For The Record...
"In an interview with Yahoo! Singapore, Zainudin (Nordin, FAS President) reiterated that the S-league will not become a "poorer cousin" once the LionsXII start their Malaysia Cup campaign."

Monday, February 15, 2016

Uniform Duo Shared Spoils in Fiery Outing in Bishan ...

Song Ui-young tussled with Hafiz Nor (11)
The league opener for the Uniform Duo of Home United and Warriors FC ended in a two-all draw in the last evening at the Bishan Stadium, which last staged an S.League match back in 2014 after it was selected as one of the venues for the biennial South-East-Asian Games a year later.

Prior to the start of this much-hyped campaign saw both sides went through a massive reshuffling in their squads that saw a few notable signings laden onto their rosters with likes of Madhu Mohana, Yazid Yasin recruited from the disbanded Lions XII and Geylang International respectively to Warriors who also welcomed back the likes of Hafiz Osman, Shaiful Esah and Ismail Yunos to the fold.

While Home United impressed upon the rest with new names like Faris Ramli, Khairul Nizam, Zulfahmi Arifin (from Lion XII), the two sons of local legend Fandi Ahmad – Irfan and Ikhsan Fandi while retained the core of their squad from last season that included their import trio of Song Ui-young, Ken Ilso and Sirina Camara.

Protests by HUFC's players on the penalty awarded on 33rd minute
Jonathan Behe (raised to salute) after levelled from spot in 35th minute
In spite of the stellar cast in place on this fixture that coincided on the Valentine's Day, there were no shortage of actions that characterized the passions of any uniform derby between the two that somehow turned ugly in the match when six yellow cards and a red was flashed out referee Farhan Mohd during the game.

The Protectors drawn the first blood in the 17th minute when striker Nizam pounced on the rebound off the woodwork from an Aqhari Abdullah's attempt to give the hosts the lead before a penalty decision in the 35th minute, which was vehemently protested by Home United players, saw debutant Jonathan Behe levelled the scores for the Warriors from the spot.

Both sides tried to outwit each other as the game continued in the second half with countless of chances created but were misfired throughout the night.

So when Sirina Camara finished off from close-range from an Azhar Sairudin's dead-ball from outside in the 82nd minute, the Protectors thought they had all three points in the bag until substitute Fazli Jaffar ensured the spoils were shared in the 91st minute.

Madhu Mohana (right) was given the marching order after this
However, the night was marred by the sending off of Madhu after he shoved Irfan Fandi onto the ground which left the referee with no option but a straight red in an otherwise entertaining game which was feted by both teams' head coaches in their post-match assessment.

Said Warriors FC's coach Jorg Steinebrunner:"We had three one-to-one chances in the first half which we would have taken the lead which unfortunately we didn't,

"I think my defence looked more composed in the second half by made it less penetrative for them (Home United) to create any chances and to score an equalizer (in the last minute) shows a good character in my team but I think there are rooms for improvement and we must remain optimistic."

"However, it was a good game for the fans." added the German.

Ken Ilso shielded the ball from Kento Fukuda
Meanwhile, a visibly disappointed Home United coach Philippe Aw greeted the media when took his seat in the media briefing.

"Two points dropped after we took the lead for a period of time when we were dominating the game which we could have made it 3-1." said the 40-year-old.

"Chances were created that were not finished and I am unhappy how we conceded those goals which came from nothing which we must learn not give away such goals.

"Nonetheless, it was an end-to-end match which the fans enjoyed some good football." he added.

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