AFC Cup: Home on Song after first group win

Home United earned their first three points of the AFC Cup campaign after a 3-2 win over 10-man Than Quang Ninh on Tuesday evening at Jalan Besar Stadium. 

The Protectors had Song Ui Young to thank for the victory, after a masterful performance resulted in him scoring a brace.

In the third minute of the game, Song latched onto a loose ball to score the opening goal of the match.

And five minutes before time, when his side needed a goal at 2-2, Song stepped up once more, except this time, Song struck a shot so sweet to the top corner that Than Quang Ning goalkeeper Huynh Tuan Linh could only watch as the ball fizzed past him.

In the process, Song completed a sensational comeback for Home when his team were 2-1 down at half-time.

“I was very happy to score the winner. I really wanted the three points and to win the game today. Coach said at half-time ‘stop passing and take more shots,” Song said to FourFourTwo after the game.

Take more shots he did, even impressively with his weaker left foot, as Home landed their first three points in the AFC Cup group H, sitting behind Yadanarbon by one.

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Home went down 2-1 at the break

Song added: “Yes, I used my weaker foot because what coach said got me motivated and that got me the goal.”

As the scoreline suggested, it was end-to-end stuff at Jalan Besar Stadium.

After Song’s opener in the first half, Home United were undone and dismantled by an efficient Than Quang Ninh as the Vietnamese outfit came from behind to go into half-time up at 2-1.

The second half turned even more enthralling and only superb goalkeeping prevented more goals from being scored.

Tambwe Patiyo levelled matters in the 31st minute after he met Nghiem Xuan Tu’s cross, before midfielder Vu Minh Tuan scored the second after he bamboozled past Juma’at Jantan to hit one in from a tight angle.

The second half turned even more enthralling and only superb goalkeeping prevented more goals from being scored.

Faris Ramli made it 2-2 in the second half after some sublime attacking play from the home side. Stipe Plazibat found a through ball on the flanks for Khairul Nizam and the Singapore winger found his compatriot with an inch-perfect cross.

Home came roaring back after Nizam assisted Faris for the equaliser

But just when the game seemed even and fiercely contested, Mac Hong Quan found himself in the referee’s book for a second yellow and the midfielder’s marching orders were given. The Home team would go on to capitalise on the extra man advantage to seal the comeback.

Home United coach Aidil Shahrin was probably the happiest man at the stadium as he strutted into the press conference room with his star man Song.

We can see that the boys wanted it a lot. After the lead that we didn’t play well as we sat back and our opponent got two goals

- Aidil Shahrin

“We can see that the boys wanted it a lot. After the lead that we didn’t play well as we sat back and our opponent got two goals.” said 40-year-old Aidil.

What he said at half-time perhaps paid dividends for his team as Aidil added: “At half-time, I told the boys that we cannot afford to lose at home. If we lost, we would be totally out of group stage. They really wanted it and they worked their socks off.”

His counterpart Phan Thanh Hùng lamented that the red card was harsh and that his team would have been in the contest if both teams had 11 on the pitch.

“We had a chance to win the game but our defender got the red card and things changed,” Phan said. “I think that the second yellow was not fair but congrats Home United.

Sitting third and bottom in the group, Phan still believes that his team can qualify.

“I think the Myanmar team and Singapore (Home United) have a chance, but we also have a chance. If we win the next two games against these two team at home, we can qualify,” he added.

Photos: Home United