News • June 14, 2016

Protectors Struggle To Earn A Point Against Young Lions


Written By: Aden Tan

Garena Young Lions proved to be formidable opponents after holding Home United to a 2-2 draw at Jalan Besar Stadium on Saturday night, bring the Protectors’ five-game winning run to a screeching halt.

The Protectors started the game with a couple of decent chances, but committed a slew of uncharacteristic errors to allow the Young Lions to take the lead and dominate for the rest of the match.

The first error from Home came in the 14th minute when the Young Lions pressured Ken Ilso into committing a poor backpass, resulting in a shot from Khairul Amri that was blocked by Abdil Qaiyyim.

The visitors were eventually punished when Abdil gave away possession cheaply at the byline to allow Firdaus Kasman to loft a beautiful cross for Amri, who connected brilliantly with a first-time volley to give Young Lions a well-deserved lead.

The Protectors were let down by poor finishing and lacklustre passing as they tried to chase an equaliser, with Ilso failing to connect with a tempting Sirina Camara’s cross at the far post.

Looking to gain a foothold in the game, Home brought on Faris Ramli at the start of the second-half to increase their attacking options upfront, but were let down by poor defending once again.

After Amri had sent in a cross at the byline, Camara’s lacklustre clearance fell to Firdaus and the Young Lions fired past Zulfairuz Rudy from eight yards out to double the hosts’ lead.

The Bishan-based outfit however, pulled a goal back through Khairul Nizam in the 51th minute when the striker ran on to Azhar Sairudin’s defence-splitting pass and shot the ball through the legs of Young Lions custodian Benjamin Bertrand.

The Protectors were lucky not to concede a third goal in the 71st minute when Redzwan Atan gave the ball away to Hazim Faiz and the latter crossed for Muhaimin Suhaimi, but the substitute’s effort was saved by Zulfairuz.

The comeback was completed for the visitors when Bertrand punched Azhar’s cross into the path of Ilso and the Dane made no mistake from six-yards out.


Garena Young Lions coach Patrick Hesse: “I prefer to win. When you take a goal in extra time, you are never satisfied but it was a good game. We showed that we have progressed in the last month by being undefeated in the last four games.

“I am sure we can do better in the final third, with our last shot, our last pass. Perhaps if we play this game in a month, we might win.

“When we first started [ a few months ago ], we played frantically, now we play with much better possession of the game, we have gained rhythm. Khairul Amri is a very important and experienced player for us and he has shown it today.”

Home United coach Philippe Aw: “The [international] break did not help us. We were not good enough. It was a lousy performance for us and we did not make it easy for ourselves by conceding easy goals.

“We started to misplace our passes and we were eventually punished after our first few mistakes. Once they go one up, they were more confident to defend their lead.

“For me, this is definitely two points dropped. We were expected to win this game. Based on this performance, we were lucky to get a draw. We have to give them credit, they defended well and they are undefeated in three games.”

Garena Young Lions: Benjamin Bertrand (GK), Amirul Adli, Zaki Samsudin, Rusyaid Salimei, Taufiq Muqminin, Joshua Bernard Pereira, Ammirul Emmran, Firdaus Kasman, Hami Syahin (Muhaimin Suhaimi 64’), Hazim Faiz (Fareez Farhan 79’), Khairul Amri (C) (Adam Swandi 84’)

Home United: Zulfairuz Rudy (GK), Redzwan Atan (Amir Zalaini 74’), Song Uiyoung, Abdil Qaiyyim, Azhar Sairudin, Ken Ilso, Shahrin Saberin, Sirina Camara, Khairul Nizam (Syahiran Miswan 65’), Zulfahmi Arifin (Faris Ramli 46′), Shamil Sharif