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  • April 15, 2013
  • • 19:30
  • • Bishan Stadium, Singapore
  • Referee: A. A'Qashah

Warriors denied late winner in feisty clash with Protectors

Warriors denied late winner in feisty clash with Protectors

Sam Chow

Tatsuro Inui's strike one minute from time was ruled offside, as both uniformed rivals battled it out but failed to get the better of the other in the derby

By Teng Kiat

It was the first Uniform Derby of the 2013 S.League season and it was a keenly-contested one, but Home United and Warriors FC both had to settle for a 1-1 draw in the end at the Bishan Stadium on Monday night.

The visitors saw a late goal disallowed in controversial circumstances, after Masrezwan Masturi had cancelled out Ruzaini Zainal's goal in the first half.

With livewire attacker Jordan Webb suspended and both Firdaus Idros and Juma’at Jantan not fully fit, Protectors coach Lee Lim Saeng was forced to reshuffle his starting lineup and named only five substitutes.

Left-back Sirina Camara, deployed at centreback alongside Noh Rahman, displayed his lack of positional awareness in the 10th minute as he allowed a long ball to bounce in the box. Goalkeeper Shahril Jantan had to make the punch and the ball fell to Shimpei Sakurada, whose grounder was deflected behind.

Warriors custodian Hassan Sunny didn’t have to wait long to get a touch of the ball, as he did well to tip over a Lee Kwan Woo freekick from the left in the 18th minute.

Home looked to be settling into the game, but they fell behind somewhat against the run of play seven minutes later.

Cutting in from the right, Ruzaini unleashed a left-footed effort from 25 yards that took a deflection to loop over Shahril and into the far corner of the goal.

The next goal of the game came from a moment of quality though. Charging up-field from his right-back position, Masrezwan breezed past a couple of challenges to play a one-two with Lee before clipping the ball over Hassan from a tight angle to make it 1-1.

A last-ditch block from Marin Vidosevic then denied Lee after he had cut in from the right to pull the trigger, before Hassan got down well to save a similar effort from the midfielder a minute later.

The Korean was beginning to dictate Home’s attacks as he played Indra Sahdan through with a no-look pass two minutes after the restart, but the striker hesitated to shoot and the chance was gone.

Tatsuro Inui belted a freekick from the edge of the area inches past Shahril’s far post in the 53rd minute, before Masato Fukui failed to turn the ball in from close range after Masrezwan had flicked on a Lee corner at the near post.

Shahril next did superbly to deny Ruzaini a second at the far post as the action flowed from end to end, with counterpart Hassan doing equally well to claw away Fukui’s attempted dink from an acute angle.

Home’s efforts to find a winner were hampered when Indra was forced off with what looked like an ankle injury with 10 minutes left, and it was their opponents who thought they had won it late on.

Inui’s 25-yard strike nestled into the corner of Shahril’s net in the 89th minute, but it was ruled out as the ball had taken a nick off the offside Sufian Anuar on its way.

An apoplectic V. Selvaraj strode over from the Warriors bench and raged at assistant referee Tang Yew Mun, but the decision stood as the two teams went away with a point each at the final whistle.