Singapore Premier League • September 18, 2014

Kean: Home Deserved Win, Wake Up Call For Us


Written by Zack Rahim

Steve Kean had no qualms about saying it to Lee Lim Saeng when the two coaches met after the game.

“You deserved it,” said Kean as he shook Lee’s hands.

Lee’s Home United FC had just stunned Kean’s Brunei DPMM with two headers off corner kicks for a 2-1 win in their Great Eastern Yeo’s S-League match, Song Inyoung and Kwon Dakyung’s goals helping Home to their second win in as many games at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Bandar Seri Begawan this season after previously beating the Bruneians 3-2 on 6 May.

Though the hosts dominated large periods of the game, Kean knew that the manner in which his players defended those two late corners would not help the league leaders in their cause to win the title for the first time, and they were made to pay for switching off and allowing Song and Kwon to rise above the rest and head home goals in the 79th and 90th minute.

Some would even call it schoolboy defending, and Kean certainly implied it.

“You can’t watch Under-14 or Under-15 teams defend like that… What more professionals,” he calmly said to the gathered media at the post-match press conference.

“Those two goals we gave away were poor and it’s disappointing we let in two identical goals from set plays… We will go back and watch the DVD and see who was supposed to mark who.

“We had a lack of communication and they had good movement.

“But it’s an expensive wake up call for us if we think that teams were going to come here, lie down and give us three points,” added the Scotsman.

On the back foot for most of the match, the Protectors defended stubbornly and were organised until the end – their only blemish coming when Rodrigo Tosi was allowed space to head in an Azwan Salleh cross at the far post.

Song provided the equaliser three minutes later though, and Lee was happy with his players’ never-say-die attitude after pulling to five points of DPMM with four games left.

“We didn’t give up although we conceded first and the players fought until the last minute. I appreciate my players and give credit to our opponents,” said Lee.

“This match was the most important one for us (to stay alive in the title race)… If we lost the players’ morale might have went down,” added the former South Korean international.

The two teams will meet each other again next Tuesday and Friday in the RHB Singapore Cup semi-finals, and Lee knows that he can’t let his team get carried away with the win.