A test of Home's resolve
Protectors are hoping to rediscover their mojo in the AFC Cup zonal semi-final against Global
Their stellar 10-match unbeaten run of eight wins and two draws ground to an abrupt halt when they lost 3-2 to S.League rivals Tampines Rovers last Friday.
Home United goalkeeper Hassan Sunny hopes that the defeat will serve as a timely warning as they bid to create history in the AFC Cup.
A format change has given birth to a new mini-tournament in the competition, in which regional champions will be crowned for the first time in the second-tier continental contest.
After successfully navigating through the group stages, the Protectors will take on Philippines champions Global Cebu in the zonal semi-finals, with the first leg played at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila tonight.
"We are the only Singapore team left in the competition and, as local players, we are proud to be flying the nation's flag, which has always been a major motivation," said the 33-year-old skipper.
"We hope to make Singapore proud by going as far as possible in this tournament.
"We are disappointed we couldn't carry on our unbeaten run, but that's football, even Barcelona and Bayern Munich have lost league games. So, it's not the end of the world.
"It is a long season and what's important is we bounce right back with a win.
"It is not going to be easy because we now face Global who have done well to qualify as winners of a group that had 2015 winners Johor Darul Ta'zim.
"Global have a few national team players and good imports, which make them a strong team."
The People's Club, as Global are known, are captained by Iranian-Filipino forward Misagh Bahadoran, and have local players with Dutch, English and Japanese heritage.
During the group stage, they were thumped 4-0 by JDT in Larkin, but that now looks like a freak result in an otherwise flawless campaign so far.
They exacted revenge on the Malaysian champions by beating them 3-2 in Manila.
They are also the competition's fourth-most prolific scorers in this year's AFC Cup with 13 goals, behind Hanoi (14) and the other two semi-finalists JDT and Ceres (both 16).
Global will certainly be targeting a leaky Home defence which has conceded 19 goals in 14 games in all competitions. To make things worse for Home, they will be missing up-and-coming centre back Irfan Fandi.
Hassan is upset at having kept just four clean sheets this term, but he also stressed that the team must see the bigger picture.
"Yes, we have conceded many goals and no goalkeeper likes that," he said. "Clean sheets are important, but the ultimate goal for us is to win games and collect three points.
"We have had to rotate a lot in defence due to injuries and Irfan's National Service commitments, so it has not been easy.
"We know there will be hurdles for us to cross.
"We had key players injured, while others were rested, but I'm glad that those who came in stepped up and did well.
"For this semi-finals, we have our top-scorer Stipe Plazibat back from a calf injury and we know we have to score away.
"If we can also keep a clean sheet, that would be the ideal result for us to bring back to Singapore."