Abdil Qaiyyim emerged as the unlikely hero for Home United as they picked up their first win in AFC Cup 2019 by beating Lao Toyota 1-0 in Group H on Tuesday evening.
Having drawn their opening game against PSM Makassar, Home – last season’s ASEAN Zone champions – then fell to a humiliating 5-0 loss to Kaya FC-Iloilo to compound what has been a poor start to 2019.
But, just three days after recording their maiden triumph of 2019 in the Singapore Premier League, the Protectors also got off the mark on the continental stage as they toiled to victory over their Laotian opponents.
AFC Cup 2019: Home United 1-0 Lao Toyota (Abdil Qaiyyim 45′)
It was centre-back Abdil Qaiyyim who came to the fore at Jalan Besar Stadium as he netted the only goal of the game in first-half stoppage time, meeting Ho Wai Loon’s excellent freekick from the right with a deft header into the back of the net.
The hosts could have made it 2-0 in the 76th minute when the overlapping Ho whipped in another excellent cross but substitute Aqhari Abdullah, having done well to find space with an off-the-ball run, could only guide his shot wide.
76' Brilliant cross, poor finish!
— FOX Sports LIVE! (@FSAsiaLive) April 2, 2019
Nonetheless, with Lao Toyota barely threatening, Home were able to hold out for the win to get their AFC Cup campaign back on track and they are now just a point behind joint-leaders Kaya FC-Iloilo and PSM Makassar, who played out a 1-1 draw earlier on Tuesday.
HOME UNITED: Nazri Sabri, Faritz Hameed, Abdil Qaiyyim, Faizal Roslan, Ho Wai Loon, Izzdin Shafiq, Isaka Cernak (Iqram Rifqi 73’), Juma’at Jantan (Aqhari Abdullah 64’), Hami Syahin (Nur Hizami Salim 81’), Adam Swandi, Hafiz Nor.
LAO TOYOTA: Outthilath Nammakhoth, Bounphithak Chanthalangsy (Phoutdavy Phommasane 82’), Thipphachanh Inthavong, Ketsada Souksavanh, Sayfa Aphideth, Victor Amaro, Soma Otani, Manolom Phetphakdy, Somsavath Sophabmixay, Rafael, Kazuo Homma.