Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Packed Queenstown Stadium Saw Mendy's Protectors Falter

On a night where Queenstown Stadium was packed with spectators at the terraces, the host obliged with a dazzling brand of football which ended in the Stars winning 2-0 over League leaders Home United, with goals from Andrea Damiani and Theo Raymond in the 1st half sealing up the game for the Defending S-League Champions.

Coach Arena sprung up some surprises when he played Jonathan Toto in a midfield position while putting Kevin Lefranc and Theo Raymond up front chasing for the loose balls. He had also tasked Toto to fight for the aerial challenges with ex-Etoile star Frederick Mendy, while placing Maxime Belouet and Hicham Bouchemlal in the midfield battle.

The tactics work to a "T" as Toto was able to win the 50-50 balls and the visitors' defense were caught up with the tireless run by Raymond and Lefranc. It needed 28 minutes for the deadlock to be broken when a Maxime's corner saw Damiani glanced a header that beat Fajar Sarib.

Moments later, 12 minutes to be exact, Theo Raymond latched to a loose ball that was spraying lazily at the Home United's defence to beat the goalie to make it 2-nil. Game on! Despite the best efforts of the Protectors, they were unable to beat Trilles.

And the Ultras showed what the 12th Man could do in a game when their continuous taunts at Qiu Li saw the China-born Singapore International playing like a pale shadow of his usual self. Missing balls, losing out balls to his opponents on the field, Qiu had a game that he would be glad to forget quickly.

Overall, the Stars showed that despite missing key players, they made Home United looked like an amateur team with their all-round approach and discipline in following the Coach's instructions. With the win, they also showed to the League that no team is unbeatable, it is whether the team wants it more than their opponents. The Stars had also kept clean sheets on the 2 occasions they met the Protectors.

Allez Etoile, Forza Ultras!

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