Home through to knockout round
Four red cards flashed in fiery encounter but Protectors get job done
|HOME UNITED||YADANARBON FC|
|(Afiq Yunos 12, Faris Ramli 16-pen, Irfan Fandi 26, Adam Swandi 72)||(Si Thu Aung 45)|
Home United qualified for the zonal semi-finals of the AFC Cup in style last night, demolishing Myanmar's Yadanarbon FC 4-1 in their Group H clash at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
A scuffle in the 36th minute between both sets of players, sparked by a stamp by Yadanarbon skipper Yan Paing on Home defender Irfan Fandi, threatened to overshadow the tie.
But Iranian referee Mouud Bonyadifard eventually managed to get a grip on the game, after sending off Yan and Protectors' defender Sirina Camara.
By then, Home had already raced into a 3-0 lead, thanks to early goals from Afiq Yunos (12th minute), Faris Ramli from the penalty spot (16th) and Irfan (26th).
BEFORE THE BREAK
Si Thu Aung pulled a goal back for the visitors just before the break, but Adam Swandi restored the Protectors' three-goal cushion with a low strike in the 72nd minute.
There was still time for Bonyadifard to send off another two Yadanarbon players - Ye Ko Oo in stoppage time for a second yellow card offence, and substitute Thet Naing who showed his displeasure to the officials after the game.
Yadanarbon head coach Rene Desaeyere, however, rejected suggestions his team lacked discipline, preferring to make cryptic comments about the officiating.
"I cannot say (about the referee) but you saw, and I hope you will write," said the Belgian.
"We came here to play good football but it was difficult, if you know what I mean.
"My players did their very best and, in the second half, they showed that they can play good football.
"But, if the referee is continuously on one team's side, it is very difficult for my side to have discipline."
Home United coach Aidil Sharin was proud of his side's gutsy display.
He said: "We had our targets at the start of the season, and one of them was to reach the knockout stage of the AFC Cup.
"The boys worked hard for it and credit has to go to them.
"They made it happen."