Analysis

Home United Player Ratings: On-Song Protectors earn upset AFC Cup victory away from home

In what was their first competitive outing of the year, Home United stunned Myanmar outfit Shan United 1-0 in their AFC Cup opener at Thuwanna Stadium on Tuesday.

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After a goalless opening 45 where Home put up a disciplined defensive display, Song Ui-young’s strike 15 minutes from time was enough to get the Protectors off to a winning start in their Group F campaign.

The hosts started brightly and could have taken the lead with a number of chances in the opening 20 minutes, but failed to land a blow, allowing Home to gradually grow into the game.

The result continues Home’s impressive recent form in the continental competition, having lost last year’s ASEAN Zonal final to Ceres-Negros

Home skipper Shahril Ishak came closest for the visitors just before half-time, but his low shot was kept out by the legs of Thiha Sithu.  

Five minutes after the restart, Rudy Khairullah foiled Shan’s Nigerian striker Christopher Chizoba and Home would have the last laugh as Song stabbed home the rebound for the winning goal after his initial effort was parried by keeper Sithu. 

The result continues Home’s impressive recent form in the continental competition, having lost last year’s ASEAN Zonal final to Ceres-Negros.

RUDY KHAIRULLAH: 8

Hassan who? The Home goalkeeper proved he was just as capable as his predecessor, Singapore and Army United custodian Hassan Sunny, showing safe hands whenever called upon and a reliable presence between the sticks.

Having made a couple of saves to preserve his clean sheet, his efforts were nearly undone in the dying minutes but thankfully for the 23-year-old, his error went unpunished as the ball bobbled out to safety.

ABDIL QAIYYIM: 6.5

Was guilty of giving the ball away on a couple of occasions but was otherwise steady at the back. The right-sided centre back came under constant pressure from the Shan attackers, but still managed to put in a good shift.     

File photo: S.League

JUMA’AT JANTAN: 6.5

Deployed in a three-man defence, the veteran fullback’s presence in central defence was calming and he hardly put a foot wrong to help lead his team to victory.