Chitrakar upbeat despite defeat

Courts Young Lions coach Robin Chitrakar was not getting too upset with Tuesday's 1-0 loss to Gombak United in the Great Eastern-YEO's S.League.

A tidy display from Anderson.

By Gabriel Tan

Former Young Lions forward Iqbal Hussain came off the bench to net the only goal of the game in the 60th minute to hand the Bulls all three points and condemn his former side to their second straight defeat, following last week's 2-0 loss to Balestier Khalsa.

Nonetheless, Chitrakar refused to get overly critical of his side's performance and insisted there were positives to take from Tuesday's game.

"Of course we're disappointed with the result," he said. "We weren't effective in the final third but even late on, we were still trying to build up in attack.

"I feel the boys did their best tonight [Tuesday] but we just didn't get the goals."

Young Lions had been without a number of key players, including suspended duo Sherif El-Masri and Sirina Camara, but Chitrakar was unwilling to speculate if they would have made a difference, especially given their lack of creativity in the attacking third.

"Even despite missing a number of players, we were still playing our game," he added.

"You never know if [someone like El-Masri] would have made a difference - this is football."

Gombak coach K. Balagumaran hailed the impact Iqbal made and believes he was keen to show his former employers what they were missing out on.

"Iqbal can play in many positions but we intended to play him up front," he said. "I think we made the right move keeping him till the second half - he was very hungry.

"My exact instructions to him were to go down the left and take a shot on his right foot, or deliver a good cross, and that's what he did.

"He played two beautiful balls to [Julien] Durand and Hafiz [Rahim] but they were both unable to convert me."

And with just six games left in the season, Balagumaran believes his side are primed to finish the campaign strongly.

"I think we were more composed in keeping possession," he added. "Whenever Young Lions came forward, they always lost the ball in the attacking third.

"If we keep playing like this, I'm confident we can give any team a good fight."

Young Lions are next in action on September 13 when they entertain DPMM FC, while Gombak are in action three days later when they visit Hougang United.

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