Plazibat comes to Home's rescue
|GLOBAL CEBU||HOME UNITED|
|(Darryl Roberts 15, Amani Aguinaldo 52)||(Adam Swandi 34, Stipe Plazibat 90+5)|
Croatian striker Stipe Plazibat showed just what Home United had missed while he was injured, as he came off the bench to score a 95th-minute equaliser against Global Cebu in the first leg of the AFC Cup zonal semi-finals in Manila last night.
The 27-year-old, who was out for two weeks with a calf injury, replaced Christopher van Huizen in the 54th minute and played a key role in the 2-2 draw.
Not only did he head in Song Ui Young's corner deep into stoppage time, he also lured Global defender Amani Aguinaldo into committing a red-card tackle which rules the Filipino out of the second leg at Jalan Besar on May 30.
"Without so many key players, we came to the Philippines, gave it our all and put up a good fight until the final whistle," said Plazibat.
"Now we have two away goals and a good result to defend for the second leg."
The Protectors were without key players such as defender Irfan Fandi (national service), fullbacks Juma'at Jantan (injury) and Sirina Camara (suspension), and midfielders Hariss Harun (not registered) and Izzdin Shafiq (injury).
They started off slow and conceded a 15th-minute opener when Darryl Roberts flicked the ball past Hassan Sunny.
However, Home equalised in the 34th minute, when Faris Ramli broke clear on the left to tee up Adam Swandi's tap-in.
Global regained the lead seven minutes after the break when Aguinaldo capitalised on Home's inability to clear a corner, spinning to hook a shot beyond Hassan.
But Hassan kept Home in the game by palming Hikaru Minegishi's shot onto the bar in injury time, just before Plazibat's late heroics handed Home the advantage in this tie.