TANJONG PAGAR 1 (Sebastien Etiemble 27 pen)
HOUGANG 2 (Igor Cerina 36, Geison Moura 87)
The home side scored first, but were pegged back just before the break.
They came out firing in the second half, but Tanjong Pagar United spurned chance after chance, and paid the price three minutes before the end of their Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League clash against Hougang United at the Queenstown Stadium last night.
Hougang's Brazilian forward Geison Moura popped up at the back post during a rare Cheetahs foray forward to head home the winner.
Known for his fiery temper, Jaguars head coach Patrick Vallee cut a surprisingly calm figure after the game.
While not happy about how his side conceded the equaliser from a set-piece, he said: "I'm not upset over the result because I like what I saw in terms of how we played.
"I liked the mentality of our players.
"A lot of things were against us, in terms of the players missing due to suspension and injury, but the team still attacked and wanted to win.
"Some coaches prefer to sit back and maybe get a draw... Maybe one day I must learn to do that, too."
Even though Vallee welcomed his top scorer from last season, marquee signing Monsef Zerka, back from suspension, the coach had a selection headache before the game.
Ahmad Latiff (knee) and Kamel Ramdani (knee) were both injured, while defenders Nor Azli Yusoff and Ruzaini Zainal were serving suspensions after being sent off in the 2-1 win over Harimau Muda B last week.
Still, they took the lead on 27 minutes when Sebastien Etiemble fired home from the penalty spot, after Hougang defender Igor Cerina had handled the ball.
The Croat made amends for the visitors nine minutes later when he headed in the equaliser off a corner.
The Jaguars stepped up their efforts to find the winner in the final quarter with Masrezwan Masturi, Firdaus Idros and Etiemble's going close.
After weathering the storm, a Hougang counter-attack saw Fazli Jaffar cross the ball for an unmarked Moura to gleefully head home.
Cheetahs coach Amin Nasir said: "We played with character and discipline, especially in the second half.
"We kept going, kept going, and I knew we could get the goal."
In last night's other match, Albirex Niigata were too good for Harimau Muda B, beating them convincingly 3-0 at the Jurong East Stadium.
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