Six-time Singapore Cup winners Home in semis after downing Warriors
Protectors want to go all the way after eliminating arch-rivals Warriors
QUARTER-FINAL, 2ND LEG
HOME UNITED 2
(Ambroise Begue 38, Imran Sahib 90)
WARRIORS FC 0
- Home United win 4-1 on aggregate
With six titles, two more than their closest challengers, Home United are the most successful side in Singapore Cup history.
Although they have struggled with consistency this season, they showed last night why they could once again lift the Singapore Cup.
Goals from Ambroise Begue and Imran Sahib handed them a 2-0 win over Warriors FC at the Yishun Stadium, completing a 4-1 aggregate quarter-final victory and setting up a last-four clash with Brunei DPMM.
Having declared at the start of the year that he is aiming for silverware despite being in his debut season as a top-flight coach, Home boss Philippe Aw knows that objective is within touching distance now.
"We now have a great opportunity to clinch some silverware in the Singapore Cup," said Aw.
"We've worked so hard over this two legs and now we're into the semi-finals, we're just one step away from making the final.
"To be honest, we haven't given up on the S.League as well.
"We came into this game missing some regulars but credit to the players who came in and stepped up… it was a very good team performance."
Ken Ilso had been the name on everyone's lips following the first leg as his superb double handed the Protectors a 2-1 first-leg win on Wednesday.
But Home showed last night that there is more to them than their Danish star, with Juma'at Jantan putting in an all-action display, Azhar Sairudin dictating the action in the middle of the park and Abdil Qaiyyim proving unbeatable in defence.
Nonetheless, it was Ilso who provided them the breakthrough in the 38th minute when he skilfully escaped from Syaqir Sulaiman before playing a low cross to leave Begue with a simple finish into the bottom corner.
Despite having the likes of Fazrul Nawaz, Miroslav Pejic and Nicolas Velez to call upon, the Warriors struggled to really threaten the opposite goal, with Kevin McCann coming closest for them in the 52nd minute when he sent a powerful shot off the post.
Home looked the likelier to strike again with Sufianto Salleh unlucky to lash into the side-netting and Warriors goalkeeper Daniel Ong denying Ilso in a one-on-one situation.
In the final minute, Imran was released down the right and his cross-shot deflected off Irwan Shah before rolling past Ong.
Following the exit, Warriors coach Alex Weaver is hoping the lack of distractions will aid their bid to retain the Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League crown.
The Englishman said: "I think it (being eliminated from the Singapore Cup) helped us last season and I'm hoping it'll be the same this year.
"We've got no choice now but to focus on the league title.
"It is disappointing but, credit where credit is due, Home United deserved it over the two legs."
- HOME UNITED: Shahril Jantan, Ang Zhiwei, Abdil Qaiyyim, R Aaravin, Juma'at Jantan, Azhar Sairudin, Kamel Ramdani, Stanely Ng (Imran Sahib 67), Ambroise Begue (Syahiran Miswan 86), Fazli Ayob (Sufianto Salleh 73), Ken Ilso.
- WARRIORS FC: Daniel Ong, Emmeric Ong, Daniel Bennett, Syaqir Sulaiman, Irwan Shah, Thomas Beattie (Kevin McCann 46), Shi Jiayi (Nicolas Velez 46), Karlo Ivancic, Miroslav Pejic, Hafiz Rahim, Fazrul Nawaz (Hazim Faiz 61).
- TNP MAN OF THE MATCH: Abdil Qaiyyim (Home United)