Match Of The Week

Football: Home United's defence the worry

Song Ui Young being greeted by team-mate Azhar Sairudin after the South Korean midfielder scored Home United's first goal in the 20th minute.
Song Ui Young being greeted by team-mate Azhar Sairudin after the South Korean midfielder scored Home United's first goal in the 20th minute.PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

Lapses allow Warriors back into game, and concerned coach Aw hopes to cut them out

Although they have been praised for their attractive attacking football, Home United's careless defending almost cost them a valuable victory yesterday evening.

This time though, the Protectors escaped as they edged out Warriors FC 2-1 at the Jalan Besar Stadium to leapfrog their opponents to fifth in the nine-team standings.

The 2,308 fans witnessed a hotly-contested first half with fierce tackles from both teams.

It did not take long for Home to get on the scoresheet. Latching on to a pass from Azhar Sairudin, Danish forward Ken Ilso squared a low ball for Korean midfielder Song Ui Young to score in the 20th minute.

But that work was undone in the 63rd minute, when miscommunication between defender Sirina Camara and Home custodian Hyrulnizam Juma'at allowed Warriors striker Jonathan Behe to intercept and tap into an empty net.

Home coach Phillipe Aw admitted his side's frequent lapses in concentration, saying: "We conceded another easy goal. It has always been like this.

"It's difficult for the players' morale when you're playing well and out of nothing, you concede.

"If you get outplayed, if the opponent scores a good goal, that's fine. But the equaliser came from our mistake. The Warriors came at us (after equalising) and piled on the pressure."

But Ilso rescued his side with five minutes left. After playing Camara down the left flank, the Dane guided in the resulting cross to net his fifth goal of the campaign.

Warriors coach Jorg Steinebrunner lamented after the defeat: "It was a game we should not have lost, just like against Hougang last week. We played well and defended well.

"The match was more or less even. Home might have had more chances but we should have at least come away with a draw."

In last night's other match, Albirex Niigata opened up a three-point gap at the top after beating Brunei DPMM 2-1 in Bandar Seri Begawan. Azwan Ali gave the defending champions the lead in the 57th minute but a brace from Atsushi Kawata (72nd and penalty in the 87th) sealed victory .

The White Swans now lead the standings on 20 points after nine games, three ahead of Tampines Rovers, who have a game in hand.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 23, 2016, with the headline 'Home's defence the worry'. Print Edition | Subscribe