Singapore Premier League • October 18, 2014

Warriors Edge Home In Five-Goal Thriller


Written by: Phoon Jia Hui

Warriors FC moved to top of the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League standings after overcoming Home United 3-2 at Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday evening.

A brace from Nicholas Velez and a strike from Miroslav Pejic had given Warriors a three-goal cushion, but goals from Song Inyoung and substitute Fazli Ayob in the closing stages set up a nervy finish to the game.

Alex Weaver’s side now have 47 points, one more than DPMM and Warriors can go four points clear if they beat Tampines Rovers on Thursday as DPMM only play their next league game against Balestier Khalsa next Saturday.

The game got off to a bright start for Warriors as they opened the scoring after just four minutes.

Shi Jiayi hit a delicate lobbed pass over the top and Velez ghosted in unmarked between Song and Kwon Dakyung to side-foot a first-time volley past Shahril Jantan.

The Protectors tried to muster a reply after falling behind and they had a golden opportunity to do so on 18 minutes, but Bruno Castanheira blasted well over from inside the penalty area.

Velez and Home’s Noh Rahman then came close in the 24th and 29th minute before Indra Sahdan drilled a low shot just wide on the edge of the 18-yard box.

However, Pejic would double the lead for the designated visitors five minutes before the break with an individual effort.

Picking up the ball from the halfway line, the Croatian skipped past two challenges before finishing it low into Shahril’s bottom corner for 2-0.

Home came out of the break eager to haul themselves back into the game and nearly reduced the deficit but an unmarked Indra contrived to poke wide from six yards out with the Warriors defence heaving a sigh of relief.

It was a miss which came to haunt the Protectors as Velez grabbed his second of the evening on the hour mark with the Argentine combining well with Shi again.

Shi did well to slip the Argentine through and Velez raced through on goal before rounding an onrushing Shahril to tap into an unguarded net for his 21st this season.

Despite trailing by three goals, Lee Lim Saeng’s charges refused to throw in the towel and they pulled one back in the 72nd minute when Song stabbed home the loose ball after Hassan Sunny dropped a Juma’at Jantan cross.

With just three minutes of regulation time remaining, Fazli then capitalised on a defensive lapse to smash home a shot beyond Hassan for 3-2.

However, it was a case of too little, too late for Home who see their title hopes slowly fading away with just two matches remaining.