Singapore Premier League • June 17, 2018
Substitutes make breakthrough for Home in success over Geylang
Half-time substitutes Iqram Rifqi and Amy Recha changed the game as the Protectors won 2-0
Abdil Qaiyyim of Home United FC and Yuki Ichikawa of Geylang International do battle.
SINGAPORE, 17 JUNE 2018 – Goals from Amy Recha and Shahril Ishak saw Home United FC claim a comfortable 2-0 Great Eastern-Hyundai Singapore Premier League (SPL) victory over Geylang International FC at Bishan Stadium on Sunday night.
Amy came off the bench to net early in the second half, before Shahril netted on the stroke of full time to help the Protectors climbed to third in the SPL table with 17 points from 11 games.
Meanwhile, Geylang dropped to eighth with 11 points from 13 outings.
With the game being played on the third day of Hari Raya, both sides took some time to get into their rhythm with the first real chance coming on 26 minutes.
Shahril did well under pressure to tee up Izzdin Shafiq, but the Home United Captain failed to keep his shot down from the edge of the box.
Geylang did carve out a good opening nine minutes later, but Shawal Anuar could only nod wide from Darren Teh’s teasing cross from the right.
After a lacklustre first half, Home Head Coach Aidil Sharin reacted by replacing Suhairi Sabri and Arshad Shamim with Amy and Iqram Rifqi at the break.
One substitution reaped dividends after just three minutes. When Geylang goalkeeper Zainol Gulam failed to deal with Hafiz Nor’s right-wing cross properly, Amy was alive at the far post to nod in despite Teh’s best efforts to keep the leather out.
Zainol then redeemed himself with a number of good saves – tipping away a couple of free kicks from Izzdin and Shahril, while repelling another powerful shot from Shahril.
Jufri Taha could also count himself lucky not to net an own goal on 65 minutes, with his attempted clearance coming off the angle of post and bar.
Needing just a goal to restore parity, Shawal Anuar and company found the going tough against the superb Home centre-back partnership of Shakir Hamzah and Abdil Qaiyyim in the final 20 minutes.
Home would eventually seal the three points in the final minute of regulation time, with Shahril tapping home after Zainol had pulled off a superb reflex save to deny Iqram from point-blank range.
Home will take confidence from this result as they face Young Lions at the National Stadium next Saturday, while Geylang have to regroup before hosting runaway leaders Albirex Niigata (S) 24 hours later.
WHAT THEY SAID
Home Head Coach Aidil Sharin: “I’m happy that we finally got our first clean sheet after 11 games and we did it with an all-local first eleven. Song (Ui-young) had a groin injury and we don’t want to risk him. We have to give credit to our core players like Shakir, Aqhari (Abdullah), Anu (M. Anumanthan) and Izzdin who are consistently performing. I’m also happy for Amy; after many games which he has not featured, he shows that he really wants to be there to work hard.
“It’s not going to be easy next week against Young Lions because they’re getting stronger. Most of the clubs want to beat (us as we are) the (AFC Cup) Zonal Finalists… We need to be consistent – not just performing in the big games, but also do it against smaller clubs like Balestier (Khalsa FC) and Geylang.”
Geylang Head Coach Hirotaka Usui: “I respect Home. They have good players… Our team’s performance was better than against (Brunei) DPMM (FC); my priority was to get a result today so my players showed hard work and discipline. But the first goal was the same mistake as last week – a cross from the right and a header. We couldn’t give opponents any danger also. Cross – cannot, close control – also cannot.
“We need more confidence… Against Albirex next week, it’ll be difficult but I don’t want to lose to a Japanese team because I’m Japanese.”
Home: Rudy Khairullah (GK), Aqhari Abdullah, Abdil Qaiyyim, Shakir Hamzah, Faizal Roslan, M. Anumanthan, Izzdin Shafiq (C), Suhairi Sabri (Amy Recha 46’), Hafiz Nor (Amiruldin Asraf 83’), Shahril Ishak, Arshad Shamim (Iqram Rifqi 46’).
Unused subs: Eko Pradana Putra (GK), Shahrin Saberin, Song Ui-young, Christopher Van Huizen.
Geylang: Zainol Gulam (GK), Darren Teh, Jufri Taha, Danish Irfan, Ryan Syaffiq (Zulfadli Zainal Abidin 54’), Yuki Ichikawa (C), Fuad Ramli (Yeo Hai Ngee 83’), Ryson Yap (Sadiq Abdul Rahim 66’), Fumiya Kogure, Shawal Anuar, Fairoz Hasan.
Unused subs: Basil Musharraf Chan (GK), Umar Akhbar, Azhar Sairudin, Ahmad Zaki.
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