Protectors Down Siglap For Singapore FA Cup Triumph
Written by: Darren Ho
Home United were crowned the 2016 Singapore Pools FA Cup champions as they clinched a 3-1 victory over Siglap FC in the final at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Sunday night.
Amir Zailaini scored a brace while Ambroise Begue added the third goal for the Protectors, and Guntur Djafril scored a consolation goal for Siglap in the dying minutes of the match.
In attendance to witness the match were Mr Ee Hock Chye, Singapore Pools’ Director for Customer Insights, Mr S.Thavaneson, Football Association of Singapore Provincial Council Member and Mr Lim Chin, S.League CEO.
Both the Protectors and Siglap started the match with attacking intent but it was the former that made the early attempts on goal with striker Amir showing his insatiable appetite for goals.
Home mustered the first chance of the game six minutes into the match through Iqram Rifqi’s long range effort on-goal after he was supplied a cross from the right flank.
With oozing confidence, the Prime League side continued chucking numbers forward but were denied an opener moments later when Amir’s cross to pick up Iqram in the danger area was flagged offside.
Robin Chitrakar’s side finally broke the deadly in the 15th minute as captain Amir rifled the ball past Siglap’s goalkeeper Abdul Munaf, who initially diverted the former’s shot from close range.
Despite a goal down, the National Football League outfit did not let their game down as they seek a way into the match, with former S.League player Guntur leading their frontline.
Having seen their earlier attempts for a breakthrough in vain, Siglap’s head coach Mohd Rafique then introduced attacking-minded midfielder Abdul Khaliq Idris in the 37th minute.
Khaliq formed a formidable attacking trio with Guntur and Firdaus Tohari, but they were guilty of spurning two gilt-edged chances minutes before half-time.
Siglap were left to regret their missed chances in the first half as Home took advantage of their opponent’s exposed backline to double the lead at the hour mark.
In a well-worked counter-attack, Amirudin Asraf made a bullet run into the box, slicing the ball across goal for Amir to tap-in his second and send the Protectors’ bench into a frenzy.
Chances after chances, Home’s tenacity to seal the match paid off when they extended their goal margin to three courtesy of Begue in the 82nd minute.
Begue took his chance from 15-yards and his thunderous shot squeezed past a sea of Siglap’s defender before finding its way to the bottom corner.
Although they were three goals down, Siglap continued to surge forward to reduce the deficit. Guntur was rewarded with a goal for his relentless when he slid the ball past substitute goalkeeper Hafiz Ahmad.
Having scored a brace, Home’s captain Amir was delighted with his team’s performance in earning their victory.
“It’s a good moment for the boys because we have sticked as one through hardship and that’s the key to our success this year,” said Amir.
“I would also like to thank my coach (Robin Chitrakar) for putting up with the team who come from different backgrounds and abilities,” he expressed.