SINGAPORE PREMIER LEAGUE
Home United 3
Brunei DPMM 1
It was not quite the 12-goal feast that played out when the two sides met in the corresponding fixture last season.
But Home United coach Aidil Sharin still had plenty of reasons to smile, as his side ran out 3-1 winners over Brunei DPMM in the Singapore Premier League (SPL) at the Bishan Stadium last night.
The 40-year-old coach praised his side's all-round display, which helped them snap a three-match winless run.
"Every one of the boys worked very, very hard tonight," he said.
"They have to believe they can beat any team in the SPL, because they have the ability to.
"Tonight, we did not depend on just one or two players, almost the whole team did very well."
Indeed, Home's less-heralded names played a big part in last night's victory. Home skipper Izzdin Shafiq, for example, dictated play from the centre of midfield, and had a hand in two goals.
In the 10th minute, his cross was only half cleared by DPMM goalkeeper Haimi Nyaring, into the path of defender Shakir Hamzah, who stabbed the ball home from the edge of the area.
DPMM equalised in the 30th minute, when Adi Said curled his shot into Rudy Khairullah's far post, but another pin-point Izzdin delivery helped Home reclaim their lead four minutes later.
After his corner kick was cleared back into his path, Izzdin slung the ball into the box for Song Ui Yong to head home from close range.
Defender Abdil Qaiyyim was another of Home's unsung heroes, making a goal-line block with his gut to deny DPMM striker Volodymyr Priyomov, who had shot past Rudy. Home sealed the win in the 75th minute when substitute Sirina Camara's cross was deflected over Haimi by DPMM defender Brian McLean.
The industry shown by the likes of Izzdin, Abdil and Aqhari Abdullah complemented the tricks and flicks of Home front two Song and Shahril Ishak, and made them good value for the three points.
Aidil said he was particularly pleased with his side's ability to hold their lead, after dropping seven points in their last three SPL games after conceding late goals.
"This time, we did not lose our concentration towards the end," he said. "And we kept attacking, even though they came at us trying to come back."
DPMM coach Rene Weber complained that the scoreline was "not fair at all" and felt Song should have been sent off for a second booking for dissent.
"I don't normally talk about the referee, but today it was so bad for us because the referee killed the game," said the Brazilian. "He needs to be fair. If it is a yellow card, he should give a yellow card."