Late equaliser thwarts Home's bid to beat champions Albirex
Forty seconds. That's how close Home United were to ending Singapore Premier League champions Albirex Niigata's 41-game unbeaten run last night.
The two sides played to a 1-1 draw at Bishan Stadium yesterday in a game that could have easily gone either way.
Home had looked poised for victory after taking the lead through Shahril Ishak's superb 48th-minute opener, in which he lobbed the ball over Albirex custodian Yohsuke Nozawa.
But just when the 994-strong crowd at Bishan Stadium thought that an upset was on the cards, visiting captain Wataru Murofushi swept home a 94th-minute equaliser to break Home hearts.
The result is a bitter pill to swallow for the Protectors, who performed valiantly despite resting key players following their midweek AFC Cup Asean zone final win over Ceres Negros.
While he was disappointed, Home coach Aidil Sharin applauded his players' performances, saying: "I feel gutted but overall the boys gave everything.
"Albirex are champions this year and we are only the second team to collect points from them, so overall it's a point gained rather two points lost."
With just four games to go, Albirex could become the first team to finish the league season unbeaten.
But Albirex coach Kazuaki Yoshinaga refused to be drawn into such talk, saying it's not their target, before adding that it is always their aim to win every game. - JONAH FOONG
YESTERDAY'S OTHER RESULTS: Balestier 1 Young Lions 0, Tampines 1 Hougang 0