Home rue spurned chances in Albirex draw

Home United let slip a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 against Albirex Niigata (S) in the top-of-the-table S.League clash on Saturday night. 

For all their promising attacking play and strong first-half performance, Home only came away with just one point to show for against Albirex.

The White Swans came from two goals down in a 2-2 draw at the Bishan Stadium as fans were treated to a brilliant end-to-end game.

The Protectors started the game well and their efforts finally paid off in the 33rd minute from a corner-kick. Izzdin Shafiq’s corner found debutant Hariss Harun as the midfielder headed down for Stipe Plazibat to toe-poke in for his seventh goal of the season.

It could have easily been more goals for Home before half time but they were let down by their own poor finishing and decision-making in the final third.

Faris Ramli doubled the hosts lead three minutes later after Song Ui-Young dazzled past the Albirex defenders to swing in a low cross for Faris to tap in from six yards out.

It could have easily been more goals for Home before half time but they were let down by their own poor finishing and decision-making in the final third.

Faris ballooned a shot over from just outside the box after Plazibat did well to outmuscle Ryuya Motoda to cross in a ball to the feet of the attacker.

They soon lived to regret those missed chances. Right at the death in the first half and frankly out of nowhere, Tsubasa Sano let one fly from an improbable angle inside the box that flew past Hassan Sunny in the Home goal and halved the deficit for the White Swans. 

The second half, however, was tightly contested and saw fewer clear cut chances. Even so, Faris found himself in couple of good positions, but his decision-making in the box let him down.

Hariss completed 90 minutes in his first S.League game since 2011

The ending of the game was similar to the first half as Albirex found a goal minutes before the full-time whistle. Sirina Camara brought down Sano inside the box in the 88th minute, before Kento Nagasaki stepped up to convert the penalty to secure a point for Albirex.

Home's line up saw seven of the Singapore national team players who started in the 0-0 away draw against Bahrain when they were away for international duty. Fatigue, according to Aidil Sharin played a key role in Home’s stutter as they let a two-goal advantage slip.

“I can’t complain about the players efforts. They had one day to rest and one day to train. They were really tired but still managed to give a good performance. When fatigue comes in, the concentration is affected. Against a team like Albirex, you have to be in your 100%.”

I can’t complain about the players efforts. They had one day to rest and one day to train. They were really tired but still managed to give a good performance.

- Home coach Aidil Sharin

On the spurned chances, he also added: “The problem was in the end of the first half. Any team, if they score before half time, they will feel better and will bounce back stronger in the second half. ” said the Home team coach. In football, when you don’t take your chances, you will be punished.

His counterpart, Kazuaki Yoshinaga on the other hand, does not see this as a point gained or two points dropped as it still early in the season. Rather, he looks at it as a learning point for himself as he took notes on improvement for the rest of the season.

“In the first, it’s my mistake in some tactical decisions. In the second half I made some changes and the players did well in attack and I think the draw is a good result from us.”

He added: “It is still very early in the season. I am more concerned about how we played and it is still quite long before the season ends and I see this game as for me to think and improve for the season.

Photos: S.League