Derby day draw as Shahril haunts former club

Warriors FC are making comebacks a habit this season, as evident in the thrilling 2-2 draw against Home United at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium on Saturday night... 

10-man Warriors FC came from two goals down courtesy of Shahril Ishak’s late brace against Home United in a 2-2 draw.

Shahril’s two goals against his former club cancelled out Stipe Plazibat’s earlier goals.

Plazibat scored his first through a penalty in the fifth minute of the game when he was brought down by Hyrulnizam Juma’at inside the six-yard area. Although he converted the penalty, he was asked to retake it by referee Ahmad A’Qashah. But with the form he is in right now - reaching double figures by scoring ten in five games this season - he was not missing the retake.

The second goal came in the 48th minute when Plazibat latched on to a long ball from Khairul Nizam. Through on goal, he fired from just inside the box as the ball landed in the bottom left corner.

Home scored early through Plazibat, but only got a point in the end

Things were looking in Home’s favour, especially after Warriors' Hafiz Osman was booked for a second yellow and received his marching orders in the 70th minute.

But Razif Onn’s men stepped up with 33-year-old veteran forward Shahril in the thick of the late drama.

His two goals were scored in the 81st minute and 87thminute. Shahril converted a penalty after Afiq Yunos’ tackle which appeared to be soft and his leveller was a header with substitute Fazli Jaffar’s cross finding him inside the box unmarked.

Teams like Warriors are strong. Look at how they did against Young Lions, they have very experienced players to. They knew when to push up and when not to. With ten men and nothing to lose, they threw everyone forward.

- Home coach Aidil

Just like against Albirex Niigata (S) when his charges let a two-goal lead slip to settle for a 2-2 draw, Home coach Aidil Sharin was clearly despondent after settling for one point against ten men.

“I thought that in the first half, we controlled the game very well. Second half, we had good chances but after the penalty, the boys’ heads were down and I was not sure why.” said the 39-year-old.

“Teams like Warriors are strong. Look at how they did against Young Lions, they have very experienced players to. They knew when to push up and when not to. With ten men and nothing to lose, they threw everyone forward.”

On the other hand, Warriors counterpart Razif was delighted with his team's comeback. His team have made it a habit to keep their fans on the edge – coming back against Garena Young Lions from 3-1 down to win 4-3 and a 5-3 thriller against Brunei DPMM. 

“With ten men, I think it was fantastic to come back. I don’t know how to describe this feeling. I really appreciate the boys. They were fantastic.”

He added: “We didn’t really play well in the first half but the difference was when we made changes. With players like (Fazli) Jaffar, Home united were threatened more with our crosses.”

Aside from the goals, Home saw plenty of the action leading up to the goal as Warriors looked dead and buried.

With ten men, I think it was fantastic to come back. I don’t know how to describe this feeling. I really appreciate the boys. They were fantastic.

- Warriors coach Razif

Till Shahril’s penalty, Warriors’ Joel Tshibamba had Warriors’ best chance of the game after Shahril’s defence-splitting pass put him in a one-on-one situation against Rudy Khairullah. Out of the blue, Afiq Yunos came out of nowhere to make a last ditch tackle on Tshibamba.

Chances kept coming for Home when Khairul Nizam did well in the 40th minute as his adventurous run past Warriors defenders ended up in a panic clearance by Baihakki Khaizan.

Yet again, Nizam found himself up against Hyrulnizam in the 55th minute – his first shot was saved and the rebound that fell to him, was booted away by defender Ho Wai Loon. The in-form Plazibat then had a chance to grab his hat-trick but his shot was just wide of the mark.

The draw means that both teams are yet to lose in the league – Warriors are unbeaten in six and Home in five. 

Home take on Geylang International on 28 April at the Jalan Besar Stadium while Warriors play away to Albirex at Jurong East Stadium on 29 April. 

Photos: S.League