News • July 24, 2017

Shahril Rallies Troops To Rekindle Title Challenge


Home United vs Warriors FC

(25 July, Tuesday, 7.30pm, Jalan Besar Stadium)

Written by: Rashid Sulaiman

Warriors FC captain Shahril Ishak is rallying his teammates to bounce back from their The New Paper League Cup disappointment as they resume their Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League campaign against Home United at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Tuesday night.

The nine-time S.League champions’ dream of putting their hands on the League Cup was dashed by Tsubasa Sano who scored the winner for Albirex Niigata (S) in extra-time.

“Of course we want to win the League Cup. Some of us are feeling down after that match but we must look at the positives,” the Singapore national team captain said.

“Our performances were decent and everyone can see we played our hearts out.”

While Warriors came from behind to beat the Protectors 4-3 in a League Cup Group A match earlier this month, Shahril has urged caution ahead of their rematch on Tuesday.

“Every match we will have a different approach to it. We can’t simply say that it is a sure-win as we had beaten them previously but we definitely want the three points,” added the 33-year old.

“Although Home will be focusing on their upcoming AFC ASEAN Zone Final and might rest some of their key players against us, we can’t be complacent about it.

“Our challenge is to fight for the league title. We have to prove that we are worthy of the title challenger tag.”

With goals a worry for the club in mid-season, head coach Razif Onn had replaced Joel Tshimbamba with Andrei-Cosmin Ciolacu who has taken to the S.League like a duck to water.

The Romanian made an impact with the Warriors in the just-concluded League Cup, scoring four goals in the competition, including a hat-trick against Home.

“Andrei blends well with the team. He knows how we play and to link up with him and the rest, it was smooth. He is new and need more time,” Shahril said of the former Romania U21 national player.

“Overall, he did well in the League Cup and I am sure he will be eager to showcase more of his scoring abilities in the coming matches. He is a very positive person and he connects well with the players in training and matches.”

While Ciolacu will no doubt be in the starting line-up, Razif will have to tinker with his team selection as both Zulfadli Zainal and Firdaus Kasman are suspended for this tie.

For Protectors’ head coach Aidil Sharin, he will be without Sirina Camara who serves a one-match suspension.

With their AFC Cup ASEAN Zone Final against Philippines outfit Ceres-Negros coming up next Wednesday, Aidil will have a selection headache on his hands as he ponders on whether to put out his best eleven or give the reserves a chance.

Should Aidil decide to rest some of his key players, the former Singapore international can rely on players such as Iqram Rifqi, Luqman Ismail and Khairul Shari, all of whom were given a run-out in the League Cup.

Suspensions: Sirina Camara (Home United); Zulfadli Zainal, Firdaus Kasman (both Warriors FC)

Home United – LWLDL

13/07/17 Home United 0-1 Albirex Niigata (S) (The New Paper League Cup)

10/07/17 Home United 1-1 Hougang United (The New Paper League Cup)

07/07/17 Warriors FC 4-3 Home United (The New Paper League Cup)

03/07/17 Balestier Khalsa 1-2 Home United

30/06/17 Home United 2-3 Hougang United

Warriors FC – WWDWL

21/07/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 1-0 Warriors FC (The New Paper League Cup)

18/07/17 Brunei DPMM 1-5 Warriors FC (The New Paper League Cup)

13/07/17 Hougang United 2-2 Warriors FC (The New Paper League Cup)

07/07/17 Warriors FC 4-3 Home United (The New Paper League Cup)

02/07/17 Warriors FC 1-0 Brunei DPMM

Head to Head (S.League)

22/04/17 Warriors FC 2-2 Home United

04/08/16 Home United 3-0 Warriors FC

22/04/16 Warriors FC 1-2 Home United

14/02/16 Home United 2-2 Warriors FC

21/10/15 Home United 2-1 Warriors FC