Singapore Premier League • September 18, 2015
Report: Ilso Helps Protectors Extend Unbeaten Run
Written by: Shawn Lim
Home United stretched their unbeaten run in the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League to six games after beating Hougang United 1-0 on Thursday night at Jalan Besar Stadium.
Ken Ilso scored the solitary goal three minutes after the hour mark, winning and converting a penalty for his sixth goal of the campaign.
The win meant that the Protectors remained in sixth place, two points behind fifth-placed Tampines Rovers while the Cheetahs remained in the bottom three of the S.League table.
The Protectors made a bright start, pressing and harrying their opponents throughout the pitch and were almost rewarded with a goal just two minutes into the game.
Imran Sahib’s cut-back from the right flank found Song Uiyong on the edge of the 18-yard box, but the South Korean fired just over the top of the goalpost.
Hougang gradually got more of a foothold in the game and had multiple chances to break the deadlock in a spell of six minutes after some brilliant work by Vuk Sotirovic.
In the sixth minute, Sotirovic surged down the right at full tilt and delivered a cross beyond the far post into the path of an unmarked Nurhilmi Jasni.
However, the Cheetahs’ captain could only flick a tame header straight into the grateful arms of Home custodian Shahril Jantan
When Home failed to clear their lines two minutes later, Sotirovic unleashed a 30-yard piledriver that went just beyond the left post after spotting Shahril a couple of yards off his line.
Shahril then had to get down well at his near post to punch away Sotirovic’s ferocious free-kick that looked destined for the bottom right corner in the 13th minute.
Ilso subsequently stung the palms of Hougang custodian Ridhuan Bahrudin with Home’s first shot on target in the 24th minute after exchanging a quick one-two with Song Uiyong.
The energetic Sotirovic almost found the breakthrough for Hougang four minutes before the break when he picked up the ball in the 18-yard box and easily side-stepped the covering Juma’at Jantan.
Despite only having Shahril to beat, the Serbian could only drill a low shot into the side-netting.
The Cheetahs continued where they had left off after the break and had a golden opportunity to open the scoring three minutes after the restart.
Nurhilmi spotted an unmarked Diego Gama at the far post and lobbed a cross for the Brazilian, who fired a fierce half-volley at goal with his first touch but the ball went inches wide of the goal.
The deadlock was finally broken when Nurhilmi fouled Ilso in the 18-yard box and the Dane picked himself up before coolly slotting the resulting penalty past Ridhuan.
Home had a chance to increase their lead in the 73rd minute, but Ramdani sent a curling free-kick straight into the arms of Ridhuan.
The Protectors were then contented to sit back and defend their lead as the frustrated Cheetahs ran out of ideas to find an equaliser.
There was a final opportunity for Home to put the game beyond doubt three minutes from time, but Ridhuan palmed away substitute Stanely Ng’s in-swinging cross before it could reach the lurking Ilso.
Hougang United: Ridhuan Barudin (GK), Delwinder Singh, Kunihiro Yamashita, Lau Meng Meng, Fairoz Hasan (Fareez Farhan 19’) (Taufiq Ghani 84’), Atsushu Shimono, Tengku Mushahdad, Nurhilmi Jasni (C), Carlos Delgado (Fazli Jaffar 72’), Diego Gama, Vuk Sotirovic
Home United: Shahril Jantan (GK), Juma’at Jantan (C), Abdil Qaiyyim, Shahrin Saberin, Ang Zhi Wei, Imran Sahib (Ambroise Begue 54’), Azhar Sairudin (Stanely Ng 78’), Yasir Hanapi, Song Uiyong, Kamel Ramdani, Ken Ilso