Defender Kento Fukuda popped up with a 90th-minute winner as Albirex Niigata came back from a goal down to inflict a cruel defeat on Home United
ALbirex came into the match high on confidence after grabbing all three points against Harimau Muda last week, while Home were searching for a win after their goalless draw against Brunei DPMM.
The Protectors’ first chance at goal came from a corner taken by midfielder Jordan Webb, as Firdaus Idros sent his effort straight into the arms of Albirex goalkeeper Hiroaki Hara.
Masrezwan Masturi then shockingly shanked wide with the goal at his mercy, after Hara could only parry Firdaus’s shot from a tight angle back into the six-yard box.
Webb was next denied by Hara after he raced clear to face the goalkeeper one-on-one, before midfielder Hafiz Rahim hit a stunning effort from 30 yards that dipped onto the crossbar with Hara beaten all ends up.
The first half saw Home dominate much of the possession as the White Swans’
defence looked to be all over the place, but sloppy finishing from the Home frontline meant that they failed to capitalize on their chances.
Home coach Lee Lim Saeng’s half -time substitution paid off in the 65th minute, when former Singapore striker Indra Sahdan timed his late run perfectly to meet Masrezwan Masturi’s cross and plant a firm header past Hara.
However, it only took Albirex four minutes to hit back. Masatake Sato found Kento Nagasaki on the edge of the box with an incisive pass, and the midfielder hit a beautiful strike that arced into the top corner past Home custodian Jang Hong Won.
With just under 20 minutes to go, both teams then seemed to raise the tempo of the game in search of all three points.
Hara had to be alert to push Webb’s low shot wide after the Canadian had exchanged passes with Indra, before Bruno Castanheira fired inches wide at the other end.
Just when the Jalan Besar crowd thought a draw was on the cards, Castanheira then dinked the rebound back into the Home box after Jang had saved his header in the 90th minute, where defender Kento Fukuda was on hand to smash in a dramatic winning goal.
The last-gasp victory is Albirex’s second win on the trot, while Home are still searching for their first triumph of the season. The Protectors next entertain Woodlands Wellington at Bishan Stadium, as Albirex Nigata attempt to extend their unbeaten run against Hougang United at Jalan Besar Stadium.