Gombak United 3 (Chris Anderson 11’, Fairoz Hasan 54’, K Vikraman 80’)
Harimau Muda B 0
Gombak emerged comfortable 3-0 winners over Harimau Muda B to book their place in the last eight of the Singapore Cup on a wet evening at the Jurong West Stadium last night. They will now face Hougang United in the quarter-finals, after the Cheetahs beat Tanjong Pagar on penalties in a match played on the same day.
Gombak dominated proceedings and had the first chance of note after just five minutes. Fareez Farhan made a good run down the right before playing the ball to Hafiz Rahim who swiveled but shot straight at Shahril Sa’ari.
The Bulls went ahead after just 11 minutes when Fareez and Hafiz combined to good effect down the right flank. Hafiz then proceeded to lay the ball back to set up Chris Anderson for a shot which he executed with precision and power as the ball found the bottom corner of the net. It was also Anderson’s first goal since he joined the club at the start of this season.
Mustaqim Manzur then came close to extending the lead for his side after Fareez had sent a cross into the penalty box but winger could only poke a tame shot wide on 15 before Hafiz set up Durand with a cheeky flick but the former Etoile player was tripped in the area and earned a corner in the process.
In the space of three minutes, Harimau Muda B then had two opportunities to level the scores but were denied by good goalkeeping from Zaiful Nizam. On 28, Farizzuan broke clear of the Gombak defence before pulling a left-footed shot which Zaiful parried before Farizzuan again, forced Zaiful to yet another save from his looping shot two minutes later.
An even first-half saw Gombak take a slender one-goal lead into the break as they almost found a second goal five minutes after the restart.
A free-kick was awarded to the home side 30 yards away from goal and midfielder Fairoz Hasan took it, forcing Sharil Sa’ari to dive at full-stretch to palm it away. But the former Young Lions man would eventually get onto the scoresheet three minutes later.
Exchanging passes with Hafiz Rahim on the edge of the area, Fairoz went on to unleash an accurate finish into the top corner beyond the reach of Young Tigers’ custodian Shahril Sa’ari for the game’s second goal.
Julien Durand then rifled an effort into the side-netting in the 75th minute before winger K Vikraman made it three for the Bulls ten minutes from time with a well-placed free kick which beat the rooted Shahril Sa’ari to put a gloss on the scoreline.
Ismail Ibrahim: We did not give 100%
Harimau Muda B’s head coach Ismail Ibrahim knew that they needed to be at their best against an experienced Gombak side but admitted after the game that his side did not give 100%.
“My team played badly today, below my expectations,” he lamented.
“I don’t know what went wrong, maybe they were afraid (of Gombak). I really don’t know. In the (Malaysia) Premier League, they played well even when they were up against the top four teams in the league,” said Ismail, whose side lie in tenth out of twelve teams in the MPL.
He however expressed hopes that his team would be a better outfit come next year, in the event that they participate in the competition.
“They are young and hopefully they will learn something (from today). Maybe next year they will be matured and much better to give a better fight against the other S-League teams.”
K Balagumaran: I just told them to enjoy
“My team talk was brief, about five minutes. Basically, I told them to go in and enjoy the game. They played and the goals came,” the visibly K Balagumaran remarked after the game, with a smile on his face.
“I think some physiological effect kicked in (today). My players have to be more relaxed, physiologically and results will come naturally,” he added.
Gombak United: Zaiful Nizam (GK); Nurullah Hussein, Obadin Aikhena (C), Ismail Yunos, K Vikraman; Mustaqim Manzur (Jung Hee Bong 63’), Chris Anderson, Fairoz Hasan, Fareez Farhan (Amin Rossady 46’); Julien Durand (Fuad Jufri 82’), Hafiz Rahim Unused subs: Shafuan Sutohmoh, Farouq Farkhan, Amran Addin, Samuel Benjamin
Harimau Muda B: Shahril As’ari (GK); Radhi Yusof, Nasriq Yahya, Syawal Nordin, Affize Faisal, Mahalli Jasuli (C); Syafiq Shalihin (Akhir Bahari 63’), Hadin Azman, Akram Mahinan (Nur Areff Kamaruddin 46’); Farizzuan Azhar, Akmal Ishak Unused subs: Ashmawi Yakin, Syahid Zaidon, Osman Yusof, Firdaus Muhamad
Yellow card(s): Ismail Yunos, Fairoz Hasan (Gombak); Radhi Yusof, Affize Faisal (Harimau Muda B)
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