A much needed win for the Singapore Cup holders sends them back into title contentionHome United FC responded to last week’s unexpected defeat to Tanjong Pagar by overcoming Woodlands Wellington FC 3-1 in a solid performance at the Bishan Stadium.
Frederic Mendy’s hat-trick rounded off a 3-1 win and threw The Protectors back into title contention as they leapfrogged to third on the table, just 5 points off league leaders Brunei DPMM FC.
The first chance of the game fell to the visitors in the 2nd minute when a corner-kick fell beyond the reach of the outstretched arms of Lionel Lewis and was headed towards goal by Hussein Akhil only to be cleared off the line by Nor Azli Yusoff.
The home side responded with an effort of their own three minutes later when John Wilkinson released Mendy with a wonderful through pass but the latter’s disappointing first touch gave goalkeeper Che Omar ample time to scramble the ball away.
The game, which got a bit cagey after the lively initial exchanges, was brought back to life in the 26th minute when the clearance from a corner kick fell to Qiu Li just off the edge of the box. The forwards thumping shot was however acrobatically saved.
Almost immediately, Jia Yi shrugged off his defender to meet a corner kick at the near post but his header rattled off the bar.
Subsequently, a flurry of chances were carved out by both teams which culminated into a goal in the 40th minute when Azil Yusoff waltzed down the right flank and delivered an impeccable cross that steered past the entire Woodlands Wellington’s backline to the far post where Mendy scored his first of the game with the easiest of headers.
Home United were on the ascendancy but just a few minutes later, against the run of play, Moon Soon Ho slipped the ball through to Hussein Ali who lifted the ball over the keeper to level the game just before half-time.
Just two minutes into the second-half, a horrible mix-up between goalkeeper Che Omar and Danny Chew at the edge of the box from a seemingly innocuous situation, was exploited by Mendy who passed the ball into an empty net sending the home fans into raptures.
The visitors were chasing shadows for large parts of the second-half and chances were few and far between, most noteworthy of those being a shot by Moon that was saved in the 74th minute.
The Protectors held possession well and were seeking a third goal to put the game to bed and were duly rewarded in the 11 minutes from the end.
Mendy received the ball from Qiu Li in the in the penalty box and feigned a shot with his right foot only to cut back onto his left and slid the ball past the hapless keeper to seal a decisive victory.