Protectors make amends in style
Home rectify their poor reaction to the second ball and trounce Boueng Ket 6-0
It was clear the problem that Home United had to rectify from their last game - second-ball aerial challenges.
And their coach Aidil Sharin was left beaming after the Protectors trounced Cambodia's Boeung Ket FC 6-0 at the Jalan Besar Stadium last night.
The 40-year-old pointed out that their failure to react to second balls cost them a 3-2 defeat by Boeung Ket at Phnom Penh's Olympic Stadium last week, an issue that even Cambodian coach Kei Kosal noticed.
|HOME UNITED||BOUENG KET|
|(Shahril Ishak 37, Song Ui Young 44, Faritz Abdul Hameed 55, M. Anumanthan 72, 83, Izzdin Shafiq 87)|
Aidil said: "Before the match, I reminded the boys that the game was not going to be easy.
"If we don't rectify the problem, it's (a loss) going to happen again."
The win sees Home in second place, three points behind the Philippines' Ceres Negros, who pipped Shan United 1-0 yesterday.
Aidil believes that the win has put them back in contention for a top-two finish in Group F to advance to the zonal semi-finals.
He said: "Credit to the players for working hard to bounce back from the loss and get the three points to stay in the competition."
The Protectors got off to a slow start and saw Boeung Ket dominate the first 30 minutes.
But Home soon found their groove, with Shakir Hamzah and Juma'at Jantan relentlessly taking several shots, albeit firing straight at Boeung Ket custodian Sou Yaty.
It was not till the 37th minute that Home finally found the net.
Striker Shahril Ishak reacted the quickest to Izzdin Shafiq's free-kick and sent the ball home. Seven minutes later, Song Ui Young lashed the ball from the right side of the penalty box. It hit the left post before catching Yaty off-guard and finding the net to make it 2-0.
More was to come in the second half, as Home broke down Boeung Ket's defence with a third goal from Faritz Hameed.
M.Anumanthan blasted a scorcher from 35 metres for the Protectors' fourth goal.
After Anumanthan scored again 11 minutes later, Boeung Ket were further handicapped after their Nigerian forward Gbenga Ajayi was given a red card for a dangerous tackle on Juma'at.
Izzdin sealed the handsome victory against the 10-man side as he converted a free-kick for the final goal.
Kosal admitted that it was a different Home that they met last night, as compared to last week. He said: "In the first leg, Home lost out on the second ball. But, this time, they didn't give us time and space for the ball, and controlled the game.
"Our boys worked hard, but it seemed like they didn't have 100 per cent power, so Home played much better."
A bashful Anumanthan, who was named Man of the Match, admitted that he was not expecting to bag two goals.
He said: "It was a very special feeling to score the goals.
"For the second goal, I wanted to shoot but, after the ball went in, I didn't know how to celebrate so I just walked off.
"Most importantly, we stuck together although we didn't start too well, and fought hard till the end."
The Protectors have two games remaining, against Ceres in the Philippines and Shan United at home next month.
Meanwhile, Tampines Rovers remained bottom of Group H after losing 2-1 to Johor Darul Ta'zim in Larkin last night.