10-man Home hold Ceres Negros
Protectors hang on for draw after Camara is sent off in the second half
Six yellow cards, two penalties and one unfortunate red card. That sums up last night's AFC Cup clash between Home United and the Philippines' Ceres Negros .
But, given the circumstances, Home coach Aidil Sharin believes that the 1-1 draw at the Jalan Besar Stadium in their second Group F match was a fair result.
|HOME UNITED||CERES NEGROS|
|(Shahril Ishak 23-pen)||(Manuel Herrera 79)|
The Protectors were reduced to 10 men in the 49th minute after Home defender Sirina Camara was sent off for a second yellow card, following a rough tackle on Ceres midfielder Patrick Reichelt.
It was the right call, said Aidil. The 40-year-old said: "It was an individual mistake. He lost the ball and it was too late for him to recover, so the tackle came in late as well. But it was a fair call."
He added: "The result is fair. They had a penalty but missed. We had a penalty and scored.
"We were one man down against Ceres who are a very good team and with players who are good with the ball, which was how they scored. But overall, it was a fair game."
Camara received his first booking after just nine minutes for tackling Reichelt in the box, resulting in a penalty.
But Ceres forward Bienvenido Maraa On's effort hit the left post.
Fourteen minutes later, Home were awarded a penalty after striker Amy Recha was fouled at the edge of the box.
Captain Shahril Ishak made no mistake from the spot to give Home a 1-0 advantage.
After Camara was sent off, Home switched to a five-man backline, as Ceres lashed countless shots on target.
The visitors, who had beaten Home 3-2 on aggregate in last year's AFC Cup Asean zone final, eventually equalised in the 79th minute, when Spanish defender Manuel Herrera rose the highest to head in a corner kick.
While Aidil accepted the draw, Ceres coach Risto Vidakovic was disappointed with his team's lacklustre showing.
Said the 49-year-old Serb, who was fuming at the sidelines in the first half: "We did not start the game like we usually do. Everyone was over-confident and they thought it was going to be easy.
"The team may have had good games in the AFC Champions League (preliminary rounds and play-off), but they need to know that every game is important in the (AFC Cup) group stage."
Vidakovic felt that Jalan Besar's artificial turf posed a problem to his team.
"The pitch is not the best one to play football," he said. "Even before this, last year and previous years, it's very slippery.
"It's not easy for the players to break in and run with the ball, it's not easy to move."
Aidil, meanwhile, was looking ahead to their return match.
"We have the fans here supporting us, but it won't be easy when we go to Panaad Stadium (in Philippines) with the crowd," he said.
Home's next game is on March 14 when they visit Cambodia's Boeung Ket FC, who lost 2-1 to Myanmar's Shan United yesterday.