Singapore Premier League • June 11, 2014
Home Climb To Second Spot
Written By: Kenneth Ho
Home United strolled to a comfortable 3-1 win over Harimau Muda at Bishan Stadium as they overtook Warriors to go second due to a better goal difference, despite both sides being on 30 points.
The win also ensured that the Protectors are now only a point behind league leaders Brunei DPMM, after the latter lost to Tampines Rovers 2-1 at Clementi Stadium on the same evening.
An early goal by Qiu Li saw the Protectors took the lead, while Bruno Castanheira and Fazrul Nawaz added in strikes of their own to pull the hosts clear.
Ramzi Sufian replied in kind for Harimau but that was all they could muster as the Young Tigers fell to their third consecutive loss in the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League.
The match had started promisingly for Harimau, as Shahrul Igwan found himself with acres of space in the box before he whacked a fierce effort towards goal and forced Home custodian Shahril Jantan to palm the ball over.
However it was Home who got off to a flyer as they found the net with only four minutes of play, as Qiu Li scored in his second consecutive game.
Harimau goalkeeper Solehin Mamat had initially done well to parry out Indra Sahdan’s snap-shot from point-blank range, but from the resulting corner Qiu Li met Lee Kwan Woo’s delivery to plant his header into the far corner.
However, the Young Tigers did not appear to be disheartened by that goal, as Shahrul continued to be a lively figure at the other end and used his trickery to get the better of Precious Emuejeraye before rifling in an effort which was not too far away from goal.
However, Harimau’s resistance came to end barely before the 15th minute mark, when Home doubled their lead.
Qiu Li turned provider to release Castanheira and the latter made no mistake from seven yards out with a composed finish.
That goal seemed to have dealt a big blow to Harimau, as they became fairly sluggish after that and allowed Home to carve open their defence at will.
As a result, the third goal for Home soon came in the 21st minute when Indra and Fazrul played a one-two to open up the oppositions’ defence and consequently saw the latter slot past a stranded Solehin.
With a comfortable three-goal lead, Home then took their foot off the pedal and it saw them punished for it as Ramzi Sufian got onto the end of an Afiq Fazil cross to nudge in a header via the post.
Despite Home easing off their game, they were still dangerous at times and could have found
themselves with another goal just before the break when Yasir Hanapi had a go from close range but this time Solehin did well to save with his feet.
The second half saw fairly lesser action as Home continued with their slow pace, and were often caught out by the offside flag when they went forward.
That said, Castanheira could have grabbed his second of the night when his looping shot flew past Solehin but Harimau defender Syawal Nordin made a goal-line clearance to deny the forward.
There were more miseries for the Young Tigers though, as they saw Solehin come off with an injury while Ilham Amirullah replaced him in the 60th minute.
The replacement goalkeeper then did well to deny Castanheira too, as he pulled off a smart-reflex save from the Japanese in the dying minutes of the game.
That was the last action of the game as the referee called time thereafter to the delights of the Protectors.