Home United 2
Warriors FC 2
Despite dominating their S-League opening match and going ahead twice, a stoppage-time goal by Warriors FC's Fazli Jaffar forced Home United to settle for a 2-2 draw at the Bishan Stadium last night.
But Home coach Philippe Aw chose to remain optimistic. "We're all disappointed (that) we threw away two points. Chances were created but not finished," he said. "But if we continue to play this same brand of football and give away less goals, we will bounce back."
In fact, so faithful is he to his philosophy that he made the bold move of sending on two teenagers - Irfan Fandi, 18, (65th minute) and his brother Ikhsan, 16 (82nd), the two oldest sons of local football icon Fandi Ahmad - even with the score tied at 1-1.
"Ikhsan didn't look awed at all. Both of them are physically strong to cope with the challenge," said Aw, who is well known for giving young local talent a chance. "We want to groom these two boys for the future of Singapore football."
Said the 1.88m-tall Irfan, who was greeted with warm applause by the 1,756-strong crowd when he came on: "This experience and the team are still rather new to me, but I think I played well. We had the game (in our hands) today, but in the end it wasn't quite our day."
Goals by Khairul Nizam (17th) and Sirina Camara (82nd) were cancelled out by Jonathan Behe (35th, penalty) and Fazli's last-gasp equaliser. Warriors had Madhu Mohana sent off in the 88th minute.
In the night's other match, Garena Young Lions beat Balestier Khalsa 1-0 at Jalan Besar Stadium.