Singapore Premier League • April 4, 2018
Home come from behind to seal resounding win over Balestier
A stirring second-half performance saw the Protectors clinch their first Singapore Premier League victory
Home United celebrate after scoring against Balestier Khalsa.
SINGAPORE, 4 APRIL 2018 – Home United FC eked out a come-from-behind 3-1 win against Balestier Khalsa FC in their opening Great-Eastern Hyundai Singapore Premier League match at Bishan Stadium.
While Home dominated possession from start to finish, they were made to work for the victory by a resolute Balestier side. Second-half goals from Sirina Camara, Song Ui-young and Shahril Ishak secured the points after Keegan Linderboom scored from the spot on his debut in the first half.
Right from the opening minute, Home should have scored but Shahril fired wide after being set up perfectly by Song’s low pass.
Balestier could have gone ahead in the seventh minute but fortunately for the hosts, Shakir Hamzah’s wayward headed clearance off a long throw hit the top of the crossbar instead.
Home continued creating but did not really trouble Balestier and that allowed the Tigers to slowly grow in confidence, which saw them go ahead in the 27th minute.
Raihan Rahman took a quick throw and played Linderboom in behind, drawing a rash tackle from Aqhari Abdullah. The New Zealander picked himself up and slotted the penalty coolly into the bottom left corner.
Home pushed forward almost immediately as they tried to find an equaliser, but could not carve out any clear chances as Balestier started defending in numbers.
The Protectors brought on Camara in place of Shahrin Saberin at the break and he made an immediate impact, with almost all of Home’s attacks going down the left wing.
Home finally got the equaliser they were craving for in the 77th minute – through Camara no less. Hafiz Nor and Faritz Hameed played a nice one-two down the right and the latter drilled a cross towards the unmarked Camara in the box, who blasted the ball in.
Linderboom then failed to capitalise on a defensive error, before Home escaped once again after some scrappy defending prevented Vedran Mesec from getting onto the scoresheet.
There was to be no stopping Home though.
With two minutes left on the clock, Faritz’s pinpoint cross found Song alone in the six-yard box and the Korean finished ruthlessly.
Shahril wrapped up the win in injury time, curling the ball past a hapless Zaiful after a wonderful run into the box to send them to the top of the table.
What they said
Home Head Coach Aidil Sharin: “First half, we were not there and Balestier made it difficult – we knew it was not going to be easy with their new foreigners, two tall players upfront. But in the second half, we made some changes and it made the team better. With our fitness and character, the boys deserved the three goals and three points.
Balestier Head Coach Marko Kraljevic: “I’m disappointed with the result, but very happy with the performance from the boys – they worked very hard. I have to admit Home United was the better team and they put a lot of pressure on us. We did very well until 10 minutes to go. When you are under a lot of pressure, it is unavoidable to make mistakes. Home also played a few games competitively, while we didn’t (and that made a difference). But my boys were very close to taking points, so that’s a positive.”
Home: Rudy Khairullah (GK), Shakir Hamzah, Juma’at Jantan, Aqhari Abdullah (Hafiz Nor 63’), Song Ui-young, Faritz Hameed, Amiruldin Asraf (M Anumanthan 73’), Izzdin Shafiq (C), Faizal Roslan, Shahril Ishak, Shahrin Saberin (Sirina Camara 46’).
Unused subs: Eko Pradana Putra (GK), Amy Recha, Fazli Ayob, Arshad Shamim.
Balestier: Zaiful Nizam (GK)(C), Fadli Kamis, Shaqi Sulaiman, Raihan Rahman,Huzaifah Aziz, Afiq Salman Tan (Fariz Faizal 74’), Sheikh Abdul Hadi, Ahmad Syahir, Keegan Linderboom, Vedran Mesec, Noor Akid Nordin (Hazzuwan Halim 51’).
Unused subs: Hafiz Ahmad (GK), Nurullah Hussein, Sufianto Salleh, Khairuddin Omar.
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