Protectors Thump Eagles To Continue Unbeaten Start
Written by: Ryan Low
Home United continued their impressive form in the 2017 Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League season after dispatching Geylang International 3-0 at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday night.
Song Uiyoung broke the deadlock in the first half, before late penalties from Stipe Plazibat and Khairul Nizam sealed a large victory for the Protectors.
Geylang was left wondering what it could have been if they had converted their early opportunity.
It was just three minutes on the clock when Ricardo Sendra went through on goal and looked set to convert, but the Argentinian midfielder was foiled in a one-on-one opportunity with Home goalkeeper Hassan Sunny.
Home dominated most of the proceedings in the first half though - with Plazibat’s snapshot from the edge of the box being turned around the post by Geylang custodian Syazwan Buhari, before Christopher van Huizen just failed to get the vital touch on Sirina Camara’s teasing cross.
The breakthrough would come on 35 minutes, as Song drove a low shot beyond Syazwan from just inside the area after Plazibat had flicked Van Huizen’s slide-rule pass into his path.
Geylang did almost equalise immediately when Victor Coto picked out Stanely Ng in the box, but the latter was denied at point-blank range by Hassan.
Eagles coach Hasrin Jailani tried to change things just before the break by bringing on Shawal Anuar for Al-Qaasimy Rahman, but the substitute lasted just eight minutes on the pitch due to a clash of heads with Hariss Harun.
He was then replaced by Quak, while Amy came on for Shahfiq Ghani as Geylang went all out in search of the equaliser.
It almost arrived on 66 minutes when Faritz Hameed met Quak’s inswinging corner, but his shot was denied by a great reflex save from Hassan.
Home would eventually kill off their hopes of a comeback, with Plazibat converting from the spot for his 11th league goal of the season after his shot was adjudged to be handled by Yuki Ichikawa inside the area.
The Protectors would earn another penalty deep into injury time, with substitute Nizam thumping home after Ng had brought down Amiruldin Asraf in the area and was sent off for a second bookable offence.
Home United Head Coach Aidil Sharin: “I think it (the three-goal margin) was a fair result because the boys worked very hard for it. Last year we struggled against them, so to achieve a clean sheet in this game shows that we’re improving.
“It also shows that our boys are learning after letting slip a 2-0 lead (to draw 2-2) against Warriors. This time after going 2-0 up, we kept the ball well and was patient in possession.
“I don’t want to talk about the title yet; we just want to be humble, take one game at a time and see how things go from there because it’s a long season.”
Geylang International Head Coach Hasrin Jailani: “For me, the scoreline does not reflect the game at all. Home didn’t create much in the first half; we lost concentration once and they scored one goal. The second half was the same story and I don’t want to give any reason.
“The second goal killed everything, but I’m still very proud of my players’ performance and they gave 100 percent. Shawal went to hospital and we have to check on his condition.”
Home United: Hassan Sunny (GK, C), Shamil Sharif, Abdil Qaiyyim, Irfan Fandi, Sirina Camara (Sufianto Salleh 41’), Hariss Harun, Song Uiyoung, Christopher van Huizen, Adam Swandi, Faris Ramli (Khairul Nizam 88’), Stipe Plazibat (Amiruldin Asraf 90’)
Geylang International: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Faritz Hameed, Yuki Ichikawa, Anders Aplin, Al-Qaasimy Rahman (Shawal Anuar 45’, Gabriel Quak 53’), Ricardo Sendra, Isa Halim (C), Safirul Sulaiman, Stanely Ng, Victor Coto, Shahfiq Ghani (Amy Recha 60’)