S.League champions Tampines Rovers were left stunned on Saturday as Hougang United beat them 4-2 to hand them their first defeat of the 2014 season.
In a blistering start at the Hougang Stadium, the Cheetahs took the lead after eight minutes when Geison Moura beat the offside trap before coolly lifting the ball over Hyrulnizam Juma’at, and the Brazilian netted again three minutes later; nodding home at the far post after Zurica Duparic had nodded Fazli Jaffar’s cross into his path.
A minute later, Diego Gama got in on the act as he nodded home Moura’s pinpoint cross to hand Hougang a remarkable three-goal lead, which they held until the hour mark when Aleksandar Duric pulled one back for the visitors with a neat header into the unguarded net after substitute Noh Alam Shah had unselfishly lifted the ball over the onrushing Nazri Sabri.
Nonetheless, the contest was all but over in the 74th minute when Gama scored his second of the evening to restore the hosts’ three-goal cushion, although Shahdan Sulaiman did bag the Stags’ second four minutes later when he curled a freekick into the bottom corner to add more respectability to the scoreline.
Despite the defeat, Tampines remain top of the table although they are now just two points ahead of second-placed Warriors FC, while Hougang are up to third.
Over at the Bishan Stadium, Home United stretched their unbeaten run in all competition to four games after beating Balestier Khalsa 2-1.
Bruno Castanheira fired the Protectors ahead with a clinical penalty in the 34th minute before turning provider ten minutes later, playing a perfect pass for Qiu Li to stroke home and put the hosts 2-0 up at the break.
The Tigers did manage to hit back three minutes from time when Goran Ljubojevic headed home a Syed Thaha cross, but it ultimately proved futile as Home held on for the win.
Saturday’s S.League Results
Home United 2-1 Balestier Khalsa
Hougang United 4-2 Tampines Rovers