Singapore Premier League • May 3, 2014
Sterling Protectors Sinks Warriors
Written by: Khalis Rifhan
Warriors FC lost further pace with Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League leaders Brunei DPMM as they suffered a 4-1 reverse at the hands of Home United at Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday evening.
Indra Sahdan Daud struck twice after half-time to clinch all three points for the Bishan-based club after Hafiz Rahim cancelled out Fazrul Nawaz’s opener in the first-half.
Bruno Castanheira then put the icing on the cake in second-half stoppage time to cap off an impressive performance from Home.
Looking to return to winning ways after a heavy defeat to Albirex Niigata (S) a week ago, Home coach Lee Lim Saeng played all his cards early on as he deployed all his attacking options from the start.
Leading the way for the Protectors was Fazrul Nawaz and Indra, with Bruno Castanheira and Qiu Li flanking the duo. The bold move paid dividends as it saw them dominate the match and keep the Warriors’ defence busy.
It was a similar line-up for Alex Weaver’s team, with the club’s top scorers Miroslav Pejic and Nicholas Velez spearheading the attack.
Buoyed by the boisterous support from the stands, both sides created chances in the opening stages of the first-half.
Precious Emuejeraye found himself in the six-yard box but his half-volley went awfully wrong in the fifth minute and Qiu Li’s shot flew inches above the bar minutes later.
It was Warriors’ turn to pile the pressure on their opponents but Hafiz Rahim’s audacious lob was tipped over the bar by Home custodian Shahril Jantan.
The fans did not have to wait long for a goal as they then scored two in the space of eight minutes.
From a cross by Yasir Hanapi, the ball fell nicely for Fazrul who was left unmarked yards from goal and the latter tapped home past a hapless Hassan Sunny in the 12th minute.
But their joys were short-lived as Hafiz leveled things in the 20th minute when he cheekily backheeled the ball off the post following skipper Daniel Bennett’s low cross to the near post for his second goal of the campaign.
The Protectors started the second-half strongly but were left frustrated by the brilliance of Hassan who repelled every ball that came his way.
Shortly before the hour mark, Fazrul unleashed an unstoppable shot which Hassan was equal to and the 30-year-old goalkeeper was called into action again to save Castanheira’s volley from point-blank range before denying Precious’ long-range effort moments later.
However, Hassan was finally beaten midway through the second-half when ex-Singapore international Indra sent a beautiful curler into the bottom corner in the 71st minute to put Home in front again.
The game was done and dusted six minutes later as Indra snatched his second of the night, poking home after Sirina Camara squared the ball into the penalty area.
The misery was not over for Weaver’s charges though as Home were still hungry for more, and duly got a fourth through Castanheira in the 90th minute when the Japanese forward poked home the rebound after Fazrul’s effort was saved by Hassan.
With the result, Home leapfrogged Albirex Niigata (S) to fourth place on 19 points while Warriors remain in second spot, five points behind DPMM.