News • October 1, 2016
Protectors Keep AFC Cup Hopes Alive After Thrashing Young Lions
Written by: Nevin Gabriel Khoo
Home United’s hopes of qualifying for the 2017 AFC Cup were given a huge boost after handing Garena Young Lions a 5-2 thrashing in their Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League tie at Bishan Stadium on Friday night.
The Young Lions started brightly and fashioned several chances, with the best falling to Ryan Syaffiq, as early as the seventh minute. Seeing Protectors’ custodian Eko Pradana off his line, Ryan tried to chip the keeper with a lobbed shot, but Eko managed to claw the ball out for a corner.
The Protectors recovered from their slow start and were fortunate to take the lead against the run of play in the 26th minute. A goalmouth scramble allowed Haziq Azman to smash home the loose ball from close range.
Despite going behind, Hesse’s charges showed unwavering spirit and their efforts were rewarded in the 37th minute. A reversal of fortunes saw Shafeeq Faruk pick up a loose ball in the box and he thundered home a well-deserved equaliser.
With both sides desperate to head into the break with a lead, the young away team’s lack of experience saw them concede just before the break, a trait that has been the hallmark of Patrick Hesse’s young side in their past few matches.
Home United’s top scorer Ken Ilso made no mistake from the spot by wrong footing Fashah to give the Protector’s the lead going into the break.
The second-half saw the Young Lions display their lack of experience again in the 59th minute.
With Eko stranded far from his goal, Adam Swandi had a golden opportunity to pull one back with the goalmouth at his mercy but instead of a simple tap-in, Adam went for the spectacular scissors which went horribly wide.
The Protectors then extended their lead with some simple incisive passing. A Faris Ramli cut-back to captain Juma’at Jantan created just enough space for him to place the ball beyond Fashah for goal number three in the 64th minute.
With a two-goal cushion, it seemed that the Protectors would see out their victory comfortably but a 25-yard scorcher from Hami Syahin pulled the Young Lions back into the game to make the score 3-2 in the 70th minute.
The away team nearly had a chance to equalise five minutes later as Eko brought down Khairul Amri in the box, but referee W. Ravisanthiran waved away claims for a penalty.
As the Young Lions tried to force the equalizer, it was game, set and match in the 84th minute as Faris Ramli capped a brilliant outing with a unstoppable goal from just outside the box.
There was still time for the young midfielder to claim a brace in the dying minutes of the game as a cross-field ball from Sirina Camera found Faris unmarked in the box and he calmly slotted home his second of the night to give Home United a comfortable 5-2 win.
Home United coach Aidil Shahrin: “At the moment I am not really thinking about that (AFC Cup) because in every game for me, winning the 3 points is important.
“It is only by winning the three points that we can see whether we deserve to be in the AFC. If we do not win the three points then there is no point talking about it.”
“My plan was to press them because they are young players even though they are good players. Young players do not easily cope with the pressure so by putting high pressure on them, that would help us and like I said we have to capitalise on their mistakes.”
Garena Young Lions coach Patrick Hesse: “I am disappointed because now we are at the end of the season and game after game we are making the same mistakes.
“We know that the 5 minutes before half time are very important but every time we get the ball back we give it away. We have now conceded about 10 to 12 goals just before half-time.”
“Last week it was the same. We were down 4-0 at half time and 15 mins after the second half it was 4-3. After that we had 4-5 chances to score where we only needed to kick the ball into the net to score. Today it was the same, we must have the killer instinct.”
Home United: Eko Pradana (GK), Song Uiyoung, Juma’at Jantan (C), Aqhari Abdullah, Azhar Sairuddin (Mahathir Azeman 65’), Ken Ilso (Khairul Nizam 20), Faris Ramili, Sirina Camara, Haziq Azman, Shamil Sharif (Irfan Fandi 54’), Sufianto Salleh
Garena Young Lions: Fashah Iskandar (GK), Amirul Adli (Dhukhilan Jeevamani 83’), Tajeli Salamat, Christopher Van Huizen, Adam Swandi (Hami Syahin 67’), Khairul Amri (C), Firdaus Kasman, Shafeeq Faruk (Fareez Farhan 71’), Ryan Syaffiq, Faizal Roslan, Muhd Syahrul Sazali