Singapore Premier League • September 23, 2018

Hat-trick hero Song leads Home to derby win over Warriors

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The South Korean struck the winner and put his team in pole position to take second place

Song now has 20 goals in all competitions.

SINGAPORE, 23 SEP 2018 – Home United FC edged ahead in the sweepstakes for second spot in the Great Eastern-Hyundai Singapore Premier League (SPL) after coming from behind twice to earn a thrilling 4-3 victory over Warriors FC at the Bishan Stadium on Sunday evening.

Home had taken the lead early on but Warriors came back and took the lead twice at 2-1 and 3-2, only for the hosts to have the last laugh as Song Ui-young completed his treble with the winner.

The victory meant the Protectors displaced Tampines Rovers FC from second place and they will seal that spot by avoiding defeat against Tampines next Saturday in their final game of the season.

Home broke the deadlock 10 minutes into the game. Faritz Hameed played a delightful cross into the box and the South Korean, who had peeled away from Hafiz Sulaiman, thumped his header past Mukundan Maran.

The lead lasted just eight minutes. Brought down by Abdil Qaiyyim as he stretched to reach Emmeric Ong’s delightful cross, Khairul Nizam dispatched the resulting penalty with aplomb for his first league goal in a year.

The game continued to be played at a high tempo and Hafiz Nor dragged a shot from the edge of the area wide in the 29th minute.

Warriors were denied a second goal two minutes later, with Kenji Rusydi pulling off a top save to prevent Sahil Suhaimi’s wicked free-kick from finding the top corner.

From the ensuing corner, Aqhari Abudullah headed off the line to stop Tajeli Salamat’s delivery from creeping in at the near post, before Abdil deflected Sahil’s shot wide.

Tajeli delivered a better corner this time and he picked out Nizam, who beat both Iqram Rifqi and Kenji to nod into an open goal for the lead two minutes before the break.

Nizam could have had a third goal right before half-time after Ong and Ignatius Ang combined to set him up, only for him to fire straight at Kenji.

Warriors started the second half the same way they ended the first and Sahil thrashed his shot wide after picking Aqhari’s pocket outside the box.

It was Home who would score next though. A mistake from Hafiz Sulaiman gave Shahril Ishak the ball on the right and the veteran turned his marker before smartly picked out an unmarked Song at the far post for a tap in on 50 minutes.

Home kept up the pressure on the Warriors defence, with Fazli Ayob getting three shots away in quick succession, which were all blocked by a man in blue.

The end to end action saw Warriors surge ahead once more in the 71st minute through Ang, who somehow controlled Ammirul Emmran’s pass despite losing his balance before curling a shot into the bottom corner.

Just two minutes later, Home pegged Warriors back as they were allowed another free header, this time for Faritz as he headed in Fazli’s corner.

It got better in the 81st minute when Shahril was bundled over by Ong in the box, leaving Song to blast in the spot-kick for his 10th league goal and 20th in all competitions.

A blotched counter from Home late on in injury time gave Warriors one last opportunity as Nizam knocked down a floated ball in the area, sparking a goalmouth scramble that ending with Abdil making a vital clearance mere inches from goal.

Warriors goalkeeper Mukundan went up for the corner, but Shamil Sharif disappointingly curled it out of play for the final piece of action as Home sealed a breathless derby victory.

WHAT THEY SAID
Home Head Coach Aidil Sharin: “Afer the first goal, we were a bit relaxed and thought we could win this game easily. It’s normal if you see that their best player (Jonathan Behe) wasn’t playing. This is where we need to focus because Warriors still had 11 good players on the pitch. After they equalised and we were down at half-time, I made changes. The game plan was followed by the players and I am happy for them. We worked very hard in training and it paid off in the second half.

“We can’t think of them (Tampines) because in our next game we are playing Albirex (Niigata FC (S)) in the Singapore Cup semi-final, so we have to focus on that first.

“I believed in my boys despite allowing Warriors to go 3-2 up… I could understand (why) the tempo was up and down in this humid weather – it’s so hot at 5.30pm. But I still believed that once we got Faritz’s goal, the game would go for us.

“Honestly, it’s not easy for Song because of injuries… he was out for a few months but now he’s coming back to his best, but we know that he can deliver more. With his fitness, he’s still not 100 per cent. I’m happy for him to get a hat-trick.”

Warriors Head Coach Mirko Grabovac: “Five crosses, four goals – this is not the first game it has happened. You can see something special upfront from Nizam, Sahil and Iggy. We had a few chances and it was very important for Nizam to get confidence… but he couldn’t get the third goal.

“Against Brunei (DPMM FC), we allowed them to come back. It was the same thing today… very easily, we allowed them to score. We do lots of things in training to defend set-pieces. We told them to concentrate, but most games it’s the same… They (Home) didn’t offer much else as far as I recall.

“Today we lost because we made a lot of mistakes. In football you can’t do that. It was too easy. But I’m actually happy with how the team played today (in attack). Midfielders, they worked very hard. Defence, in the first half it was very good. We haven’t played like that in a long time in that first half. If this team has a good pre-season next year, next year we can have a good season.”

Home: Kenji Rusydi (GK), Abdil Qaiyyim, Aqhari Abdullah, Song Uiyoung (Amy Recha 87′), Faritz Hameed, Iqram Rifqi (Fazli Ayob 53′), Izzdin Shafiq (C), Faizal Roslan, Shahril Ishak, Hafiz Nor (M Anumanthan 53′), Isaka Cernak.
Unused subs: Eko Pradana Putra (GK), Shahrin Saberin, Arshad Shamim, Christopher Van Huizen.

Warriors: Mukundan Maran (GK), Delwinder Singh (Suria Prakash 84′), Kento Fukuda (C), Ammirul Emmran, Emmeric Ong, Sahil Suhaimi, Ignatius Ang, Khairul Nizam, Hafiz Sulaiman (Ismadi Mukhtar 60′), Tajeli Salamat, Ho Wai Loon (Shamil Sharif 77′).
Unused subs: Fashah Iskandar (GK), Daniel Shafiq, Firdaus Kasman, Ruzree Rohzaini.