Home United 3
Warriors FC 0
The man may be gone but former Home United coach Philippe Aw's brand of attacking football was still on display yesterday at Bishan Stadium when the Protectors beat the Warriors 3-0 as the S-League campaign resumed after a one-month break.
Goals from Ken Ilso (37th and 90th) and Song Ui Young (65th) sealed the victory as Aidil Sharin began his reign at Home with three points that moved the Protectors move up to third (25 points) in the nine-team table while the Warriors remain in seventh place (18).
Aidil paid tribute to Aw, who was redeployed as the club's head of youth development and performance management last Saturday, for laying the foundations, saying: "You can't change a lot of things in a very short period of time - I've only had three days to prepare the team but the players helped out and did their part.
"On the field, they didn't worry about what was going on outside and played proper football so there's not much change.
"The only change is that we're scoring more now and also we didn't concede.
"Philippe has done well for the past year and the last (few months of the) season, so some of the credit must go to him."
In a display that would have pleased attack-minded Aw, Home dominated possession and had more scoring chances.
In midfield, playmaker Azhar Sairudin was busy distributing pinpoint passes for strikers Ilso and Khairul Nizam - outshining opposite number Nikola Rak, who posed a minimal threat.
While Warriors goalkeeper Yazid Yasin was in good form, the hosts finally broke the deadlock through Ilso. After latching on to Shamil Sharif's lob in the 38th minute, the Danish forward shot past Yazid for his 12th goal this season. Shamil turned provider again in the 64th minute when he cut back to Song, who tapped in easily.
Ilso smashed home Song's cross in the final minute in a satisfying performance for his team.
Aidil said: "They've put in lots of effort... I definitely believe that this is just the starting point for them. They can play better than this to finish the season strong and the top three is still within our reach."
Warriors coach Razif Onn lamented: "We didn't play according to the game plan. We were supposed to stay compact and organised.
"We let Ken Ilso run everywhere and the crosses came in perfectly for him where they capitalised on our weakness from the sides.
"As for ourselves, we had a few chances but if you don't take your chances, this is the kind of result you'll get."
In yesterday's other fixture, Tampines Rovers stayed in second place on 37 points, one behind leaders Albirex Niigata, after beating Geylang International 2-1 at the Jurong West Stadium.