Singapore Cup • May 29, 2014

Protectors Face Nagacorp In First Hurdle


Home United vs NagaCorp FC (CAM)

(May 30, Friday, 7.30pm, Jalan Besar Stadium)

Written by: Phoon Jia Hui

Reigning RHB Singapore Cup champions Home United get their cup defence underway when they take on debutants NagaCorp FC at Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday evening.

The Protectors lifted the trophy last year – their sixth in the competition’s history – after romping to a 4-1 win over Tanjong Pagar United in the final, thanks to goals from Sirina Camara, Kwon Dakyung, Lee Kwan Woo and former player Sofiyan Hamid while Kamel Ramdani netted the consolation for the Jaguars.

Along the way, they overcame Albirex Niigata (S), Geylang International and Balestier Khalsa to reach the final and had to dig deep against Albirex whom they beat 3-2 after extra-time at the same stage in 2013.

This season, Lee Lim Saeng’s side currently sit fourth in the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League standings, seven points adrift leaders Brunei DPMM and narrowly missed out on a spot in the knockout stages of the AFC Cup.

On the pitch however, midfielder Lee Kwan Woo has worked his magic and one of the beneficiaries is central defender Kwon who has a number of headed goals among the six he has scored so far which have come from the former’s deliveries.

Striker Fazrul Nawaz has also scored for fun since returning from injury while Yasir Hanapi has impressed since rejoining the club at the start of the season and this can only bode well for the Bishan-based side.

But they face a stern test in the form of NagaCorp whose threat cannot be taken lightly even though this will be the first time they are participating in the competition.

The Metfone C-League outfit are not only two-time champions (2007 and 2009) back in their domestic league but also most recently Hun Sen Cup winners last year, the equivalent of the Singapore Cup in Cambodia.

A name that could ring a bell to the S.League fraternity is Masahiro Fukasawa who turned out for Warriors FC back in 2008 where the Japanese featured regularly for the uniformed side and amassed 50-odd appearances over the span of two seasons.

Other notable names in the NagaCorp team include Cambodia national players Teab Vathanak and Tieng Tiny who has had Singapore Cup experience playing for Phnom Penh Crown in recent years.

As such, this promises to be a mouth-watering clash between the two teams as they battle it out for a spot in the last eight.

NagaCorp FC’s Squad for 2014 RHB Singapore Cup

Goalkeepers: Samrith Seiha, Phorn Ratna.

Defenders: Chan Dara, Tieng Tiny, Om Thavrak, Teat Darasokha, Sun Sovannrithy, Chim Sambo, Chin Vannak.

Midfielders: San Narith, Prak Chanratana, Ou Lyhorng, Chheng Meng, Jang In Yong (Korea), Sun Sopanha, Masahiro Fukasawa (Japanese), Zogbe Anderson (Ivoirienne).

Forwards: Chin Chum, Teab Vathanak,  Barry Lelouma (Guinea), Meak Chodaravout.

Home United – WDDWL

22/5/14    Geylang International 1-4 Home United

18/5/14    Home United 2-2 Tampines Rovers

7/5/14      Courts Young Lions 1-1 Home United

2/5/14      Warriors FC 1-4 Home United

27/4/14    Albirex Niigata (S) 4-2 Home United

NagaCorp FC – LDWDW

18/5/14    NagaCorp FC 1-2 National Defense Ministry FC

11/5/14    NagaCorp FC 1-1 Asia Europe University

3/5/14      NagaCorp FC 5-0 Western University FC

26/4/14    NagaCorp FC 1-1 Phnom Penh Crown FC

5/4/14      Svay Rieng FC 0-1 NagaCorp FC