DPMM salvage point against wasteful Home

Home United were left to rue their failure to find the finishing touch on Thursday as they were held to a 0-0 draw by DPMM FC in the Great Eastern-YEO's S.League.

Indra showing he's still got plenty of pace!
Gabriel Tan

By Gabriel Tan

In a clash at the Bishan Stadium between two sides expected to challenge for the title this season, the Protectors enjoyed the better of the proceedings, with new signing Jordan Webb posing a real threat to the opposition backline.

However, they were just unable to find the cutting edge in the final third and ultimately had to settle for a share of the spoils against their Bruneian opponents in what was both side's opening game of the campaign.

Plenty of the pre-season talk had surrounded the league's new marquee player rule, and both Tampines Rovers and Warriors FC had the chance to parade their high-profile signings - Martin Wagner and Kazuyuki Toda respectively - in last Friday's Charity Shield clash.

Strangely, less attention had been paid to Home's own star name in ex-Korea Republic international Lee Kwan-woo but he looked eager to make an immediate impact, and impressed early on in Thursday's game with his composure and passing ability.

13 minutes in, he carved open the opposition defence for the first time with a brilliant cross-field pass to Sirina Camara, who powered his way past Helmi Zambin and drilled in a cross that was unconvincingly pushed to safety by Wardun Yussof.

Three minutes later, Camara found himself free down the left again after another incisive pass from Lee but again, DPMM did just enough to deal with the threat as Dino Drpic blocked his cross before it could reach the waiting Masato Fukui.

After Protectors coach Lee Lim-saeng only retained five players from last term, his new-look squad showed no problems gelling as a unit and a good passing move between Firdaus Idros, Webb and Indra Sahdan Daud in the 25th minute eventually saw the ball reach Hafiz Rahim, who could only blaze way over from 30 yards out.

By now, the hosts were firmly in the ascendancy but right on the half-hour mark, an error by goalkeeper Jang Hong-won nearly cost them dearly as he flapped at a Rosmin Kamis corner to present Joao Moreira with an unguarded goal to aim for. Thankfully for them, he could only direct his header into the post, and Nor Azli Yusoff was swiftly on hand to boot away the danger.

Then, in the space of a couple of minutes immediately after, Home had two excellent chances to break the deadlock but just could not find the target.

First, a slip from Azwan Saleh handed possession to Indra who immediately the ball through to Fukui, only for him to fire just wide of the far post. Seconds later, Webb went on a jinking run down the left and drilled a cross back to the edge of the box to Lee, who could only blast a first-time effort just over.

Having been halted briefly at the third-minute mark due to lightning at the Bishan Stadium, there then was a lengthy delay to the second half due to the weather again, and it appeared to take its toll on the hosts as they looked significantly lacklustre after the break.

Instead, it was DPMM who created the half's first real chance in the 54th minute when Ivan Bosnjak burst down the right and whipped in a cross that Shahrazen Said was just unable to connect with, although Noh Rahman deserved credit for keeping a tight rein on the Brunei international.

That brief scare did however spark Home to life and, in the 65th minute, Wardun had to be alert to gather a dangerous cross from Camara, especially with Aliff Shafaein lurking inside the six-yard box.

Four minutes later, it was the visitors' turn to threaten their opponents' goal as Rosmin floated a clever ball to Moreira, but he could only divert his header over Jang's bar.

With time fast running out, the Protectors mustered one final effort to grab a winner and Firdaus nearly provided the spark in the 78th minute, going on a brilliant run down the right and leaving three men in his wake before floating the ball into the area, but neither Camara nor Webb was able to get a first-time shot away and DPMM were able to clear their lines.

Five minues from time, Webb had one last chance to make a telling contribution on debut as he burst through the middle and released Aliff down the right, but Home could only watch on in agony as the veteran's first-time cross took a wicked deflection and came back off the near post with Wardun beaten all ends up.

Home United: Jang Hong-won, Firdaus Idros, Ismail Yunos, Noh Rahman, Sirina Camara, Nor Azli Yusoff, Lee Kwan-woo, Hafiz Rahim, Indra Sahdan Daud (Aliff Shafaein 46'), Jordan Webb, Masato Fukui.

DPMM FC: Wardun Yussof, Subhi Abdilah, Dino Drpic (Abdul Aziz Tamit 79'), Pg Sallehuddin Damit, Helmi Zambin, Stephane Auvray, Rosmin Kamis, Azwan Saleh, Ivan Bosnjak, Shahrazen Said (Awangku Fakharazzi 88'), Joao Moreira (Adi Said 77').

Attendance: 2,091

Image courtesy of Home United Football Club

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