Harimau Muda claimed their second straight win in the S.League on Saturday evening after beating ten-man Hougang United 1-0 at the Hougang Stadium.
Following a goalless first half which saw the Cheetahs spurn a number of decent chances to take the lead, they were dealt a real blow when they were reduced to ten men in the 70th minute after Wahyudi Wahid picked up two bookings in a minute.
From the resultant freekick, Asri Mardzuki drilled in a ferocious effort and although Fadhil Salim was able to parry it away, Nor Azam Azih reacted quickest to slot home the rebound.
Nor Azam then put the ball in the back of the net again ten minutes from time when he stroked the ball into the unguarded net after Shahrul Igwan Samsudin had played Nurshamil Abdul Ghani’s cut-back into his path, only to be denied by the linesman’s flag for offside.
And in the 86th minute, the visitors could have scored again after a slack pass by Hougang midfielder Azhar Sairudin saw him give the ball straight to Shahrul Igwan on the edge of the box, but his blistering drive was kept out by Fadhil with a flying save.
Still, Harimau Muda were able to hold out for a valuable win which was enough to take them off the foot of the table.
Falling to bottom spot now are Courts Young Lions, who were defeated 3-1 by Tanjong Pagar United at the Queenstown Stadium in Saturday’s other match.
After Firdaus Idros had fired the Jaguars ahead in the 25th minute, Monsef Zerka struck nine minutes later to put them firmly in control of proceedings.
Five minutes after halftime, Kamel Ramdani added a third for Tanjong Pagar with a fine individual effort and it looked as though they would be coasting to victory.
However, Young Lions were handed a lifeline in the 72nd minute when their opponents had Ruzaini Zainal sent off for a last-man foul on Sahil Suhaimi inside the area; Iqbal Hussain stepping up and converting from the spot to pull one back for his side.
Nonetheless, any hopes they had of mustering a comeback were ended four minutes from time when they were also reduced to ten men after Fadli Kamis was shown red.
Saturday’s S.League Results
Hougang United 0-1 Harimau Muda
Tanjong Pagar United 3-1 Courts Young Lions