Warriors fight back to hold Home United
Fazli snatches a point for 10-man visitors
HOME UNITED 2
(Khairul Nizam 17, Sirina Camara 82)
WARRIORS FC 2
(Jonathan Behe 35-pen, Fazli Jaffar 90+1)
It was a clash of two old rivals, who could not have been more different.
One advocate three pillars of modern football - youth, fitness, and the pass-and-move.
The other, espouse the tried-and- tested way of winning football games - experience, character and tight defensive lines as the platform for the counter-attack.
While both teams are still rebuilding after a trophyless 2015, Home United and Warriors FC displayed that both ways can be effective in an entertaining 2-2 draw in front of 1,756 fans at Bishan Stadium last night.
Home dominated play for large parts of the game but, with the pace of Warriors' forward Jonathan Behe and the sharp Nikola Rak behind him, the visitors proved dangerous on the break.
And they ended the night feeling like winners, with coach Jorg Steinebrunner's double-fisted grunt reverberating around the stadium, as his side came from behind twice to secure a draw.
"I'm definitely annoyed, this was two points dropped... we should have got three points considering the way we played," said Home coach Philippe Aw.
"After we took the lead, there was a period of time when we were dominating, but we just couldn't seal it with another goal.
"There was no threat from Warriors... and, to be honest, both their goals came from nothing."
Home looked comfortable for long periods as Khairul Nizam gave them the lead in the 17th minute, stabbing home after Aqhari Abdullah's long- range shot pinged off the crossbar.
But the forward was perhaps harshly adjudged to have pulled down a Warriors player in the box to concede a penalty - slammed home by Behe - 10 minutes before the break.
Sirina Camara scored off a well-worked free-kick routine in the 82nd minute, but the Warriors struck a minute into added time.
Rak found substitute Fazli Jaffar with a 50-metre cross-field pass, with the winger sliding home as the Home defence stood watching.
"We scored that equaliser by showing good character. It was a superb pass from Nikola, to find Fazli who made a good run," said Steinebrunner. "Not everything worked well and there's room for improvement, but I'm optimistic."
Home gave S.League debuts to both 18-year-old Irfan Fandi and his brother Ikhsan, 16, and the former was involved in an incident with Madhu Mohana that saw the Warriors defender sent off in the 89th minute, allegedly for swinging an arm at Irfan.
The Warriors received four yellow cards in addition to Madhu's red, but Steinebrunner was not impressed by the refereeing of Farhad Mohd.
"I have to look at that red card again. I don't want to say anything any more, I don't want to get into trouble," he said.
HOME UNITED: Hyrulnizam Juma'at, Shahrin Saberin, Abdil Qaiyyim, Song Ui Yong, Juma'at Jantan, Sirina Camara, Aqhari Abdullah (Irfan Fandi 65), Azhar Sairudin (Nur Hizami 90), Zulfahmi Arifin, Ken Ilso, Khairul Nizam (Ikhsan Fandi 85)
WARRIORS FC: Yazid Yasin, Zulfadli Zainal Abidin, Kento Fukuda, Madhu Mohana, Hafiz Osman, Emmeric Ong, Poh Yifeng (Ignatius Ang 86), Nikola Rak, Hafiz Rahim (Fazli Jaffar 73), Hafiz Nor, Jonathan Behe (Syaqir Sulaiman 82)
- TNP Man of the Match: Song Ui Yong (Home United)