Home United raring to go
|HOME UNITED||THAN QUANG NINH|
The stakes are high for Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League outfit Home United at Jalan Besar Stadium tonight, when Vietnam's Than Quang Ninh lie in wait in an Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup match.
After losing 1-0 to Myanmar's Yadanarbon FC in their opening Group H match last month, the Protectors find themselves bottom of the standings, and badly in need of a confidence boost.
But they are determined to get it right against the Vietnamese club, who drew 1-1 with Yadanarbon in Hanoi last week.
Home coach Aidil Sharin said at a closed-door training session at Jalan Besar yesterday: "I don't care how many goals we score.
"The game plan is simple: To get the three points.
"I believe in my team, they know they have to win, and I think they're ready."
Yadanarbon are top of the group standings with four points from two matches, while Than Quang Ninh (one point) and Home (zero) have played only one game.
Aidil, whose side won both their opening matches of the new S.League season, also cautioned against getting too carried away.
"Than Quang Ninh are a strong team, and they have a good striker from Congo (Patiyo Tambwe) who was the league's top-scorer recently," said Aidil of the 2015 V.League 1 top-scorer (18 goals from 25 appearances).
"But I don't have the thought of losing in my head. I always tell my boys that in the AFC Cup, every game is like a final.
"In the game with Yadanarbon, we dominated the whole match but, at the end, we made one mistake and we got punished for it.
"We can't afford to slip up tomorrow, we have to go all out."
This is Home's eighth appearance in the AFC Cup, while Than Quang Ninh are making their debut.
But the visitors' head coach Phan Thanh Hung, whose side are eighth in the 14-team Vietnamese top tier, feels his team have every chance of getting a good result at Jalan Besar.
He said: "This game is important to both our teams - whoever win will most likely go to the (Asean zone) semi-finals."
Home's chances of a victory will be significantly increased if they have new loan signing Hariss Harun available for the clash.
The star midfielder joined the S.League side last week following a failed move to Spanish third-tier team CE L'Hospitalet.
However, it remains to be seen if his AFC registration will go through in time.
Said Aidil: "Hariss has been performing very well in training - playing overseas is obviously a good experience.
"If he can play, good for the team. If he can't, the rest will just have to step up."