Hougang United finished off their 2014 S.League campaign with two straight victories after recording a 4-2 win over Tanjong Pagar United on Wednesday evening.
It took the Cheetahs just eight minutes to break the deadlock at the Hougang Stadium when Geison Moura raced through after beating the offside trap, before sending an emphatic finish past Aurelien Herisson.
A minute before the break, they made it 2-0 after Firman Hanif found the far corner with a cool finish, after breaking free inside the box and skipping inside Nor Azli Yusoff’s challenge.
Tanjong Pagar did manage to pull one back six minutes into the second half when they were awarded a penalty after Firdaus Idros was bundled over inside the box by Basil Chan; Kamel Ramdani stepping up and finding the back of the net from 12 yards.
However, the hosts always remained in control of proceedings and reclaimed their two-goal cushion in the 73rd minute when Igor Ferreira climbed highest to head home Shunsuke Nakatake’s corner.
The contest was then effectively ended five minutes later after Fairoz Hasan broke on the counter before picking out Nakatake, who created space for himself with a brilliant turn before sending Moura through with a visionary pass.
Despite an impending challenge from Herisson, the Brazilian kept his cool to push the ball past the opposition goalkeeper and fired into the unguarde goal for his side’s fourth.
To their credit, the Jaguars refused to give in and grabbed another consolation effort with three minutes remaining when Asraf Rashid was left unmarked inside the six-yard box to convert Firdaus’ low cross.
Despite the disappointment of missing out on a place in the top half, Hougang’s seventh-place finish is still their joint-best performance in the S.League, while Tanjong Pagar will have to settle for ninth spot.
Hougang United: Basil Chan, Faizal Amir (Benedict Chua 84’), Igor Ferreira, Igor Cerina, Lau Meng Meng, Syaqir Sulaiman, Firman Hanif, Fairoz Hasan (Hydhir Ramlan 88’), Shunsuke Nakatake, Geison Moura, Wahyudi Wahid.
Tanjong Pagar United: Aurelien Herisson, Ahmad Latiff, Hanafi Salleh, Hafiz Osman, Nor Azli Yusoff, Sazali Salleh, Kamel Ramdani, Firdaus Idros, Sebastien Etiemble, Asraf Rashid, Monsef Zerka.