News • July 10, 2017

The New Paper League Cup 2017: Home Look To Return To Winning Ways


The New Paper League Cup 2017 (Group A)


Home United vs Hougang United

(10 July, Monday, 7.30pm, Jalan Besar Stadium)

Written by: Phoon Jia Hui

Home United will be looking to bounce back when they take on Hougang United at Jalan Besar Stadium on Monday night, having fallen 4-3 to Warriors FC in their The New Paper Group A opener.

Despite taking the lead, the Protectors found themselves on the losing end as a hat-trick from Romanian forward Andrei-Cosmin Ciolacu and Jordan Webb condemned them to defeat. Stipe Plazibat, Iqram Rifqi and Hariss Harun responded for Aidil Sharin’s side.

While Aidil admitted it was worrying, the Home coach is keen to see how his team come back stronger from this setback.

“Of course, I’m worried about the manner which we conceded the four goals,” the former Singapore international said.

“But I hope the boys learn from this as soon as soon as possible instead of dwelling and blaming each other. It’s good that this is happening now although I’m sure they won’t be too happy with this result as well.

“We now need to recover and look forward to the game against Hougang.”

Forward and top scorer Plazibat was hauled off on the hour mark in their last match and Aidil explained it was a precautionary measure, having seen defender Juma’at Jantan succumb to an ankle injury in the first-half.

“Once Stipe came out, things changed but I had to save him (for upcoming games),” he said.

“Juma’at is doubtful and we need to assess his injury, but we are hoping that it’s nothing serious.

“More importantly, I also wanted to give youngsters like Iqram, (Syed) Firdaus and Khairul (Shari) a chance. That’s our objective and I have to stick to that.”

There is however good news on the injury front for the Bishan-based side, with Aidil revealing that a host of key players are making good progress in their recovery.

“Shamil (Sharif) is back in training but I have to slowly ease him back because he hasn’t had any match practice yet and it’s not good for me to throw him in immediately,” he shared.

“Skipper Hassan (Sunny) could be back, while midfielder Aqhari (Abdullah) has looked good in training and is just waiting for the doctor’s clearance for him to return to action.”

Hougang meanwhile, nicked a point off defending champions Albirex Niigata (S) as they put up a resolute defensive showing to frustrate the Japanese outfit.

It was their fourth match without defeat in all competitions, although they saw their three-match winning streak come to an end.

Nonetheless, Hougang head coach Philippe Aw was pleased with the result.

“It’s important to play against good teams and not get beaten, we got the job done,” said the 39-year-old.

“Albirex came more determined after their loss in the league to us so it wasn’t easy. It’s a cup competition and a tricky group, we do not want to give away three points so easily.”

Home and Hougang met in the Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League slightly over a week ago as the Cheetahs emerged 3-2 victors, with forward Fareez Farhan scoring the winner seven minutes from time to seal an impressive comeback.

Home United – WWLWL

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

23/06/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 0-2 Home United

30/05/17 Home United 3-2 Global Cebu FC (AFC Cup)

Hougang United – LWWWD

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

03/07/17 Hougang United 2-1 Albirex Niigata (S)

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

20/06/17 Hougang United 1-0 Ceres-Negros FC (RHB Singapore Cup)

25/05/17 Hougang United 0-3 Tampines Rovers