Shahril Rescues Point For Warriors
Written by: Phoon Jia Hui
Home United missed the chance to go top of the Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Warriors FC in the uniformed derby at Jalan Besar Stadium on Tuesday night.
Irfan Fandi fired the Protectors to an early lead, but they were pegged back by Shahril Ishak’s penalty conversion before the break as the teams settled for a point apiece.
There were early chances for both sides, with Haziq Azman seeing his shot blocked in the second minute before Hassan Sunny kept out Jordan Webb’s individual effort at the other end moments later.
Irfan’s header off a corner was first hacked off the line by Ho Wai Loon before Hyrulnizam Juma’at parried his follow-up shot but there was no denying the the 20-year-old his goal in the 12th minute.
After Haziq’s scuffed shot had fallen into his path, Irfan pounced on the loose ball before drilling low past Hyrulnizam for his third goal of the season.
The designated visitors could have pulled level shortly after the half-hour mark but forward Andrei-Cosmin Ciolacu’s 20-yard grounder beat Hassan and not the post.
Home came close to extending their lead with two chances in the space of four minutes but Plazibat and substitute Adam Swandi were foiled by the imperious Hyrulnizam.
The Protectors were made to rue that miss as Warriors equalised on the stroke of half-time after Shahril Ishak was brought down by Haziq in the box.
The Warriors skipper then dusted himself off to put away the ensuing spotkick and make it 1-1.
Faris Ramli had the ball in the net for Home shortly after but the winger was denied by the offside flag which had gone up against him.
Webb could have put Warriors in front immediately after the restart but the Canadian fired well over after he was put through on goal by Shaiful Esah.
Shaiful had an opportunity of his own in the 50th minute but his freekick from the edge of the box flew the wrong side of the post with Hassan at full-stretch.
Chances were at a premium thereafter but it was Home who nearly found the winner five minutes from time. Substitute Sufianto Salleh’s cross-shot was however deflected onto the bar as the Warriors defence heaved a sigh of relief.
The final whistle went soon after as the teams shared the spoils. With the result, Home are one point off leaders Albirex Niigata (S) on 30 while Warriors remain in fourth with 25 points in 14 games.
Aidil Sharin’s Home will now turn their attentions to the first-leg of their AFC Cup Asean Zone Final against Philippine outfit Ceres-Negros FC next week while Warriors host Albirex in their next S.League match on Saturday.
Home United Head Coach Aidil Sharin: “Of course I’m disappointed not to move top for at least 24 hours especially when we had dominated the game.
“We created good chances but did not put the ball in the net. Also, Warriors goalkeeper Hyrulnizam saved and we had one that was cleared off the line. We now have to work doubly hard to keep the pressure on Albirex.
“I’m not trying to find excuses but it’s not easy juggling so many tournaments at one go especially with the likes of Khairul Nizam, Song Uiyoung, Sirina Camara all out for the team.”
Warriors FC Head Coach Razif Onn: “I’m proud of the players today, it was a good performance from them.
“We not only had a few penetrations, but also managed to keep Plazibat and Faris quiet throughout which is fantastic for the backline. Hyrulnizam also did well with a number of good saves and I hope he continues this form. We now play Albirex next and it’s going to be tough but we’ll see how it goes.”
Home United: Hassan Sunny (GK, C), Shamil Sharif, Irfan Fandi (Adam Swandi 31’), Hariss Harun, Juma’at Jantan, Aqhari Abdullah, Izzdin Shafiq (Sufianto Salleh 81’), Iqram Rifqi (Amiruldin Asraf 46’), Haziq Azman, Faris Ramli, Stipe Plazibat
Warriors FC: Hyrulnizam Juma'at (GK), Emmeric Ong, Kento Fukuda, Baihakki Khaizan, Ho Wai Loon, Syaqir Sulaiman, Shaiful Esah (Poh Yi Feng 86’), Ridhuan Muhammad, Shahril Ishak (C), Jordan Webb, Andrei-Cosmin Ciolacu (Fazli Jaffar 86’)