Monday, July 19, 2010

Sengkang 1 Beijing 0 : Mamadou extinguishes the ghosts of Hougang






On a cooling Sunday evening at the Dolphins’ home in Hougang, it took a thumping header from Guinean wonderboy Mamadou Diallo (right) via a Duncan Elias’s set-piece special three minutes from time to decide the match as the Dolphins secured a precious 1-0 victory over Beijing Guoan Talents.


This finally ended their five-month wait for a second home win this season. Their last home victory had come in February when they defeated Gombak United in their opening home fixture.


It was also the first win Aide Iskandar’s charges have achieved since April, thereby allowing them to leapfrog past Woodlands Welington into 11th place in the league standings.


Perhaps it was fitting that the most exciting player on the field – Mamadou, had a say in the final proceedings as he was no doubt the star of the game.


Sengkang started the match brightly and in the fourth minute, captain Nor Azli Yusoff slid Mamadou through and the tricky youngster showed nifty footwork to evade four defenders before firing in a shot that got the home crowd off their seats. Unfortunately, Beijing defenders recovered to deflect the ball for a corner.


Minutes later, the Guinean was at it again, this time stealing possession from Zhang Xiaolong and setting up new boy Mojtaba Tehranizadeh or ‘Moshee’ as he is affectionately known. The Iranian in turn returned the pass into the dangerzone which Mamadou just missed connecting to.


Moshee was making his home debut in front of the Hougang faithful and showed plenty of his well-known aggression and workrate in a role just behind Mamadou.


The Talents took 17 minutes to test Dolphins’ custodian Fadhil Salim when forward Zhang Ye showed good control with his chest before rifling a shot which Fadhil equaled to.


Beijing was slowly getting into the game and Fadhil had to be alert on two occasions in the 31st minute to keep his net intact.


The danger signs were mounting and in the 36th minute, Fadhil had his woodwork to thank as dangerman Teng Bin’s stinger from 25 yards off a throw-in situation crashed against the frame of the goal. From the ensuing corner, defender Yu Tianzhu’s header skimmed the crossbar as the Dolphins survived yet another scare.


On the stroke of halftime, Mamadou displayed his sheer persistence when he somehow kept a stray pass in play when players and spectators alike thought it was heading out of bounds. After retrieving the ball, he then charged towards goal with his electric pace in a three-on-one situation, ultimately winning a corner for his efforts in the last play of the first period.


Beijing had a great opportunity to take the lead on 48 minutes when they were awarded a spot-kick after Sengkang left-back Duncan Elias’ mistimed his tackle.
Key midfielder Wang Hao stepped up but Fadhil went down well to his right and pulled off a stupendous save to keep Sengkang in the game.


The save lifted the spirits of the Dolphins as they pushed harder in search for a win while the Talents seemed to experience a drop in confidence in their subsequent play.


Mamadou continued to cause the Chinese side problems with his pace and determination and almost sneaked a goal in the 54th minute but his left foot shot from a turn just lacked power.
As the game wore on, mistimed challenges increased and some of the Beijing players went down with cramps, a reminiscence of the earlier part of the season.


Sengkang then produce their best play of the night in the 84th minute when neat buildup play between Mamadou and Farizal Basri saw substitute Ashley Ow firing in a shot which just went a little too high.


Three minutes later, the deadlock was finally broken as Mamadou leaped high out of nowhere to finish off Duncan’s delightful corner play.


The Guinean celebrated by running half the length of the pitch to celebrate with his team’s hero at the other end, Fadhil, as the rest of his teammates joined in.


Sengkang held on for the remainder of the game to clinch long awaited win which had Coach Aide beaming finally.

He exclaimed, ‘I am pleased with the three points tonight. We prepared well for the whole week for the game and the players gave 100%. The players kept believing in themselves and are now playing with more confidence’.




Below (from left ): toned down celebrations, Aide with some of his fans/supporters who lifted the atmosphere at the stadium with their innovative chants. hopefully more of these Man Utd fans will catch the local games too.

4 comments:

  1. Hello Hugo! (Should I address you as "Hugo"?)

    Mervin here, the one in the picture wearing the "TREBLE" jersey. It's a surprise to see a very refreshing blog post on that memorable night! (and our pics, of course :)


    Anyway, a short intro of myself: my buddies and I are Manchester United fans, we call ourselves "United for United" (http://www.facebook.com/unitedforunited/ )

    We have decided to not just watch EPL, but to support the growth of local football as well. As such, we have decided to adopt Sengkang Punggol FC as "our" club to support (though I personally live in the west side! *grin*). Mainly in part due to our good friend Aide Iskandar, and now by extension, the whole of SPFC.

    Also, to show that supporting a team doesn't mean that we only follow winning teams, but that we stand by our team through thick and thin. Our dream is to do our small part to help grow the fan base for Sengkang Punggol.

    Hence, it is from 18th July vs Beijing Guoan that we took that step of faith, and stepped up to cheer our team on. It is not right for us to claim for ourselves the credit for the last two wins - mainly, the boys themselves fought with their hearts out for those precious 6 points (v Balestier too), as well as Aide's tactical genius - but I must say that it just goes to show how crucial fans' vocal support is for our boys. It gives them the impetus to fight for the whole 90+x minutes on the field.

    Hope to be able to meet you and other fellow SPFC fans on Tuesday vs Etoile @ Queenstown stadium, the same small but vocal contingent of us be there again to will the boys on for (hopefully) another shock win over the French lads.

    Cheers!

    Merv

    PS. Do look me up in FB if you can too! Hope we can catch United matches when the season starts? We gather at the United cafe @ Boat Quay for every weekend United match, that's where we practise our football chants :D

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  2. Johnathan A. FrancisJuly 26, 2010 at 9:30 AM

    Hi there!

    Johnathan here! I'm the tubby guy in long sleeves in the picture. Very nice to see that a blog such as yours exists.

    We are hoping to grow our contingent of supporters and making S-League games an extraordinary affair. We are all delighted by the Dolphins' resurgence in form and we want to bring our voices to more games.

    Etoile are our next opponents and we will be ready to cheer our team on and rain abuse on our opponents *grins* with the right vocal support and loads of passion, watching the S-League will never be the same again.

    Regards,
    Johnathan A. Francis
    United for United

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  3. Thanks mate, we'll be at Jln Besar stadium come Wed evening again. Hope to see ya there too? Cheers! :)

    MerV

    ReplyDelete