Home United begin Singapore Cup defence with a bang
Protectors open cup defence with a stylish show against visitors
HOME UNITED 5
(Indra Sahdan Daud 21, Lee Kwan Woo 32-pen, Fazrul Nawaz 45+1, Ahmed Fahmie 80, Fazli Ayob 87)
NAGACORP FC 0
They were in no mood for an upset, wearing their game face right from the first whistle.
RHB Singapore Cup champions Home United kicked off their title defence in style, carrying on where they left off last year as they blitzed Cambodia's Nagacorp FC 5-0 at the Jalan Besar Stadium last night.
The Protectors beat Tanjong Pagar 4-1 at the same venue in the cup final last year, and each of the five goals they grabbed via different scorers last night served as a warning that they could beat any team left in the competition.
Without suspended forward Qiu Li, the hosts racked up 21 shots, compared to Nagacorp's two.
In the 21st minute, stand-in skipper Indra Sahdan Daud showed exactly the kind of finishing that is missing from many local strikers today, with a precise first-time shot into the bottom corner off Yasir Hanapi's cut-back.
Eleven minutes later, Sovannrithy Sun handled in the box and Lee Kwan Woo fired home the spot-kick.
A lovely move involving Indra, Kwon Dakyung and Fazrul Nawaz resulted in Fazrul lashing home a volley to end any hope of a Nagacorp comeback.
The Cambodian outfit failed to record a single shot or corner in the first half, and it was only a matter of how many goals Home were going to score.
However, with next Friday's heavyweight S.League clash against leaders DPMM FC in mind, coach Lee Lim Saeng replaced key players like Lee and Fazrul, although Home's firepower on the bench was still too much for the visitors.
Just six minutes after coming on, Fazli Ayob played fellow substitute Ahmed Fahmie through for a one-on-one in the 80th minute, and the finish was unerring.
There was still time for Fazli to score seven minutes later, when Bruno Castanheira picked him out after a fine run down the right flank.
Home United coach Lee was "very happy" with the performance, but he warned his charges that not every cup- tie would be as straightforward.
He said: "We created many chances and I'm impressed with the performance of some of the younger players, but I want them to stay humble because there is still a long way to go in this competition."
- HOME UNITED: Shahril Jantan, Yasir Hanapi, Kwon Dakyung, Precious Emuejeraye, Sirina Camara, Lee Kwan Woo (Fazli Ayob 74), Izzdin Shafiq (Zulkifli Suzliman 79), Song Ui Young, Bruno Castanheira, Fazrul Nawaz (Ahmed Fahmie 74), Indra Sahdan Daud
- NAGACORP FC: Seiha Samrith, Dara Chan, Thavrak Om, Chum Chin (Chanratana Prak 68), Vathanak Teab, Sovannrithy Sun, Jang In Jong, Sophana Sun (Tiny Tieng 51), Gbayoro Zogbe (Darasokha Teat 58), Masahiro Fukasawa, Alpha Barry
- TNP Man of the Match: Indra Sahdan Daud