|FROM WOODLANDS STADIUM
By Khalis Rifhan
Home United took all three points in their 3-0 victory over Woodlands Wellington on Monday night, but the match was full of talking points that stirred emotions from the 1,128 fans at the Woodlands Stadium, with referee Jansen Foo bearing the brunt of the home fans' ire.
Rams midfielder Khalid Hamdoui was sent off midway through the first half for a challenge on Song Ui Yong, with the Home player also shown the yellow card for shoving the former Netherlands Under-21 international.
Woodlands coach Salim Moin could not hold back his guns after the match and took a dig at the match officials, despite initially saying that he had no intention of touching on the issue.
“I did not see the situation and will not say anything about the referee but the man in the middle must know how to control the game very well as this is a very important game," he said.
“I just spoke to [Abdul] Malik [the fourth official] and said ‘If he can’t control the game, you take over’. It is simple as that. Look at the many occasions... I am sure the linesman put up their flag and the referee is unsure whether it is offside or not.
“If I am going to write a letter to the association [FAS], will they fine this referee or ban him? I don’t think so. When coaches say something, they want to take action against us.
"Look, we are humans being and no coaches want to be in a losing position.”
There was contrasting views from both coaches as Salim believed that the Protectors would not have had it easy if Hamdaoui was still on the pitch, while Home coach Lee Lim Saeng thought otherwise.
“When we play against [a] good team and [we are] a man down, it is very difficult and I believe if I have 11 versus 11 on the pitch, it will be a different ball game," Salim asserted.
“Before the red card, we have been dominating the match and we just play what I have been intending to," Lee begged to differ.
"Anyway it is very important to get those three points... I should say thanks to my players as they dominated possession and played much better than the opponents and I am very happy to get all three points."
Despite the loss, Salim was happy with his players' character as they did not give up despite trailing by three goals in the second half.
“The team did very well despite being one man down and they followed to my instructions, but in the first 20 minutes, there was too much of ball-watching in the middle area but once we settled down, it was much better," he concluded.