It was a hot humid night at the Bishan stadium as Home United took on the Young Lions last night. For the Protectors this season has seen been one of mixed reviews. While they reached the AFC cup final their fans had to endure them having a stop-start type of form in the league. But last night saw them secure back-to-back wins in this season's SPL (Singapore Premier League), following a 3-1 win over Brunei DPMM on May 26.
Their emphatic 4-1 victory over Young Lions last night will be celebrated by the team but head coach Aidil Sharin knows that they have to vastly improve, especially, when they take on runaway league leaders Albirex Niigata in the next game. Indeed the scoreline does not tell the whole story as the men in red made too many silly mistakes and against a more experienced side than the Young Lions, they surely would have been punished.
Coach Aidil’s charges started brightly with just two minutes into the game, Shakir Hamzah somehow got a touch on Izzdin Shafiq's free-kick in a cluttered penalty area to put Home United ahead. That goal got the confidence flowing through Home United’s players veins and it was impressive to see the work-rate of team as they hunted in packs, every time they lost the ball, pressuring their younger opponents who seem rattled. But then against the flow of the game, the Young Lions drew level after Faritz Hameed's clearance of Syahrul Sazali's free-kick deflected off Adam Hakeem into the net in the 16th minute
That goal should not have happened and for a team as experienced as Home United, it is simply unforgivable. Things got scrappy from there on with both sides playing their part. While the Young Lions are naïve, Home United should not have gone down the same path. Their loose passes and untidy play must’ve enraged coach Aidil as he was seen barking out instructions to his team, telling them to focus. Significantly, the 2nd half saw an improvement for Home United though it was gradual. They did have a few scares as their poor man marking from set-plays caused a few of their fans to have the jitters. Sirina Camara’s introduction into the game gave the team a lift with his smart link-up play and neat flicks though unfortunately he was forced off due to an injury and that will be a big blow for the team.
Overall it was a commanding performance from the home side but coach Aidil will need to eliminate those silly mistakes from his team’s play. The Protectors have an excellent squad with a right mixture of youth and experience. Whether, that will be enough when they visit the Jurong East stadium only time will tell.