Singapore Premier League • April 14, 2014

Rams Fall Victim to Resurgent Protectors


Written by: Muhammad Yazid

Home United extended their winning streak to four games in all competitions, including in the AFC Cup, following a comfortable 3-0 win over Woodlands Wellington on Sunday evening.

The Protectors’ victories in the regional competition over Churchill Brothers and New Radiant SC were followed by a 2-1 defeat of Balestier Khalsa, their last game prior to locking horns with the Rams.

Their form has since been maintained, as goals from Ismail Yunos, Izzdin Shafiq and Bruno Castanheira awarded them the three points.

However, it was the hosts who started the game with intent as they created two chances in the first minute with South Korean strike-partners Chang Jo Yoon and Moon Soonho attempting to put their team into the driving seat with shots which went just wide.

From then on, Home started to settle into the game and almost broke the deadlock in the 16th minute when Qiu Li’s deflected free-kick scraped through the side-netting.

The first of the three goals was scored in the 21st minute when a low free-kick by Lee Kwon Woo at the edge of the penalty area was parried away by Woodlands goalkeeper Yazid Yasin into the path of Ismail, who simply tapped it in beyond the hapless custodian.

Lee Lim Saeng’s side was then presented with two back-to-back chances in the 31st minute.

Izzdin’s powerful shot was saved by Yazid before Yasir Hanapi went ahead with an attempt of his own as his lob-shot was pushed over the bar by the 34-year-old goalkeeper.

The men in blue were adamant in making it two before half-time but Woodlands had other ideas as Yazid was up to his task once again to keep out Bruno’s header off a cross from Ismail.

The northern side was hoping for a better second half and they did start it positively, when Fadhil Noh’s shot flew straight into the safe hands of Home United goalkeeper Shahril Jantan.

However, that was one out of the only two chances Woodlands were bestowed with in the second half, with the other coming from Moon late in the game when his low shot from outside the penalty box was kept out by Shahril.

After much waiting, the Protectors extended their lead in the 79th minute with an unexpected but spectacular goal.

Izzdin had looked harmless with the ball at his feet from 30 yards out, but he then took everyone by surprise by volleying a shot which flew straight into the top corner of the net.

Home were still not contented with the two-goal lead and scored one more for an icing on the cake just before the end of regulation time.

Bruno had the penalty area all to himself as the Woodlands defence were all at sea, and he proceeded to slide the ball past Yazid into the bottom corner.