SINGAPORE - Despite qualifying for the AFC Cup Asean zonal finals midweek, Home United continue to struggle in the Singapore Premier League (SPL) as they conceded two late goals to lose 2-1 to Balestier Khalsa at the National Stadium on Saturday (May 19) night.
Hafiz Nor, who replaced Shahril Ishak in the Protectors' starting XI, repaid coach Aidil Sharin's faith when he confidently slotted in Song Ui Yong's pass in the ninth minute.
Balestier goalkeeper Zaiful Nizam's heroics kept them in the game and Vedran Mesec equalised in the 87th minute with a shot from the edge of the area into the bottom corner.
One minute into added time, Tigers midfielder Huzaifah Aziz delightful squirmed away from two markers at the corner flag and scored the winner from a tight angle.
Both teams were reduced late into the match when Home's M. Anumanthan and Balestier's Nurullah Hussein received their second yellow cards just before the final whistle.
The three points lifted Balestier Khalsa to second place in the nine-team SPL with 13 points from nine games, 11 behind leaders Albirex Niigata, who have a perfect 24 points from eight games.
Meanwhile, Home slipped to sixth with eight points from seven games as Young Lions continue to surprise.
The developmental side led by national coach Fandi Ahmad also came from behind in last night's other SPL match to beat Hougang United 2-1 at Hougang Stadium.
Ikhsan Fandi scored his first SPL goal in the 58th minute before Naufal Azman headed in a 79th-minute winner to overturn Fabian Kwok's 49th-minute opener.
The Young Lions rise to fifth with 10 points from six games, while win-less Hougang remain bottom with three points from eight games.