallee (black shirted) after Ismael's second goal

Meanwhile, Hougang's coach Alex Weaver opined the first goal conceded by his team was an "unlucky" one.

Said the Cheetahs' tactician:"I thought the first goal was unlucky and felt the team were lack of concentration towards the last stages of the match.

"The boys are bitterly disappointed to lose this game and I thought after we did well in the first half that Tanjong Pagar changed their system in the second half to deal with that." added coach Weaver.


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