RHB Singapore Cup 2017: Cheetahs To Entertain In Battle For Third
RHB Singapore Cup 2017 (Third Place Playoff)
Home United vs Hougang United
(25 November, Saturday, 5pm, Jalan Besar Stadium)
Written by: Phoon Jia Hui
Hougang United head coach Philippe Aw is looking to excite the crowd when they face Home United in the RHB Singapore Cup Third Place Playoff at Jalan Besar Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Cheetahs were denied a place in the final after they were edged out 4-3 by Philippine side Global Cebu FC on aggregate in the last four of the competition in September.
Still, Aw is keen for his charges to play a brand of attractive football when they take on the Protectors - a side they have beaten just once in four meetings this season.
“We want to play a good game of football and not go out there just to go through the motions,” said the 40-year-old.
“It’s important we go out there to entertain the fans, hopefully they will be entertained and come back next season.”
Reflecting on that semi-final defeat to Global, Aw lamented their failure to secure a first appearance in the Singapore Cup final but insists they will go all out to get third.
“We know we should have played in the final and we are still sour about it because I feel we could have given Albirex a better game and a tougher fight if we had gotten there,” he added.
“Nevertheless, we will prepare well and give Home a good game and we will aim for third because third is ultimately better than fourth.”
Hougang warmed up for this tie with a 1-1 draw against Warriors FC in their final game of the Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League season to attain a sixth-place finish.
Iqbal Hussain struck a stunning opener, only to see Hafiz Nor cancel it out as they shared the spoils in an evenly-matched affair.
“It was a fair result considering the chances both teams had,” said Aw.
“I’m glad we came here today to give Warriors a difficult time even when we did not have anything to play for while Warriors were looking to finish fourth.”
Home similarly come into this on the back of a stalemate, having been held to a goalless draw by Tampines Rovers on Saturday to finish third in the S.League.
In the Singapore Cup however, the six-time winners fell 5-2 over two legs to holders Albirex Niigata (S) in the semi-final.
This therefore represents the best chance for Home to end their season on a winning note, a fact not lost on attacking midfielder Adam Swandi.
“Even though this is the last game of the season, the team is gearing up to our best ability to end of the season on the high for Home United and most importantly our fans,” the 21-year-old enthused.
“As there’s many good players in the squad, we are fighting very hard for a place in the starting eleven for this final game and hopefully things will go our way.”
While Sirina Camara could start from the bench, Home head coach Aidil Sharin will be without the injured duo of Khairul Nizam (knee) and Irfan Fandi who tore his ankle ligaments while on international duty with Singapore recently.
Home United - LLWWD
18/11/17 Tampines Rovers 0-0 Home United
04/11/17 Home United 2-1 Geylang International
31/10/17 Home United 4-0 Garena Young Lions
27/10/17 Warriors FC 2-1 Home United
23/10/17 Home United 0-2 Tampines Rovers
Hougang United - LLWLD
17/11/17 Warriors FC 1-1 Hougang United
02/11/17 Hougang United 0-1 Balestier Khalsa
24/10/17 Garena Young Lions 0-1 Hougang United
19/10/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 1-0 Hougang United
15/10/17 Hougang United 0-2 Home United