Profligate Protectors sink to home defeat
Home United crashed to a 2-0 defeat against Woodlands Wellington at Bishan Stadium on Tuesday night as they continued their wretched winless start to the season.
Both sides entered the match hoping to bounce back from identical 2-1 losses in the previous round and were eager to register their first win of the season, but it was the visiting side who walked away with three points courtesy of goals from former Home boy Rosman Sulaiman and Khalid Hamdaoui.
Woodlands made three changes from the side that lost to Harimau Muda, as Shariff Samat made his first appearance of the season.
Home United started the game on the front foot as they established their dominance in possession, with Lee Kwan Woo’s freekick in the second minute fizzing past Yazid Yasin's far post.
At the other end, Chang Jo Yoon turned his marker before taking a shot, which Jang Hong Won spilled right in front of his goalmouth. Fortunately for the goalkeeper, there was no one in the penalty box.
In the 10th minute, an incisive diagonal pass found Masrezwan Masturi whose lob-cross found Masato Fukui, who had managed to evade his marker. However, the striker’s eventual weak shot was cleared off the line by Shariff.
A mistake by Hamdaoui in the 28th minute saw Sirina Camara latch onto the ball before unleashing a shot that Yazid palmed away, with Rosman keeping his cool to clear the rebound amidst a chaotic penalty box.
Moon Soon Ho then had a glorious opportunity for Woodlands when Home custodian Jang Hong Won came off his line to get to a poor clearance, but the striker's lob from 40 yards out missed the open goal by a whisker.
The Protectors continued to dominate proceedings after the break, but they still could not find the back of the net and were made to pay.
Moon gave a sign of things to come as he fired over from a Hamdaoui pass on a Woodlands counter-attack in the 63rd minute, before the deadlock was finally broken four minutes later.
Rosman took a freekick deep from his own half that evaded everyone, including Jang, who came out and missed his punch, with the ball eventually bouncing into the net to give Woodlands the lead.
Hamdaoui then treated the 1502-strong crowd to a beauty of a goal. Afforded time and space, the Dutch ace served a stunning strike into the top corner past helpless substitute goalkeeper Shahril Jantan.
The match ended in a red mist, as three players were dismissed in the final ten minutes. Moon was first given a second yellow for tripping Camara in the 83rd minute, before Indra Sahdan and Fukui followed him for early showers due to reckless challenges, as the Rams hung on to register their first win of the season.