Player Ratings: Shakir and Aqhari shine on historical night in AFC Cup

AFC Cup Zonal Final Champions - Home United
Kelvin Leong Kelvin Leong

Home United made history with a 2-0 win in the second leg of the AFC Cup Zonal Final at Jalan Besar. Find out who did well for the Protectors from Singapore in our player ratings.

Home United were crowned AFC Cup Zonal Final champions when they sealed a 2-0 victory – 3-1 on aggregate – against Ceres Negros at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Wednesday night.

The Protectors managed a 1-1 draw in the first leg played in Bacolod and finished the job in front of more than 3,000 home fans with goals from Shakir Hamzah and Song Ui-young.

Aidil Sharin’s promise to deliver an early National Day gift to the Lion City came true as they became the first Singapore club to win the zonal final.

The victory also erased the nightmare of 2017 when they lost 3-2 on aggregate to the same opponents. An Inter-zonal Final against North Korea’s April 25 is up next but the Protectors will continue their celebrations into the night.

Find out who did well for the Protectors in our player ratings!

AFC Cup Zonal Final Champions - Home United

Player Ratings (1-10)

Rudy Khairullah (7.5) – The goalkeeper was called into action as early as the ninth minute and pulled off a double save in the first half to keep the score level. Was down on the ground when he collided with Patrick Reichelt but picked himself up and soldiered on.

Abdil Qaiyyim (8) – Playing on the right side of a back-three system. Abdil was colossal and read the game well before having to go off with an injury in the 37th minute. Saved his side with a couple of last-ditch tackles and was inconsolable as he made his way down the tunnel.

Shakir Hamzah (9.5) – Played as a sweeper in Aidil’s back-three system. Almost scored on the stroke of half-time but got his reward for a superb outing when he powered home a header in the 62nd minute to give his side the advantage.

Faizal Roslan (7.5) – Faizal’s no-nonsense approach helped his team to a historical victory. Constantly barking out instructions and hardly gave the Ceres attackers any room to impact the game. Making a late run to be included in Fandi Ahmad’s AFF Suzuki Cup squad.

Aqhari Abdullah (8.5) – The right-footed midfielder took on an unfamiliar role as left wing-back and clocked in an outstanding shift on the overlap. Alert in defence and a willing runner when his team had the ball. Baffling to see how Aqhari has yet to receive a call-up to the national team.

Faritz Hameed (8.5) – Faritz had a golden opportunity to score in the 61st minute but his shot was pushed away by Toni Doblas. Provided the pinpoint cross for Song to double the advantage and put Home into a comfortable position for a North Korean adventure.

M. Anumanthan (7.5) – Had to shackle the impressive Stephan Schrock and got the job done with his usual hustling and bustling. With him in a defensive midfield role, Izzdin and Isaka managed to push further up the pitch in support of their strikers.

AFC Cup Zonal Final Champions - Home United

Izzdin Shafiq (9.5) – Enhanced his reputation as one of Singapore’s top central midfielders with another majestic display in the middle of the park. His range of passes troubled the Ceres defence and it was from his corner that Shakir gave the Protectors a deserved lead.

Song Ui-young (9) – The South Korean’s first game back after a lengthy injury spell and he provided an outlet when his team went on the counter. Continued his rich vein of form when he put the ball into the back of the net for Home’s second goal on the night. Rumours of Indonesian Super League clubs keen on his services are now going into overdrive.

Isaka Cernak (7) – Started in central midfield alongside Izzdin and Anu but was given the freedom to join the attack when the Protectors countered. Had a mixed outing but having joined the team on such short notice, a credible performance from the former Australian youngster.

Shahril Ishak (8) – The former Singapore captain didn’t get on the score sheet but it was his smart hold-up play that kept the Ceres defence honest. He got more involved in the second period as Home began to find loopholes with Ceres pushing up in search of goals.

Substitutes

Shahrin Saberin (7) – Came on in the 36th minute for an injured Abdil and kept Ceres at bay. Earned a yellow card in the 80th minute but was comfortable for most part of the game.

Hafiz Nor (N/A) – Came on in the 82nd minute for Song as the Protectors looked to see out the game.

Amy Recha (N/A) – Replaced Shahril right at the death as Aidil looked to close out the game.

Comments