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Cheetahs Finally Off The Hook...

Chupe is the hero of the night for Hougang
On the final week before the League adjourn for another recess due to the RHB Singapore Cup and the SEA Games, Hougang United finally broke their win-less duck by notching one-nil win over Geylang International at home.

The solitary goal in the 72nd minute by Equatoguinean striker Francisco Salvador Elá, popularly known as Chupe, was all the Cheetahs needed to seal the all three points in the match that saw the visiting Eagles dominated much of the proceedings, especially in the first half when the visitors were having much of the possession in play but failed to take their chances well.

It was something acknowledged by Eagles' coach Jorg Steinebrunner when assessing his team performance of the evening.

Close shave for Hougang's 'keeper Ahmadulhaq Che Omar
 Said the German coach:"We should have done enough in the first forty-five, if not for them (Hougang) who parked a bus or a double-decker in the box." in reference to the defensive tactics deployed by the hosts.

"In the second half, we still have some chances but we gave away the ball too cheaply and after that (goal was scored), it was back to ten men in the box,

"It was a game we should not lose today that I am disappointed when we should be more smarter in our decision making and it was a lapse of two minutes that cost us the points where we supposed to look a little bit more composed." summarized the former Woodlands Wellington defender who is having an impressive showing from the bench so far this season after notching notable victories over the "Big Three" (i.e.: Tampines Rovers, Warriors FC and Home United) in recent weeks.

Another Eagles' attempt foiled in the box
 No doubt about it, the hard fought win over such an in-form team is something to savour for Hougang's coach Salim Moin who had to endure 990 minutes (plus stoppage) since the start of the campaign to have a taste of victory that also saw they leapfrogged over Courts Young Lions on goal difference to lift themselves from the foot of the league table.

"I always believe in my players who worked hard, well-organized and were awesome in this game." lauded the former Singapore international on his boys' performance after the game.

"It's all about having self belief in ourselves despite losing (in the past matches) and we can see it that really paid off even when we have a players down with cramps towards the end of the game."

Muhaymin Salim in agony before he suffered cramps
 However, the Cheetahs knew that they have little time to celebrate further when they are due to begin their Singapore Cup campaign in a week time with Global FC from the Philippines will be their opponents in the knock-out tournament, in which Coach Salim hopes his team will raise to the occasion when they face the Filipinos.

Said the former Gombak United coach:"Cup competition is a different ball game and I think it will be a good fight between us and Global FC who have a few good foreign players when I saw they played recently against Pahang in the AFC Cup, we just need to tune up certain game by playing the same formation since we don't know their strength and I hope my players will raise to the occasion."


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