Home United dethrones Ceres
By Jerome S. Galunan, Jr.
Home United FC of Singapore delivered a pair of huge goals in the second half to dethrone the defending champions Ceres Negros FC, 2-0, to claim this year’s AFC Cup ASEAN Zonal crown late Wednesday evening at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.
Shakir Hamzah’s header off a corner and Song-Ui Young’s goal inside the box gave the newly-crowned Singaporean team a 3-1 edge on aggregate following a 1-all draw at the Panaad Stadium during first leg.
The Busmen had a good start in the first half with number of clear goal chances from Carli de Murga, Stephan Schrock, Patrick Reichelt, Kurt Dixon, Super Herrera, and Blake Powell, but attempts went off target.
The game was momentarily suspended after Reichelt had a bad collision in the air with Home United’s keeper Rudy Khairullah.
As Rudy punched out the ball, he hit Riechelt hard in the head which brought the latter down on the pitch.
Reichelt was immediately brought to a nearby hospital.
With both teams still scoreless at the end of the first half, Busmen aggressively went for a possible goal in the second frame by controlling the game’s tempo. Ceres FC tried to break the solid defense of Home United but the Singaporean side perfectly denied the visitors’ attempts.
Downed by two goals and with a few minutes left in the clock, the Busmen got their chance to score on Schrock’s attempt near the mouth of the goal but was called for an offside.
The Busmen were heavily undermanned as head coach Risto Vidakovic decided not to suit up Manny and Mike Ott for the game due to disciplinary action while Bienvenido Marañon remained suspended due to the red card he picked up during the group stage.
Home United will face Democratic People’s Republic of Korea for the inter-zone semifinals on April 25, 2019./JSG, WDJ