News • August 16, 2017

RHB Singapore Cup 2017: Protectors Down Wasps To Secure Semis Berth


Written by: Nevin Gabriel Khoo

Home United defeated Brunei DPMM 3-1 in the RHB Singapore Cup 2017 quarter-final second leg tie at Bishan Stadium on Wednesday night to advance to the semi-finals with a 6-2 aggregate win.

Despite holding a two-goal advantage over the Wasps from the first leg, Home did not rest on their laurels and were strong off the blocks in the first half. Scoring a brace in the first leg, Faris Ramli was again the key tormenter in the opening 10 minutes of the game.

The nippy winger played in Stipe Plazibat but the Croatian could not finish the move with Awangku Mu’izzuddin coming off his line to deflect the shot in the fifth minute.

Faris fashioned a similar chance just three minutes later. This time it was Song Uiyoung who was on the receiving end of another slick through ball. The South Korean midfielder could do no better, firing a tame shot which was collected by Mu’izzuddin.

The home team continued pressuring the Wasps and were nearly rewarded in the 13th minute. Winger Christopher van Huizen cut in from the right flank and unleashed a venomous shot which rattled the bar.

However, that proved to be one of his last contributions for the night as he was replaced in the 34th minute.

With nothing to lose, DPMM pressed hard in search of a way back into the quarter final tie and were duly rewarded in the 48th minute.

The usually dependable Song was robbed of possession in the final third by Helmi Zambin. The defender then calmly slotted the ball between the legs of Singapore custodian Hassan Sunny to reduce the aggregate to 3-2.

The away team had a chance to go level on aggregate in the 55th minute when Abdul Mu’iz Sisa found himself one-on-one with Hassan but his shot was feeble.

Sensing that the Wasps were gaining momentum, Protectors head coach Aidil Sharin sent on young Iqram Rifqi for Song in the 63rd minute with the hopes that more pace up front would pin the away team back in their half.

His tactical switch paid off as the youngster had an immediate impact on the game. Bursting down the left flank, Iqram squared the ball for Faris to equalize.

The youngster nearly got on the scoresheet himself a minute later but a point blank save by Mu’izzuddin yet again kept the scoreline equal.

The young winger turned scorer in the 84th minute however, as he tapped home from close range.

There was still time for a Juma’at Jantan goal in stoppage time, making it two goals in as many games for the veteran defender to seal the Protectors’ passage into the last four of the Singapore Cup.

Home United Head Coach Aidil Sharin: “We knew DPMM have a lot injuries and they are going to be fatigued so we kept our ace for the last 15 minutes. Iqram came in with a lot of energy and with his talent, that is where the game changed.”

“You can see when he came in, within two minutes, he assisted one. So this is where the team was boosted after being 1 goal down. We are going to have a different approach against Albirex because they are not a long ball team like DPMM so what we are going to do is make sure that everybody is fit and injury free.

“With everyone, I believe that my team can do the job and also because we have done it. Albirex is a good team with have to respect them but you know, we still believe that we can do the job.”

Brunei DPMM Head Coach Steve Kean: “I thought for the first 64 minutes, even though Home United had possession, that was really our plan. We let them come out to the halfway line then try to press and steal the ball to play a little and go for the fast break attack. We got the first goal from it.”

“Then it looked like we were going to get the second goal and then they scored against the run of play. Our reaction was a little negative. We stopped staying tactically tight. The system we were operating today was to make sure that we were man for man with only one of their center backs free. We wanted that center back to come out.

“For 64 minutes we were super tight and I think that they were getting frustrated. I said to the boys, you know if something goes against you which is they score against the run of play, we cannot let that affect our jobs off the ball.

“We still got to stick to the task, pick up your man and stop them from getting a flow and upset their rhythm. We got to keep our concentration and focus, that’s the lesson for us today. If a goal comes against the run of play, don’t let that upset how well we have played.”

Home United: Hassan Sunny (GK, C), Hariss Harun, Juma’at Jantan, Abdil Qaiyyim, Aqhari Abdullah, Song Uiyong (Iqram Rifqi 63’), Faris Ramli, Shamil Sharif (Marijan Suto 78’), Sufianto Salleh, Christopher van Huizen (Izzdin Shafiq 34’), Stipe Plazibat

Brunei DPMM: Awangku Mu’izzuddin (GK), Vincent Salas, Rafael Ramazotti, Hazwan Hamzah, Najib Tarif (Shah Razen Said 77’), Nurikhwan Othman (Hendra Azam 71’), Azwan Saleh (Abdul Mu’iz Sisa 40’), Rosmin Kamis (C), Haizul Rani, Helmi Zambin, Adi Said