Home United vs Albirex Player Ratings: White Swans condemn woeful Protectors to 6-1 thumping
Shuhei Hoshino opened the scoring in the 8th minute with a stupendous half-volley from just outside the box before the 23-year-old forward doubled his side’s advantage in the 20th minute when he latched onto Hiroyoshi Kamata’s through ball and finished past goalkeeper Rudy Khairullah.
Albirex added four more goals in the second half to round off a night to forget for coach Aidil Sharin and his team. Taku Morinaga got a touch in the box for the third goal in the 53rd minute and then turned provider in the 69th minute when he played the ball onto Wataru Murofushi’s path and the captain slotted home. Daiki Asaoka then made it five, when he had the easiest of finishes after the impressive Adam Swandi had headed the ball to him inside the box.
Home would at least get a consolation goal for turning up when Shahril Ishak converted an injury time penalty after substitute Anumanthan Kumar was pushed over. The best goal of the night was saved for the last when former Home midfielder Adam’s right-footed piledriver from the outside the box gave Rudy no chance whatsoever.
The emphatic win means that the defending champions are the only side to have 100 per cent record this season, winning all four matches thus far while this was Home’s second defeat of the campaign, with the Protectors having lost 4-2 to Brunei DPMM just a week ago.
Rudy Khairullah: 5
Was called into action in the opening stages of the game and was alert enough to thwart Hoshino’s attempt on goal but that was as good as it got for the custodian. The next six times he was called upon was to pick the balls out of the net.
Aqhari Abdullah: 5
Started in a right-back role as part of a back four for Home United and while Aqhari’s attacking qualities would often be displayed in the usual wingback role he plays for Home, he failed to cope with Adam’s trickery down his flank. Took up a central midfield position in the second half but did not enjoy his time there as well.
Faizal Roslan: 3.5
One of three mandatory Under-23 starters for the home side, Faizal, who has been one of Home's standout performers in the AFC Cup, looked simply out of depth.
It was his clearance that landed at the feet of Hoshino for Albirex’s first goal and all night, he was given the run around by Albirex’s attackers. Veteran defender Abdil Qaiyyim was seen giving Faizal a pep talk at half-time but that proved futile as the second-half only saw the defender run ragged yet again. A night to forget.
Photo: Home United
Shakir Hamzah: 5
Usually a left-back, Shakir was one of the two centre-backs for Home tonight and like Faizal, he failed to deal with Albirex’s attackers.
As usual, Shakir was full of grit and hard work but against an Albirex side that moved the Home defenders around the pitch with their passing and off the ball movement, Shakir could have run for days and turned up with nothing to show for.
Simply put, this was a performance that only justified that Shakir is a better left-back than he is a centre-back.
Juma’at Jantan: 5
The “Crazy Horse” as he is affectionately known in local footballing circles, Juma’at was definitely made to go crazy tonight by the relentless Albirex attack.
While he usually bombards down whichever flank he is deployed in, tonight was all about defending for the veteran, a task which he did not quite handle well. Then again, not many defenders in the league would have been able to handle the pace at which Albirex attacked down his flank on the night.
Shahrin Saberin: 4
Shahrin was another player who took on a different position than usual as he played in front of the back four, in a defensive midfield position.
He had a difficult time adapting to the role and was hauled off at half-time by coach Aidil Sharin. Safe to say, the 23-year-old won't be playing in the center of the park anytime soon - it is clear he would be a lot more comfortable playing as a center-back.
Izzdin Shafiq: 4
Usually one of Home's most consistent players, the only thing consistent about Izzdin today, was a lack of endeavour off the ball.
Albirex’s central midfielders Murofushi and Asaoka had a field day in the the midfield and the fact that both got on the scoresheet says something about the kind of tracking that Home’s men in the middle of the park provided on the night. The closest Izzdin got to Albirex’s midfield was post-match when both sets of players exchanged pleasantries.
Photo: Home United
Faritz Hameed: 6
One of two players who were really working hard for their side, Faritz was full of running from his right midfield position as he did his best to track back and attempt to thwart Adam.
Going forward, Faritz did not have much going for him.
Iqram Rifqi: 5
Another of the three U-23 players, the 22-year-old was deployed in an attacking midfield position behind Shahril Ishak, but his inexperience showed as he made several bad decisions when on the ball.
In the second half, with an opportunity to play the ball in for Shahril, Iqram opted to shoot from outside the box. The shot was closed down with Shahril throwing his hands in the air in frustration. Was subbed off for Amy Recha in the 67th minute.
Sirina Camara: 4
Camara has been one of the highlights for Home this season, netting in the season opener against Balestier and also accumulating a number of good performances to show for in the AFC Cup.
But tonight, he let himself and the team down miserably. As a foreigner, one would expect Camara to lead the team in terms of quality but there was nothing of that sort tonight. Don’t expect any outtakes from this match to be on Camara’s career highlight reel.
Shahril Ishak: 6.5
Home’s best player, Shahril, tried to lead the team from the front but had to rely on little to no service all night.
Netted the penalty in injury time with supreme confidence but a yellow card that he picked up for a silly foul just before half-time was an indication of the frustration that the former Singapore captain had been harbouring due to his team’s ineffectiveness.
Photo: Home United
Hafiz Nor: 5
Came on at half-time for Shahrin as he tried to give Home an attacking outlet out on the right flank. Did start well but soon faded out and joined his team in having a listless performance.
Anumanthan Kumar: 5.5
Won a penalty in the dying minutes of the game and he did add solidity to the midfield after coming on for Izzdin in the 57th minute. It was a surprise to see Anumanthan benched in the first place.
Amy Recha: 5
Amy was on for Iqram in the 67th minute and by that time, the game was far beyond the reach of Albirex and Amy was sadly a mere passenger in what was a miserable ending 23 minutes of the game. Lost the ball in the lead up to Albirex’s fourth goal of the night.