The Protectors have had an indifferent start to their campaign so far and entered the weekend without a win in two games, after losing to Tampines Rovers last week and drawing with Yangon United in the AFC Cup on Tuesday.
On the contrary, their Malaysian opponents have had a terrific start to their campaign so far and entered this round of fixtures in second place, behind DPMM FC only on goal difference.
And with Home leaking goals all season long, many believed the Young Tigers had an excellent chance to deal another blow to their opponents' ailing title aspirations.
Aware of the threat Harimau Muda posed in attack, Protectors coach Lee Lim-saeng decided to field five man at the back, the first time this season he has gone for such defensive tactics, and it proved to be a masterstroke as the Protectors regularly outnumbered their opponents in the box.
And the solid foundation at the back allowed the Home strikers to push forward with intent, where they duly took the lead in the 12th minute when Shotaro Ihata finished neatly on the half-volley after Frederic Mendy nodded a Jeremy Chiang cross into his path.
However, just four minutes after the break, Harimau Muda drew level after a fantastic strike from Ahmad Hazwan, who was later labelled as the "next big thing in Malaysian football" by coach Ong Kim Swee.
Picking up the ball 30 yards out, the 20-year-old unleashed an unstoppable shot on his preferred left foot which gave Lionel Lewis no chance in the Protectors goal.
Nonetheless, Home continued to look dangerous, especially from set pieces due to the aerial threat of Mendy, Ihata and Franklin Anzite.
And two minutes before the hour mark, Mendy scored what proved to be the winner when he brilliantly controlled a long ball from Shi Jiayi on his knee, before brushing off the challenge of Fadhli Shas and stroking it past Izham Tarmizi.
In Sunday's other game, Gombak United recorded a hard-fought 2-1 win over Hougang United.
The hosts took the lead after just seven minutes when South Korean striker Jung Hee-bong put them ahead, only for Mamadou Diallo to pull the Cheetahs level two minutes before halftime.
However, there was to be no denying the Bulls who eventually claimed all three points courtesy of Hafiz Rahim's 69th-minute winner.
Sunday's Great Eastern-YEO's S.League Results
Home United 2-1 Harimau Muda
Gombak United 2-1 Hougang United