SINGAPORE - Home United's Stipe Plazibat produced two goals in the last five minutes to beat Global FC of the Philippines 3-2 (5-4 in aggregate) in the second leg of their Asean zonal AFC Cup semi-final match on Tuesday (May 30) at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
The Croatian forward was quiet throughout the game but turned on the style in the final minutes as he made it 2-2 in the 89th minute before scoring a 94th-minute free-kick to send the S-League side to the Asean zonal final.
Speaking to the media at the post-match press conference, Plazibat said: "I shot very badly five days ago but I felt very good after scoring the equaliser so I decided to take the free-kick… and lucky for me, I scored."
Home United went into the game with momentum, having downed Brunei DPMM in a 9-3 S-League victory at Bishan Stadium last Thursday (May 25). But as the match began, the Protectors looked slow and conceded a penalty in the third minute, which was swiftly put away by Global's Germaine Agustien.
The two-time S-League champions then pushed for a comeback - playing long balls and using the flanks before Home United's Song Ui Young fired a half-volley into the bottom corner in the 36th minute.
But Global FC were more clinical as Shu Sasaki headed in from close range immediately after the break to give them a 2-1 lead.
The pivotal moment of the game came in the 71st minute as Global's Dennis Villanueva was given his marching orders after a rash high-footed tackle on Marijan Suto.
With an extra man and the support of a loud crowd, the Protectors surged forward in search of an equaliser.
Global FC coach Marjo Allado said after the game: "Sometimes we cannot stop the players, they are very aggressive. All I can say is that the players gave everything to win the game."
The crowd began chanting "we want goals" and Home United provided just that as Shamil Sharif's cross was met by Plazibat to level the score at 2-2.
The four minutes of added time and Plazibat's magic was enough for Home United to complete their comeback.
Head coach of Home United Aidil Sharin said: "I am very happy for the team, they didn't come back once, but they did it twice. When they are one man down and you are playing at home, you have to give everything, and we did just that.
"Yes we concede goals, but we scored more goals than we concede so that's all that matters."