Wasteful Home held by Tanjong Pagar

Home United were made to pay for their profligate ways in the Great Eastern-YEO's S.League on Thursday as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Tanjong Pagar United.

Tanjong Pagar United vs Home United: Firdaus Idros
Gabriel Tan

By Gabriel Tan

Reporting from the Bishan Stadium

In a game that was largely dominated by the hosts, it appeared as though they were going to pay for their profligacy after wasting a host of clear-cut chances, especially in the first half.

However, the Protectors did eventually find the breakthrough in the 59th minute through Firdaus Idros' close-range effort, but just when they looked to have done enough for the win, Ismael Benahmed stabbed home at the far post six minutes from time to earn the visitors a share of the spoils.

As one of the in-form sides in the competition after recovering from a slow start to the campaign to rise up the rankings, Home entered the game knowing a win would provide a real boost to their top-three prospects.

And they certainly showed the greater desire early on as they piled the pressure on the Tanjong Pagar defence and created their first chance in the sixth minute; Camara drilling in a ferocious freekick that was headed for the bottom corner until Herisson pushed it wide.

Eight minutes later, Herisson produced another excellent save to tip away a point-blank rage effort from Jordan Webb, after Lee Kwan-woo's drilled effort smashed off Hafiz Rahim but deflected into the Canadian's path.

Firdaus was next to threaten the visitors' goal in the 18th minute when Webb burst down the left and cut the ball back to the unmarked Firdaus, but he could only watch on as his fierce shot was bravely headed away by Walid Lounis.

Webb was beginning to cause real problems with his skill and pace and he broke free again five minutes later, down the right this time, before cutting the ball back into the danger zone but Latiff was alert to the danger and cleared before an opponent could pounce.

Six minutes before the half-hour mark, the Jaguars finally mustered their first meaningful effort on goal after Kamel Ramdani's left-wing cross was flicked on by Monsef Zerka to Hafiz Nor at the far post, but his well-hit volley was comfortably saved by Shahril.

As the half wore on, the visitors eventually managed to find a bit of rhythm and provided more resistance to their opponents' attack but Home continued to look the more dangerous of the two sides.

Nine minutes after the break, Lee came close again when he sent a 25-yard freekick arrowing towards the top corner but Herisson was equal to the task, and produced a fine save to tip it wide.

But in the 59th minute, the Protectors finally found the breakthrough after Song Ui-young created space for himself with a clever spin on the edge of the area, before chipping a lovely ball in search of Firdaus. Having snuck behind the last man, Firdaus did well to adjust his body and stab the ball towards goal, and although Herisson was able to get a hand to the shot, he was unable to prevent Home from taking the lead.

Five minutes later, Tanjong Pagar almost mustered an instant reply when Benahmed found space down the right and curled a ball into the six-yard box, but Ramdani was just unable to reach it with a sliding attempt.

Ramdani came even closer in the 74th minute when he met Hafiz's pinpoint at the near post with a glancing header that sailed inches wide, before Shahril produced a smart save with his leg two minutes later to keep out a low drive by Benahmed at his near post.

The Home defence was under further duress a minute later as their failure to clear their lines from a set-piece situation resulted in a goalmouth scramble but neither Ramdani nor Benahmed were able to turn the ball home, although the visitors were by now starting to bang on their opponents' door.

Six minutes from time, the equaliser eventually came as substitute Asraf Rashid found space down the left and miscued a shot that fortuitously fell into the path of Benahmed, who made no mistake in stabbing the ball home at the far post to earn Tanjong Pagar a share of the spoils.

Home United: Shahril Jantan, Ismail Yunos (Masrezwan Masturi 4'), Kwon Da-kyung, Sirina Camara, Juma'at Jantan (Indra Sahdan Daud 46'), Sofiyan Abdul Hamid, Hafiz Rahim, Song Ui-young, Firdaus Idros, Jordan Webb, Lee Kwan-woo.

Tanjong Pagar United: Aurelien Herisson, Ahmad Latiff, Walid Lounis, Anthony Aymard, Zahid Ahmad (Hanafi Salleh 62'), Hafiz Nor, John Wilkinson (Asraf Rashid 80'), Sazali Salleh, Kamel Ramdani, Ismael Benahmed, Monsef Zerka.

Image courtesy of Home United FC (Jaron Lee)

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