Home claim three points in Uniformed Derby

A late winner from Ken Ilsø provided sweet relief for Home United on Friday night in the S.League as they trumped Warriors FC 2-1 to get back to winning ways in the uniform derby. 

The Protectors went ahead after a flowing team move, but conceded through a horrendous defensive mix-up.  

It looked like the game would end in a frustrating fourth draw of the season for Philippe Aw’s men, who had not won their last two matches.

“It has been like this the whole season,” he lamented. “We have conceded easy goals and it’s difficult for the players’ morale when you are playing well and then you concede.

“Warriors just came at us after that… but I am glad we managed to stem the pressure and score again.”

Having dropped nine points from winning positions already this season, it was a welcome change this time as they saw out the victory in front of 2,308 spectators at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

It was three points that Aw felt was merited based on the number of chances they carved out compared to their opponents, and also the manner in which they restricted them.

“After that (taking the lead), we sat back and they had plenty of possession and corners, but there weren’t any clear chances that were created,” he pointed out. “I don’t remember [our goalkeeper] Hyrulnizam Juma’at making a save.”

Their opener on 20 minutes came from a slick move that epitomised the philosophy Aw has tried to impose during his time in charge.

Aqhari Abdullah hassled in midfield and won the ball, which Azhar Sairudin released to Ilsø down the left. The Dane squared an excellent ball to the far post that Song Ui-young, who had busted a gut to get there, slid in.

Despite the Warriors cranking up the pressure after the break, Home looked comfortable - right up until an innocuous through ball resulted in complete panic.

Sirina Camara beckoned to Hyrulnizam to come off his line as he tried to shield the ball with Hafiz Nor breathing down his neck, but neither got there in the end.

The Warriors winger took advantage of the confusion to nip in and poke the ball to Jonathan Behe, who had the luxury of tapping it into an empty goal for his seventh goal in eight games.

It was an equaliser Jorg Steinebrunner believed his side deserved, as he claimed that eventual defeat was harsh on them.

“I think from the first minute to last [in the second half], it was all our game,” the German said after their win-less streak extended to three games. “We had good possession, made good decisions and had good movement.

“We showed good work ethic and spirit, and we shouldn’t have lost the game.

“If we continue to perform like this, we will get more wins than negative results. Overall, it was a good football game.”

Ilsø’s fourth goal in his last five games meant the Warriors would have nothing to show for their effort though, as he started the move and finished it off by deftly flicking in Camara’s cross in the 86th minute.

Aw praised the 30-year-old former Bundesliga star’s performance, but acknowledged that they need to cut out the silly errors at the back.

“We have talked about this the whole season so far and we will still talk about it after tonight; we really have to stop this, if not we will drop points in future,” he asserted.

“What we need to do is to defend [more] solidly as a team as we know we will create chances to score. But with this victory, the morale will get back up.”