Home United stop the rot
Aw's men end their poor run in emphatic fashion
GEYLANG INTERNATIONAL 0
HOME UNITED 5
(Shamil Sharif 21, 65, Ken Ilso 44, 61, Yeo Hai Ngee 90)
They may have entered The New Paper League Cup clash against Geylang International on the back of a seven-game winless streak and missing four key players through international duty as well.
But Home United put their recent woes behind them as they romped to a 5-0 triumph over Geylang International at the Bedok Stadium last night.
The result keeps alive Home's hopes of advancing to the semi-finals of the League Cup, with the Protectors second in Group B behind leaders Albirex Niigata.
There was plenty for the visitors' coach Philippe Aw to be pleased about, especially the way his charges got back to winning ways despite missing Azhar Sairudin, Abdil Qaiyyim, Zulfahmi Arifin and Khairul Nizam, all currently with the Lions training squad in Japan.
"Having had a bad run of results, as well as having failed to keep a clean sheet for some time, it all turned out well tonight and I'm very happy," said Aw.
"It's a big win for us and it's also a very important one.
"We missed some players out there but having senior players like Hyrulnizam (Juma'at) and JJ (Juma'at Jantan) at the back, Aqhari (Abdullah) in the middle and Ken (Ilso) up top was really important for us.
"They were the ones who provided the experience for us and allowed our younger players to do the running."
Home certainly looked like a side out to make amends for their poor recent run.
They opened the scoring in the 21st minute when Shamil Sharif took advantage of a loose ball after Geylang failed to clear their lines, cutting back onto his left foot before providing a confident finish.
Shamil turned provider a minute before half-time when he won possession down the right and played a dangerous cross to Ilso, who did well to connect at full stretch at the back post with a volley past Hairul Syirhan.
Ilso doubled his tally in the 61st minute when he beat the offside trap and slotted into the bottom corner.
Not to be outdone, Shamil also netted his second of the evening four minutes later after sloppy defending by the Eagles handed him possession on the edge of the box.
The evening got worse for Geylang when they had Nor Azli Yusoff sent off shortly after for a second bookable offence.
In injury time, the rout was completed when Prime League player Yeo Hai Ngee came off the bench to net his first professional goal and seal a five-star display by the Protectors.
The Eagles' hopes of advancing to the last four now hang by a thread, and coach Hasrin Jailani demanded a response from his players when they meet Albirex in their final group game on Friday.
The former Singapore international lamented: "There's not much to say, apart from us being second best in all departments.
"It was just one of those days.
"It (beating Albirex) isn't going to be an easy task, but it will now be down to the players to show their character."
- GEYLANG INTERNATIONAL: Hairul Syirhan, Al-Qaasimy Rahman, Shariff Samat, Yuki Ichikawa, Umar Akhbar (Indra Sahdan Daud 65), Isa Halim, Nor Azli Yusoff, Stanely Ng (Taufiq Ghani 46), Carlos Delgado (Anders Aplin 72), Shawal Anuar, Mark Hartmann.
- HOME UNITED: Hyrulnizam Juma'at, Juma'at Jantan, Haziq Azman, Sim Teck Yi, Redzwan Atan, Aqhari Abdullah, Syahiran Miswan (Toh Kian Keong 85), Shamil Sharif, Song Uiyoung (Yeo Hai Ngee 70), Ambroise Begue, Ken Ilso (Mahathir Azeman 77).
- TNP MAN OF THE MATCH: Shamil Sharif (Home United)
- LAST NIGHT'S OTHER RESULT: Albirex Niigata 2 Balestier Khalsa 0