Chang stunner earns Woodlands point against Balestier

A stunning goal from Chang Jo-yoon earned Woodlands Wellington a point on Friday following a 1-1 draw with Balestier Khalsa in the S.League.

Following a goalless first half at the Jalan Besar Stadium, the Tigers took the lead seven minutes after the hour mark after a rare mistake by Yazid Yasin left Goran Ljubojevic with a simple tap-in.

But in the 73rd minute, a moment of brilliance from Chang saw him equalise for Woodlands, which ultimately proved enough for the point.

Having claimed a 4-0 win over Courts Young Lions in their opening game to the new season, Balestier entered Friday brimming with confidence in a clash that was made even more intriguing given new Rams boss Darren Stewart had only departed the Toa Payoh Stadium at the end of last year.

Neither side were able to assert themselves early on in the game, although Tigers boss Marko Kraljevic would have been the happier coach given his side did show interest in testing the opposition goalkeeper albeit from distance.

And it was one of these long-range efforts that nearly handed them the lead in the 22nd minute; Ridwan Jamil unlucky to be denied after sending a blistering 25-yard half-volley into the post.

Still, neither side were able to carve out a real clear-cut opening and it took until a minute after the hour mark before the next chance came when Balestier attacker Kim Min-ho did well to create space for himself on the edge of the area, before sending a shot way over.

Nonetheless, the deadlock was finally broken in the 67th minute after an uncharacteristic error in judgement from Yazid saw him get caught out by Syed Thaha’s deflected cross and palm the ball back into the danger zone, allowing Ljubojevic to stab home from close range.

However, it took the Rams just six minutes to hit back and it came from a piece of magic by Chang; the South Korean skipping inside Yusiskandar Yusop before curling a subime effort from the edge of the area into the top corner.

And as the game entered its closing stages, both sides looked increasingly content to play out the draw.

Moon Soon-ho had a half-chance in the 81st minute when he was picked out inside the box by Atsushi Shimono but could only blast a shot off target, before Chang could only curl a freekick straight at Zaiful Nizam six minutes later.

A minute from time, Ljubojevic had one final opportunity to win it for Balestier after a high ball dropped to him at the near post but he could only send a header over, leaving both sides to settle for a share of the spoils.

In Friday’s other game, DPMM FC moved top of the table after claiming their second win in two games – beating Warriors FC 2-0 at the Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

Following a goalless first half, Rodrigo Tosi broke the deadlock for the Bruneian outfit in the 49th minute, before Rosmin Kamis added a second to wrap up the three points in injury-time.

Woodlands Wellington: Yazid Yasin, Rosman Sulaiman, Walid Lounis, Milos Jevtic, Andy Ahmad, Armanizam Dolah, Taufiq Ghani, Atsushi Shimono, Stefan Milojevic, Chang Jo-yoon (Fadhil Noh 88’), Moon Soon-ho (Patrick Paran 88’).

Balestier Khalsa: Zaiful Nizam, Yusiskandar Yusop (Tajeli Salamat 82’), Emir Lotinac, Paul Cunningham, Syed Thaha, Ridwan Jamil, Poh Yi Feng, Zulkiffli Hassim, Hanafi Akbar (Ahmad Syahir 45’), Kim Min-ho, Goran Ljubojevic.

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Thanh Hoa stay five clear of Quang Ninh in V.League

Thanh Hoa maintained their five-point lead at the top of V.League 1 on Thursday after claiming a hard-fought 2-1 win over struggling Dong Tam Long An.

The league leaders broke the deadlock at the Thanh Hoa Stadium in the 20th minute when Nghiem Xuan Tu found the back of the net, before Le Van Tan doubled their tally six minutes after the hour mark.

Tran Hoai Nam did manage to pull one back for Long An six minutes from time, but they were unable to find an equaliser as the hosts held on for all three points.

Remaining in second place are Than Quang Ninh, who avoided falling further behind by cruising to a 3-1 win at Dong Nai.

Nguyen Hai Huy fired Quang Ninh ahead at the Bien Hoa Stadium on the half-hour mark, before captain Vu Minh Tuan added a second three minutes before halftime.

Hai Huy then doubled his tally for the evening ten minutes into the second half to put the result beyond doubt, although Dong Nai did manage to grab a consolation in the 78th minute through a Nguyen Hai Anh effort.

Thursday’s V.League 1 Results

Thanh Hoa 2-1 Dong Tam Long An

Dong Nai 1-3 Than Quang Ninh

Hougang fight back to beat Tanjong Pagar; Albirex cruise

Hougang United came from behind to pick up their first win of the 2014 S.League campaign after beating Tanjong Pagar United 2-1 at the Queenstown Stadium.

It was the Jaguars who had taken the lead in the 28th minute when French midfielder Sebastien Etiemble scored from the spot, after Hougang centre-back Igor Cerina had been penalised for handball inside the box.

But nine minutes later, Cerina made amends as he headed home a corner to pull the visitors level.

And in the 87th minute, it was the Cheetahs who went on to claim all three points after Gelson Moura netted with a diving header to complete the comeback.

Over at the Jurong East Stadium, Albirex Niigata (S) bounced back from last week’s 1-0 loss to DPMM FC by cruising to a 3-0 win over Harimau Muda.

Following a goalless first half, Itsuki Yamada opened the scoring a minute before the hour mark, before Kazuki Sakamoto – the White Swans’ top scorer last season – made it 2-0 in the 68th minute.

14 minutes from time, Kazuya Okazaki opened his account for Albirex to wrap up the three points and send them up to third.

Thursday’s S.League Results

Tanjong Pagar United 1-2 Hougang United

Albirex Niigata (S) 3-0 Harimau Muda

Persela up to fourth in the East, Persik still winless

Persela Lamongan bounced back from last week’s 5-1 loss to Gresik United on Thursday after claiming a 3-1 win over PSM Makassar in the Eastern zone of the Indonesia Super League.

Slovakian defender Roman Golian got them on their way at the Surajaya Stadium when he opened the scoring after 11 minutes, before Arif Arianto doubled their lead two minutes after the half-hour mark.

The result was put beyond doubt in the 67th minute when Zaenal Arifin added a third, although PSM did grab a consolation eight minutes from time through a Ponaryo Astaman effort.

The victory – Persela’s second of the new campaign – saw them climb up to fourth on the table, just three points behind joint-leaders Mitra Kukar and Persebaya Surabaya.

Over in the Western zone, Persik Kediri’s hunt for their first victory continues after they played out a 1-1 draw with Persita Tangerang at the Singa Perbangsa Stadium.

Persik were on track to picking up maximum points for the first time in 2014 after Ngon Mamoun fired them in front in the 22nd minute.

However, Japanese striker Kenji Adachihara equalised two minutes before the hour mark to earn Persita a share of the spoils.

Still, the result was enough to take Persik off the foot of the table as they moved above Barito Putera and Persijap Jepara into ninth place.

Thursday’s Indonesia Super League Results

Eastern

Persela Lamongan 3-1 PSM Makassar

Western

Persita Tangerang 1-1 Persik Kediri

Yangon beat Kelantan in thriller; Vissai cruise to victory

Yangon United got their 2014 AFC Cup campaign up and running in Group G on Wednesday after claiming a 5-3 win over Kelantan at the Thuwunna YTC Stadium.

Emerson Luiz Tito got the Myanmar outfit off to a dream start after eight minutes when he scored from a tight angle, before Kyaw Ko Ko doubled their tally three minutes after the half-hour mark with a clever lob over Khairul Fahmi.

Right before the break, Emerson made it 3-0 when he scored from close range after reacting quickest to a rebound, but the Malaysia Super League giants did manage to pull one back through a Wan Zaharulnizam strike in the 47th minute.

The hosts did restore their three-goal lead five minutes later when Ko Ko converted a right-wing cross, but the Red Warriors hit back again three minutes after the hour mark; this time through an effort from captain Badhri Radzi.

But any hopes the visitors had of mounting a fightback were effectively ended when they were reduced to ten men, after Ahmad Shakir Ali was handed his marching orders.

Ko Ko completed his hat-trick in the 89th minute to cap off an outstanding individual display, although Badhri managed to make the scoreline more respectable when he scored a second in injury-time.

Elsewhere in Group G, V.League 1 outfit XM The Vissai Ninh Binh also got off to a winning start after beating South China 3-1 at the Hong Kong Stadium.

Vissai broke the deadlock after 12 minutes thanks to a Kavin Bryan goal, before Dinh Van Ta made it 2-0 four minutes before the half-hour mark.

Five minutes after the break, the visitors made sure of the three points when Congolese striker Patiyo Tambwe added a third, although South China did manage a consolation when Chan Siu Ki netted six minutes later.

In Group H, S.League champions Tampines Rovers were handed a humiliating 5-0 home defeat at the hands of Hong Kong’s Kitchee.

Jordi Tarres netted twice in the final four minutes of the first half to give Kitchee a two-goal lead at the break, before Chan Man Fai finished from close range to make it 3-0 in the 47th minute.

Xu Deshuai then came off the bench and scored with a long-range effort to add a fourth nine minutes later, before Luis Belencoso completed the rout when he got on the scoresheet as well in injury-time.

Finally, Nay Pyi Taw came close to winning in their AFC Cup debut but conceded three minutes from time as fellow new boys Pune held them to a 2-2 draw at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex.

The Indian side took the lead in the ninth minute through a strike from Riga Mustapha, but Zaw Lin equalised for the visitors eight minutes later.

Khaing Htoo then came off the bench to fire Nay Pyi Taw ahead in the 85th minute but just as though it looked like they were headed for the three points, Ivorian midfielder Pierre Douhou scored for Pune to force the draw.

Wednesday’s AFC Cup Results

Group B

Al Jaish 0-0 Fanja

Group C

Al Shorta 0-0 Al Qadsia

Al Hidd 3-1 Al Wahda

Group D

Alay Osh 0-0 Riffa

Shabab Al Ordon 1-3 Erbil

Group G

Yangon United 5-3 Kelantan

South China 1-3 XM The Vissai Ninh Binh

Group H

Tampines Rovers 0-5 Kitchee

Pune 2-2 Nay Pyi Taw

Kitchee put five past Tampines in AFC Cup opener

Tampines Rovers’s 2014 AFC Cup campaign got off to a disappointing start as they were handed a heavy 5-0 defeat by Kitchee at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

Jordi Tarres opened the scoring for the visitors in the 41st minute after racing through to net, before doubling his tally in similar fashion just before the break.

Chan Man Fai added a third two minutes into the second half and Xu Deshuai made it 4-0 in the 56th minute, before Juan Belencoso rounded off the scoring in injury-time.

Having had their AFC Champions League hopes ended by another Hong Kong outfit – South China – earlier in the month, the Stags were looking to make amends by opening their Group H campaign in positive fashion.

However, Kitchee dominated proceedings from the opening whistle and carved out their first chance in the 15th minute; Lam Ka Wai latching onto Lo Kwan Yee’s nod-down and skipping past a challenge before firing in a shot that was well blocked by Jufri Taha.

Jufri came to the Stags’ rescue again a minute before the half-hour mark making another brave sliding challenge to deny Jordi, after the Spaniard had broken free following a neat one-two with Lo.

Juan Belencoso was next to come close to opening the scoring in the 34th minute after he raced onto Nando’s defence-splitting pass but although he managed to fire his shot past Hyrulnizam Juma’at, he could only watch on as it came back off the woodwork.

But four minutes before the break, the deadlock was finally broken when Gao Wen played a glorious over-the-top ball to release Jordi, who raced through and clinically fired into the bottom corner.

And right before the break, just after he had seen a looping header expertly tipped over by Hyrulnizam, Jordi doubled the visitors’ lead.

This time it was Chan who supplied the glorious through-ball for the Spaniard to race through and lift over the onrushing keeper, before firing into the unguarded net.

Kitchee could have been forgiven had they decided to sit back at the start of the second half, but instead they continued to push forward.

And in the 47th minute, they added a third following a lovely passing move that started with Belencoso’ flick-on header to Lo who passed it on to Lam; the ball eventually reaching the unmarked Chan who made no mistake in finding the back of the net.

Four minutes before the hour mark, the scoreline began to look a little embarrassing as Tampines conceded a fourth after Xu, who had only just come on, cut in from the left before sending a shot from outside the box past Hyrulnizam.

The hosts did come close to pulling one back in the 64th minute when Anaz Hadee met Ang Zhiwei’s left-wing cross with a fierce shot that was saved by Wang Zhenpeng, before Noh Alam Shah’s follow-up effort was kept out by a sliding block.

Still, it was Kitchee who looked the likelier side to score again and Hyrulnizam produced a flying save in the 70th minute to keep out a header by Belencoso, who was then deniedby the post a minute later.

Nonetheless, Belencoso was not to be denied as he rounded off the scoring in the first minute of injury-time after he received possession from a terrible back-pass by Kunihiro Yamashita, before racing towards goal and coolly finishing.

Tampines Rovers: Hyrulnizam Juma’at, Jufri Taha, Kunihiro Yamashita, Norihiro Kawakami, Shaiful Esah, Fahrudin Mustafic, Anaz Hadee, Shahdan Sulaiman, Luis Closa (Noh Alam Shah 41’), Ang Zhiwei (Jamil Ali 67’), Aleksandar Duric.

Kitchee: Wang Zhenpeng, Lo Kwan Yee, Fernando Recio, Jang Kyung-jin, Cheung Kin Fung, Huang Yang, Gao Wen (Tsang Chi Hau 65’), Lam Ka Wai (Tsang Kam To 73’), Jordi Tarres, Chan Man Fai (Xu Deshuai 50’), Juan Belencoso.

Attendance: 712

Song Lam Nghe An up to fourth; Da Nang beaten

Song Lam Nghe An moved up to fourth spot in the V.League 1 on Wednesday after claiming a 1-0 win over Hung Vuong An Giang.

Following a goalless first half at the Vinh Stadium, the contest was decided in the 58th minute when Paul Emile Biyaga struck his fourth goal of the campaign to win it for SLNA.

SHB Da Nang fell to their first defeat in six outings after they were beaten 2-1 by Hai Phong at the Lach Tray Stadium.

It was Da Nang who edged ahead in the 35th minute when Bojan Mamic found the back of the net, but the hosts equalised six minutes later when Brazilian striker Lucas Gaucho scored from the spot.

And in injury-time, Hai Phong completed the comeback when defender Tran Van Hoc popped up to score and hand them the three points.

In Wednesday’s final game, Hoang Anh Gia Lai played out a 1-1 with Becamex Binh Duong.

The deadlock was broken five minutes after halftime when Binh Duong forward Huynh Kesley Alves struck, but the hosts claimed a share of the spoils when Le Hoang Thien found the back of the net eight minutes after the hour mark.

Wednesday’s V.League 1 Results

Hoang Anh Gia Lai 1-1 Becamex Binh Duong

Hai Phong 2-1 SHB Da Nang

Song Lam Nghe An 1-0 Hung Vuong An Giang