Jonathan Behe’s late equaliser saved Warriors FC from sinking further to earn a 3-3 draw against Home United in the Singapore Premier League on Saturday.
Jonathan Behe struck four minutes into injury time to earn Warriors FC a 3-3 draw against Home United FC in a thrilling Great Eastern-Hyundai Singapore Premier League (SPL) Uniformed Derby at Bishan Stadium on Saturday evening.
Warriors took an early lead through Ho Wai Loon, but Home struck back through Song Ui-young and Faizal Roslan.
Behe levelled the scores at 2-2, before Song converted from the penalty spot immediately.
However there was time for late drama as Behe scored his second of the night deep into injury time to earn Warriors a point.
With none of the last 24 head-to-head encounters ending goalless, goals were guaranteed in this fixture and the fans were treated to one after just two minutes on the clock.
Capitalising on Shakir Hamzah’s poor clearance, Ho went on a rampaging run through the middle before poking the ball past an onrushing Home goalkeeper Rudy Khairullah to put Warriors in the lead.
It took Home just 14 minutes to restore parity with Song’s speculative 35-yard free-kick somehow evading the reach of Warriors custodian Fashah Iskandar.
Warriors almost retook the lead just two minutes later, with Behe’s shot from just outside the post beating Rudy but not the left-hand post.
The intensity of the game slowed down as the first half went on, with the score remaining all square at the break.
There were substitutions for both sides at half-time, with Home bringing on Sirina Camara for the ineffectual Iqram Rifqi while Warriors replaced the injured Delwinder Singh with Firdaus Kasman.
Camara’s introduction gave Home more impetus in the attacking third and it was no surprise when it was him who played an integral role in Home’s second goal on 63 minutes.
The French left winger delivered a peach of a free-kick into the area for Faizal to nod a towering header beyond the despairing reach of Fashah.
However the Warriors came roaring back and managed to level the scores at 2-2 in the 82nd minute.
A superb outswinging corner by Ho picked out Behe, who directed a superb header across the face of goal and beyond Rudy.
Home retook the lead just three minutes later though, with Song sending Fashah the wrong way from the spot after Emmeric Ong had bundled down Shahril Ishak in the area.
That looked to have earned Home all three points, but Warriors refused to lie down and eventually restored parity four minutes into injury time.
A superb Ho cross into the area found Behe, who peeled away from his marker in the box to nod into the bottom left corner to send his coach Mirko Grabovac into sheer delight as he celebrated wildly on the sidelines.
Home will host Indonesia’s Persija Jakarta in the first leg of the AFC Cup zonal semi-finals next Tuesday, Warriors will continue their bid for a first SPL win when they host champions Albirex Niigata FC (S) next Sunday.
Home United FC Head Coach Aidil Sharin: “We knew they have a good striker in Behe, who can finish not only with his foot but also with his head. We spoke before the game about this and I’m disappointed that the two goals he scored were free headers. This is the second time in two games which we threw away two points; this is where the boys need to learn that nothing is over until the final whistle. The goals we conceded today are unacceptable.
“Today I rested a few players and I take responsibility for the result. We have a tough schedule ahead and I have to use other players. If not I will have more players in the medical room than on the field. Today 18-year-old Arshad (Shamim) played well and lasted the whole game, hopefully more young players step in for us.”
Warriors FC Head Coach Mirko Grabovac: “I knew Home is a good team, but their minds are on the AFC Cup and they want to make results there. Before the game, some reporter told me Home also made many defensive mistakes (throughout the season). We must be happy with this result, but my players must start learning and be more confident so that we can close the gap with the other teams.
“Now we have a few injured players and I hope they come back for (the game against) Albirex (Niigata FC (S)). If we have all our players fit, I’m sure we can pose problems for any team.”
Home United FC: Rudy Khairullah (GK), Aqhari Abdullah, Faizal Roslan, Shakir Hamzah, Fazli Ayob, Arshad Shamim, M. Anumanthan, Song Uiyoung, Iqram Rifqi (Sirina Camara 46’), Hafiz Nor (Christopher Van Huizen 77’), Shahril Ishak (C) (Amiruldin Asraf 89’)
Warriors FC: Fashah Iskandar (GK), Shamil Sharif (Nur Luqman 71’), Delwinder Singh (Firdaus Kasman 46’), Hafiz Sulaiman, Tajeli Salamat,Poh Yi Feng (C), Ho Wai Loon, Emmeric Ong, Ammirul Emmran (Suria Prakash 63’), Sahil Suhaimi, Jonathan Behe