Plazibat's precious late goal gives Home United hope after AFC Cup first leg

Home United had Stipe Plazibat to thank after he scored with the last touch of the game to steal a 2-2 draw against 10-man Global Cebu at Rizal Memorial Stadium in the first leg of the AFC Cup's ASEAN zone semi-finals. 

Home will now go into the return leg at Jalan Besar Stadium on May 30 with two precious away goals that could be vital to their hopes of reaching the AFC Cup ASEAN final.

The visitors surprisingly did not start their top-scorer Plazibat or Singapore international Khairul Nizam, so it was little wonder they lacked an edge up front.

Global duly dominated the opening 30 minutes and could have scored within five minutes of the kick-off, only for Germaine Agustien to head Paul Mulders’ delivery over the bar.

A lifeline was then handed to Home in the 75th minute, with Aguinaldo dismissed after receiving a second yellow card

Meanwhile Shu Sasaki’s goal was ruled out after he was adjudged to have been offside.

However, they made their dominance count in the 15th minute, as Darryl Roberts beat the offside trap to chest down Hikaru Minegishi’s superb pass before lifting the ball over an onrushing Hassan Sunny.

It should have then been 2-0 just before the half-hour mark, as Roberts ran onto Paolo Bugas’ pass and aimed for the top corner, but a fully-stretched Hassan managed to tip away the ball.

Just when everything seemed to be swinging Global’s way, the visitors managed to equalise against the run of play on 33 minutes when Faris Ramli broke into the box and unselfishly cut across for Adam Swandi to stab home.

After the break, Global carried on from where they left off and again went in front, with Amani Aguinaldo’s shot on the turn from close range beating Hassan after he had latchd onto Minegishi’s pass.

Hassan was called into action a number of times. Photo: Lagardere Sports

This prompted Home coach Aidil Sharin into action, throwing on Plazibat and Nizam and urging his men to pile forward.

A lifeline was then handed to Home in the 75th minute, with Aguinaldo dismissed after receiving a second yellow card for a late tackle on Plazibat.

With the numerical advantage, Home relentlessly attacked and Plazibat managed to draw a fine save out of Patrick Deyto in the 81st minute.

Still, Hassan was a busy man at the other end and he had to deny Minegishi and substitute Misagh Bahadoran when Global went on the counter.

Just when it seemed time was up for Home, Plazibat managed to turn in Song Ui-Young’s corner at the near post with the last touch of the game.

Main photo: S.League