Home rue absences as Suria goal makes the difference for Warriors
A 36th minute goal from winger Suria Prakash in his first league start of the season made all the difference as Warriors beat Home 2-1 at Choa Chu Kang Stadium.
A lapse in concentration by the away side saw Suria rise unchallenged to head home a Baihakki free kick for Warriors’ winner, in what was their first league win at home since July.
Home's fatigue showed, with Warriors having the lion’s share of possession in the first half.
On top of the injuries to Sirina Camara, Song Ui-Young, Afiq Yunos and Khairul Nizam, and the suspension of Irfan Fandi, this was Home’s third game in seven days.
And their fatigue showed, with Warriors having the lion’s share of possession in the first half.
“We were unfortunate today," said Home United coach Aidil Sharin. "The boys tried very hard but we were not sharp enough in the first half. It’s not easy to play three games in seven days. The concentration could’ve definitely been better.
“Half of our first eleven are injured, but we will still try our best for the remaining games."
Warriors capitalized on Home’s tiredness in the 27th minute, after a defensive mix-up between Hariss Harun and Iqram Rifqi – playing together for the first time – left Andrei Ciolacu through on goal.
The Romanian’s initial effort was parried by Hassan Sunny but Ciolacu pounced on the rebound to make it 1-0 to the home team.
The goal seemed to rejuvenate the tired Protectors as they found the net in the 34th minute.
But Home were too quick to celebrate and Suria gave Warriors the lead just two minutes later.
Warriors failed to deal with a free kick played short and M Anumanthan took advantage of the resulting goalmouth scramble to smash the ball home.
But Home's joy was short-lived as Suria gave Warriors the lead just two minutes later.
The next 45 minutes saw Home piling the pressure on Warriors, pulling out all the stops for their away point. But Warriors’ defence line, led by veteran Baihakki, soaked up Home’s advances.
There were positives for Aidil however - Anumanthan’s performance for one.
The Home coach said: “I’m very happy for Anu. He worked very hard for this. He works 8-5 in NS every day and works his socks off in training for two hours after that.
"And the next day he goes back to work to do the same things. I’m very happy for him to score his first goal.”