New low as Warriors lose 3-1 to Young Lions
Steinebrunner's future up in the air after shock defeat
GARENA YOUNG LIONS 3
(Hami Syahin 5, Hazim Faiz 15, Khairul Amri 49)
WARRIORS FC 1
(Jonathan Behe 85)
He was tasked to guide his team in their pursuit of silverware at the beginning of the season after a forgettable 2015.
The club made a host of new signings, including foreign stars Jonathan Behe and Nikola Rak, to facilitate their ambition.
But, 11 games into the 2016 Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League season, coach Jorg Steinebrunner's Warriors FC are nowhere near their pre-season expectations, languishing in the bottom half of the standings.
In a new low, the Warriors, the most successful club in the history of the S.League, lost 3-1 to cellar-dwellers Garena Young Lions last night in front of 1,609 fans at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
The match was viewed as the perfect opportunity for the Warriors to get their season back on track, especially since the Young Lions went into the game on the back of 10 successive losses.
The Warriors, however, were left with egg on their faces and speculation around Steinebrunner's future at the club inevitably increased after the shock loss to the national developmental side of mostly Under-21 players.
"I don't care what people say about my future, the future is the club. Speculation is part and parcel of being a football coach but, as long as I am entrusted with this team, I will do my job," Steinebrunner said.
"I cannot do anything about things that happen outside of my job and, if things go to the negative side, I won't be the first coach to lose my job.
"So, I am not thinking and wasting time on that. My focus has always been the next game and it was the same today as well.
"I am not going to get any sleepless nights worrying about these things. Whatever happens, happens but, as long as I am in charge, I will do my job to the best of my ability."
The Warriors were left frustrated by a hungry and determined Young Lions side who looked eager to put an end to their unwanted streak and Steinebrunner paid credit to their opponents.
"Credit to the Young Lions, they put up a spirited performance today, but I also credit my boys because they kept trying but just could not score," said the 44-year-old German.
The Young Lions' French custodian, Benjamin Bertrand, in particular, was in inspired form as he pulled off a number of spectacular saves to atone for his blunder against Geylang International last week.
A NIGHT TO FORGET
Bertrand's counterpart, Zainol Gulam, the stand-in goalkeeper for the suspended Yazid Yasin, had a night to forget for the Warriors after leaking three goals, in stark contrast to his encouraging performance against reigning champions Brunei DPMM last week.
The 24-year-old had to pick the ball out of the net after just five minutes.
The Warriors backline left Young Lions' winger Hami Syahin unmarked at the far post and he expertly finished a cross by Fareez Farhan to make it 1-0.
Zainol gifted the Young Lions their second goal in the 15th minute after he parried a long-range effort by Fareez into the path of striker Hazim Faiz, who headed the rebound into an empty net.
The second half started off in a similar fashion and, four minutes after the restart, veteran striker Khairul Amri made it 3-0 after he did well to hold off the challenges of two Warriors' defenders before calmly slotting home.
Behe pulled one back five minutes from time but, by then, it was too little too late as the Young Lions held on to record a famous victory.
Young Lions assistant coach, V Selvaraj, praised his men and cited the return of national striker Amri as one of the reasons for their win.
"We played well today. The first goal was a good motivator for us, we took our chances and we made less mistakes today, we defended well and we are growing from game to game and today, you could see the boys were focused and composed," he said.
"Khairul's (Amri) return from injury has been an inspiration to the younger players. He puts in an exemplary shift during training and the younger boys are motivated when they see that and it serves as a push for them to become better."
TNP MAN OF THE MATCH: Khairul Amri (Garena Young Lions)
YOUNG LIONS: Benjamin Bertrand, Rusyaidi Salime, Amirul Adli, Shannon Stephen, Zakir Shamsudin (Gareth Low 78), Hami Syahin (Muhelmy Suhaimi 71), Joshua Pereira, Firdaus Kasman, Fareez Farhan, Hazim Faiz, Khairul Amri (Muhaimin Suhaimi 62).
WARRIORS FC: Zainol Gulam, Ismail Yunos (Ignatius Ang 69), Madhu Mohana (Hafiz Osman 73), Kento Fukuda, Zulfadli Zainal, Hafiz Rahim, Nikola Rak, Poh Yi Feng (Emmeric Ong 53), Hafiz Nor, Ridhuan Muhamad, Jonathan Behe.
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