Hougang United coach Johana Johari was, in his own words, a frustrated man after watching his side fall to a last-gasp goal in their 1-0 loss to Woodlands Wellington.
Johana made it clear his displeasure at the Rams’ style of football after the game.
“The opponents kept on launching the ball [into our area] and it’s very, very ugly but fortunately for them they managed to regain the situation through our mistakes,” he sighed.
“This is football, the clever team wins. I really do not know what to say. They didn’t put us into any difficult situations [and] we managed to deal with them.
“I just don’t like this kind of football, it is really very ugly. You are just getting the ball and then pump[ing] it forward. We might as well play tennis!
“Overall it is very disappointing for me to lose in such a way.”
Johana did pay tribute to Moon for his will in battling to the last second, which was rewarded with the match-winning strike.
“Moon Soon-Ho, the so-called ‘Terror of the North’ was unable to get loose today but you should salute him for that little moment… [and] his effort in just trying [for a goal],” he said.
His counterpart, Woodlands coach Salim Moin (right), unsurprisingly begged to differ.
“With the hard work [of the players], of course they deserved the win,” he declared.
“It’s a very fair situation: I'm not defensively-oriented, I'm attacking-oriented. So even though Hougang had a few chances to score, my team was very calm. When we were attacking, we had numbers, so I'm very satisfied with the team’s attitude towards the attack.
“I'm very happy with the win, as long as we take three points and we jump [up the table].”
Salim was also pleased with the display of overlapping play from his full-backs, which helped to make their attacks more “fluid”.
“You can see my right full-back [Ang] Zhiwei and left full-back Rosman Sulaiman, they have a free hand to do the overlapping and that was very encouraging to see, [and] I want to see them doing more of this,” he said.
Salim also promised that new signing Theerawekin Seehawong, who was not involved due to some unsettled paperwork, would be more than capable of filling the void left by the departing Khalid Hamdaoui.
“With him around, without him around; the team still performs,” he said about the former Dutch Under-21 star, who lit up the league with his performances.
“I'm looking forward for him [Theerwawekin] to play; he will be much better than Khalid, I guarantee you this.”
Johana admitted that his side could have done with more patience in the second half, which they dominated, but refused to blame his players.
“In the second half, we had major control of the game,” he said, adding that the lack of preparation time due to the haze situation in recent days did not help.
“If only Liam Shotton had been more patient [and] pushed the ball forward, It would have been a goal. With a little bit of speed, [he would have been in a] one-versus-one situation.
“I'm quite frustrated because we’ve failed in our first 15 minutes: we had planned nicely and sadly it didn’t go our way and our opponents managed to steal it.
“Hopefully this will teach them a lesson. We cannot be attacking and not get the win.
“We have to go back and see which areas we need to overcome and hopefully we can prepare ourselves for the forthcoming match next week.
“It is very important to be able to stay focused… We have to calm them down when they are in attack to make the passes much more accurate and [help] the players be quick enough to react.”
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