Lee relieved after cutting DPMM lead

Home United coach Lee Lim-saeng was a relieved man on Sunday after his side moved five points behind Great Eastern-YEO's S.League leaders DPMM FC.

Helmi looking to push his side forward...

Despite going behind to Courts Young Lions after just four minutes in Sunday's game at the Bishan Stadium, the Protectors equalised ten minutes later through Firdaus Idros, before going on to grab all three points thanks to Frederic Mendy's second-half brace.

Having seen DPMM move eight points clear at the top on Thursday after beating Balestier Khalsa 3-1, Lee admits it was important for Home to remain within touching distance of the Bruneian outfit.

"We couldn't afford to drop more points tonight [Sunday] because we are looking to catch up with DPMM," the ex-Korea Republic international admitted.

"Before the match, they were ahead of us by eight points and it was imperative that we got the win.

"Fortunately, we achieved that and that was down to the players."

Despite looking extremely frustrated by the touchline throughout the game, Lee rubbished suggestions he was unhappy with his team's performance, and reveals he feels for the players who have had a hectic fixture schedule owing to their participation in the AFC Cup.

"I don't want to blame any of the players," Lee added. "I understand they are all very fatigued from playing so many games in quick succession.

"In the end, we managed to grind out the win and that is what's important."

Young Lions coach Robin Chitrakar admitted his side's early goal didn't particularly help their cause as it gave Home a chance to react and hit back shortly after, although he wasn't expecting anything less from a side with such quality.

"We scored early on and we didn't really have much time to settle down after," Chitrakar said. "We actually wanted to press them even further but before we got the chance, they equalised almost immediately.

"It was good that we managed to come here and take the lead but it isn't easy holding on to it. We definitely were up against a quality side today [Sunday]."

All three of Home's goals came from winning aerial challenges, with Mendy's goals both headers, while Firdaus also scored after his French team-mate nodded the ball down into his path.

While he was pleased with the determination his young charges exhibited, Chitrakar admits they have there is plenty of room for improvement, especially with defending aerial balls.

"The boys that came in tried their best and showed good fighting spirit," he added.

"We really have to work on the areas that saw us concede today [Sunday], especially our defending from set-pieces and crosses.

"Also, we have to put pressure on the midfielders to prevent these balls from coming into the box in the first place."

Despite the defeat, Young Lions remain in 10th after Hougang United, Woodlands Wellington and Geylang United all failed to win their respective matches.



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