Moon’s goal secures victory for Rams
Moon Soon Ho’s 75th minute goal was enough to secure victory for Woodlands Wellington, who played hosts to the Bulls of Gombak United in a friendly match on Saturday evening at the Woodlands Stadium.
For the Rams, there was a place in the starting eleven for new signing and Trinidadian defender, Fabien Lewis as he partnered skipper Daniel Hammond, who returned for a second stint with the club, in the central of defence. Both players did a good job at marshaling the Woodlands backline and in the process, aided former Tiger Ahmadulhaq Che Omar to a clean sheet. On the flanks, Goh Swee Swee made a nuisance of himself on the right with his direct running but was still unable to get past a sturdy Gombak defence.
Gombak, on the other hand, fielded a strong team in the first half as former Burnley trainee Chris Anderson along with new signings such as K. Vikraman, Fairoz Hasan and ex-Warrior, Mustaqim Manzur all got a start. At the back, Obadin Aikhena and Walid Lounis along with national defender, Ismail Yunos, held the backline relatively well as Woodlands did not muster shots which really threatened reserve goalkeeper Amran Addin.
The game got off to a slow start, with Gombak United dominating possession with both K Vikraman and Mustaqim Manzur providing the pace on the flanks for the Bulls. Chances were however, few and far between as both teams constantly shut each other out in the final third, but it was Gombak who almost took the lead in the 23rd minute.
Skipping past his markers on the left, youngster Nurullah Hussein then fired a low cross which found Adrian Dhanaraj, another new signing for the Bulls, but the latter could only see his effort roll wide. That was the closest they came to scoring in the first half.
Minutes later, it was Hilmi Azman who almost capitalized on a slip from Amran in the penalty area. In what was supposed to be a routine save for the 22-year-old custodian, he spilled the ball and at the same time, slipped to allow the ball to drop to Hilmi. However, to the relief of Amran, Himi could only fire his shot over the bar and that was a chance wasted as both teams went into the break with the score tied at 0-0.
The half-time break then saw a flurry of chances for Gombak. Other than Amran, all the ten outfield players were replaced by players mostly from the Prime League. One of the prominent names in the ten who came on was teenage prodigy, Fareez Farhan who was recently mentioned on Soccernet as one of the ten players to look out for this year.
He almost found the back of the net within three minutes of the restart but unfortunately for him, he could only send his low shot into the side netting. Even though that was a good run, he should have squared the ball into the penalty area, where few of his teammates were lurking around, waiting for an opportunity to strike.
An alert Ahmadulhaq then came to the rescue when he tipped a powerful shot from outside the penalty area over the bar to concede a corner. His heroics did pay off when Moon Soon Ho took the lead for the home side in the 75th minute after some good play between Shamsurin Abdul Rahman and Duncan Elias.
That goal proved enough to secure Woodlands’ second victory on the trot for Woodlands in pre-season, and Coach Salim Moin would certainly have every reason to be delighted with the result.