"They have very good individual players with quality up there" Noor Ali's post-match thoughts after a tough fought battle against the Cheetahs
Photo: Geylang International Football Club

The last time both sides met was one for Geylang International to forget as the game ended dramatically and in favour to Hougang United with André Moritz sealing a half-line goal to turn it home for the Cheetahs. Hougang left their home ground that night with maximum points.  

In their recent clash that took place on 22nd May 2022 at Our Tampines Hub, it was a game of loose ends with both teams attacking each other’s goals one after the other. However, both teams did not manage to get the ball at the back of the net after 93 minutes, including stoppage time.

The game ended with a score of 0-0. The intensity of the game was very high for the players as well as for the fans. Both teams were unlucky to not get a goal at the end of the game, despite how well they took control at certain areas and situations of the game, including their counter-attacks.

A disappointed yet passionate head coach Noor Ali was approached by Vavel that night after the game against the Cheetahs and faced questions about the game.  

  • Game ends all square, are you disappointed to walk away with a draw?

“Disappointed not getting the three points? Yes of course, definitely. We dominated the game 90 minutes throughout, knowing that Hougang has so much quality even in the starting line-up and on the bench. Of course I feel disappointed because you know playing against big teams, you know in the league and we actually gave them a good fight”.

  • There was control in your midfield, as well as formational changes during transitions. How did you approach this game, following your previous defeat with them back in Hougang?

“I mean this Hougang team is basically based on individual players. They have very good individual players with qualities up there and also you know the minute they go on the break, they just depend on the individual players to finish off for them, you know? So we basically have to work as a team knowing that you know this direct play, this long ball and they have enough quality up there to actually cost us the game. I thought the boys did well, of course there is one to two breaks in the game but I thought the boys did well”.

  • Do you think there were some decisions that might have been unfair against Geylang?

“I mean if you talk about decisions against Geylang, I can talk a lot [laughters]. You know but again saying that there is no point looking at them because you can’t change a thing. The only disappointing thing is that the officials must understand the players and coaches have put in a lot of hard work, you know? And decisions like these cost us three points or cost us the game and you know it is not good for these to happen. I don’t know if they are going to bring in the VAR soon [laughters]”.

  • Next game is against Albirex, what are some takeaways from this game that you plan to change and execute against Albirex on Friday?

“I mean at the end of the day, I am still going out to play the way I want to play, and it’s time to see that the boys are playing this football. I cannot compare my teams to other teams basically. You know they have enough quality players even to come off the bench so it’s good to develop some of the young players to come in and play this football, you know? And encourage them to keep on going. I think definitely we will still go out there and approach Albirex. Of course we know they are quite a strong team this season too. For us, we just go out there and give our 100 percent”.