Singapore Cup • May 31, 2014
Protectors Bulldoze Past NagaCorp
Written by: Phoon Jia Hui
Home United romped to a 5-0 win over Cambodian outfit NagaCorp FC at Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday evening to qualify for the quarter-finals of the RHB Singapore Cup.
Strikes from Indra Sahdan, Lee Kwan Woo and Fazrul Nawaz gave Home a three-goal cushion going into the break before substitutes Ahmed Fahmie and Fazli Ayob grabbed one each in the final ten minutes to seal the win for the defending champions.
With Qiu Li and Noh Rahman missing this due to suspensions carried forward from last year, Home coach Lee Lim Saeng had to reshuffle his line up although there was hardly cause for worry as the duo’s absence was hardly felt.
The game got off to a relatively slow start as Home tried to find their way past a tight NagaCorp unit with little success as the scores stayed goalless.
However, the visitors’ resistance lasted all of 21 minutes as Indra broke the deadlock.
Getting onto the end of an excellent cutback from Yasir Hanapi, the Home stand-in skipper then fired an accurate low finish into Sopanha Sun’s bottom corner for the lead.
The Protectors came close to adding a second minutes after the opener but Fazrul saw his header trickle wide before Lee Kwan Woo’s grounder was parried by Sopanha.
Bruno Castanheira and Sirina Camara had their own chances thereafter but were unable to make them count although they would find themselves two up in the 32nd minute.
After a NagaCorp player was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the six-yard box, Lee Kwan Woo stepped up from the spot and smashed his penalty right down the middle to make it 2-0.
It was then three goals to the good for Home on the stroke of half-time as Fazrul connected with a Kwon Dakyung pass before volleying past a hapless Sopanha.
Home continued from where they left off in the second-half as Indra fired wide off a Camara cross in the 55th minute before Fazrul spurned another golden opportunity to further extend their lead as he shot straight at the legs of Sopanha.
NagaCorp did fashion a chance of their own on 63 minutes but Camara put in a brave block to deny Vathanak Teab after the NagaCorp skipper had found himself with time and space to shoot.
It was then game set and match as Ahmed Fahmie and Fazli who both came off the bench, struck on 80 and 87 minutes respectively to add the icing on the cake and send Home into the last eight of the competition.