thumbnail Hello,
Live

AFC Cup

  • April 9, 2014
  • • 19:30
  • • Jalan Besar Stadium, Singapore
  • Referee: Y. Yamamoto
  • • Attendance: 1348
2
FT
0

Home face New Radiant in do-or-die AFC Cup clash for both

Home face New Radiant in do-or-die AFC Cup clash for both

Teng Kiat / Goal

Defeat for either side will most likely extinguish their hopes of qualifying for the next round, as the hosts seek revenge for their opening-day loss to the same opponents

Ahead of their AFC Cup clash on Wednesday night, the sentiment from both Home United coach Lee Lim Saeng and his New Radiant SC counterpart Simon McMenemy was the same: nothing but victory will do.

The Protectors currently sit third in Group E with four points from as many games, one ahead of their Maldivian opponents. Leaders Persipura Jayapura have secured progression to the next round, while second-placed Churchill Brothers are handily placed to follow suit with six points.

A first victory in the competition against Churchill Brothers a week ago at the Jalan Besar Stadium revived the S.League side's hopes and Lee is cautiously optimistic of his side's chances tomorrow at the same venue.

"I think we are getting better slowly [but the] opponent is also a good side," he said at the pre-match press conference on Tuesday afternoon. "Now the players’ morale is very high [and if] we work hard as a unit, I think the players will do our best with our plan and we can expect what we want."

The Korean also confirmed that Indra Sahdan will start the match, although he will have to do without suspended central midfielder Izzdin Shafiq.

The former returned from a long-term injury by coming off the bench to bag the winner against Churchill and further bolsters Lee's attacking options, with both Bruno Castanheira and Fazrul Nawaz also available after being injured during the opening stage of the campaign. Together with Qiu Li, the quartet has accounted for all 10 of Home's goals in their last five games in all competitions.

Winger Yasir Hanapi believes that it is evidence of his side gelling together and he echoed Lee's positivity.

"I think the team morale is pretty good right now, everyone’s happy and we are confident that we can get a result tomorrow," he declared. "It’s getting better, our chemistry; we know our team-mates’ style even better so I think tomorrow, we will be a better team than the one we were in Maldives."

Yasir was referring to their opening day loss in Male, but McMenemy is aware of Home's status as favourites for this return clash.

"Home United showed they had a lot of strengths but it didn’t quite click for them," he stated of that match. "But they did show us a lot and it means we have a lot to be wary of tomorrow."

The Englishman, who took charge only late last month and oversaw defeat to Persipura in his first game, lamented the lack of competitive fixtures for his side this season, with victory against Home followed by three consecutive losses.

With the 2014 domestic season postponed to June, it means New Radiant have sorely lacked serious sparring opponents since charging to the title last season by winning all 19 league games, with their four AFC Cup games so far their only competitive ones this campaign.

"Week in, week out we are playing against teams who are in the middle of their league, who are sharp and match fit," McMenemy pointed out. "With our guys it’s very difficult, we’ve played a very limited amount of matches (including friendlies)."

Still, the former Philippines coach is "very pleased" with how his new players have responded to his ideas and is looking forward to the clash.

"It’s been difficult and testing for the team but there’s strong motivation within the team for tomorrow," McMenemy stated.

"We know they are going to come hard at us and come strong, so it should set up for a really good game."

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Home United

New Radiant

Wins
3
0
2
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Home United FC HOM
Home United FC Home United
Draw
New Radiant SC NRD
New Radiant SC New Radiant
54%
23%
23%

Top 3 Predictions

Home United FC HOM
2 - 1
New Radiant SC NRD
Home United FC HOM
2 - 0
New Radiant SC NRD
Home United FC HOM
0 - 4
New Radiant SC NRD

Related