News • February 20, 2016

Fazli Jaffar Strikes Late To Deny Protectors A Win


Written by: Alex Weaver

An injury-time goal by Warriors’ Fazli Jaffar denied Home United all three points in the first uniform derby of the 2016 Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League season at Bishan Stadium on Sunday night.

Home, playing at Bishan Stadium for the first time since the 2014 S.League season, dominated the majority of the game but never really threatened to put the game beyond their Choa Chu Kang-based opponents.

Philippe Aw’s men started well and won a corner in the first minute. Following a short corner routine, the ball was crossed into the box and headed over the bar by striker Ken Ilso.

The only way that Warriors was causing problems was through long passes up to lone striker Jonathan Behe. But with both Emmeric Ong and Poh Yi Feng playing quite deep in midfield, there was little support for the Frenchman and possession was often lost.

The Protectors came closest to open the scoring early on but a strike from about 30 yards out was well saved by Yazid Yasin in the Warriors goal.

Yazid was the busier of the two goalkeepers as he denied Illso a goal in the 16th minute. But there was nothing the former Singapore international could do a minute later.

From a corner, a dipping shot by Azhar struck the bar before falling for Khairul Nizam who had followed up the initial shot and tapped his side in front from close range with the first goal of the night.

Jorge Steinebrunner’s side got a fortunate break on 34th minute when Abdil Qayyim was adjudged to have pulled on Behe’s arm, resulting in referee Farhad Mohd awarding a penalty to the visitors.

Behe stepped up and struck a fine penalty into the net for the equaliser as both sides went into the dressing rooms level at half-time.

The second-half started with a slightly lower intensity, but it was the Home midfield that once again took control with Zulfahmi Arifin, in particular, impressing in the middle of the park.

Despite Home’s domination however, Ilso looked to be slightly isolated in their attacks and his movement often took him away from the central areas where he is regularly so dangerous for opposing defenders. Home were working hard but were unable to find a way through a resilient Warriors defence.

With Poh now playing in what appeared to be more of a right wing-back position, possibly to cover the advancing runs of Home’s left-back Sirina Camara, Warriors looked like they were settling for a point in their first game of the season.

However, the visitors were made to pay for giving away a free-kick in a dangerous position just outside the box, which also resulted in Kento Fukuda receiving a yellow card.

A well-rehearsed set play found Camara in the box and the Frenchman smashed home Home’s second goal to round off a fine individual performance with what looked to be the winner.

Warriors seemed to have thrown away any chance of a late revival when centre-back Madhu Mohana received a straight red card for a clash with Irfan Fandi in the 89th minute, but an excellent long, cross-field pass from Croatian playmaker Nikola Rak found Fazli racing into the penalty area and volleying home the equaliser in injury time.

The final whistle was met with a roar from Steinebrunner, who was clearly delighted with escaping from Bishan Stadium with a point in their season’s opening fixture, while opposite number Philippe Aw was left to rue some dropped points despite a positive performance from his players.

Home United coach Philippe Aw: “After we took the lead there was a period of time when we were in dominance. Even when we went 2-1 up we could have gone 3-1 up but we didn’t. I’m disappointed because we should have got the three points. Both goals (Warriors goals) came from nothing.”

Warriors FC coach Jorge Steinebrunner: “We have players that are capable of getting into good positions (referring to Behe’s injury) and in pre-season we had several different scorers. I’m quite happy with what I’ve seen (tonight).”

Home United: Hyrulnizam Juma’at (GK), Song Uiyoung, Juma’at Jantan (C), Abdil Qaiyyim, Aqhari Abdullah (Irfan Fandi 64’), Azhar Sairudin (Nur Hizami 90’), Ken Ilsø, Sirina Camara, Shahrin Saberin, Khairul Nizam (Ikhsan Fandi 85’), Zulfahmi Arifin

Warriors FC: Yazid Yasin (GK), Zulfadli Zainal (C), Kento Fukuda, Madhu Mohana, Emmeric Ong, Poh Yi Feng (Ignatius Ang 85’), Rak Nikola, Hafiz Nor, Hafiz Osman, Hafiz Rahim (Fazli Jaffar 72’), Jonathan Behe (Syaqir Sulaiman 82’)