Young Lions allow late equaliser to share the spoils with Home United

Home United struck at the death to earn a 1-1 draw against Young Lions at the National Stadium on Saturday evening.

Ten-man Young Lions ended a four-game losing streak in the Singapore Premier League (SPL) by holding Home United FC 1-1 at National Stadium on Saturday evening.

Haiqal Pashia had given the Young Lions the lead but substitute Iqram Rifqi scored right at the death to give Home a share of the points after Zulqarnaen Suzliman was sent off.

It had taken the Young Lions only five minutes to open the scoring and they did so with the first penalty awarded to them this season.

Shahrin Saberin inexplicably gave possession away to Haiqal and the forward was felled by Faizlan Roslan as he cut into the box. Dusting himself off, Haiqal promptly converted the penalty he had won.

Home tried to find a way back into the game and their captain Izzdin Shafiq in particular was causing all sort of problems with his deliveries.

His 13th-minute free-kick seemed to be heading into goal before Irfan Fandi made a vital block at the far post, while another deadball seven minutes later just failed to find Abdil Qaiyyim at the back post.

Just past the half-hour mark, Izzdin went for goal and he nearly caught Young Lions Zharfan Rohaizad out with his fierce drive but the latter managed to react in time to keep the ball out.

Home had another chance to equalise in the 40th minute when Abdil met Amy Recha’s cross and tried to bundle it over the line, but Zharfan was on hand to collect the ball.

The Young Lions nearly made the Protectors pay for that miss and should have doubled their advantage just before the break came.

Rusyaidi Salime went on a dazzling run from the halfway line and beat two defenders, but Rudy Khairullah came rushing out to tip away his attempted chip, leaving the scoreline at 1-0 at half-time.

Young Lions were forced to defend their lead after the restart as Home mounted heavy pressure on them and they did well to restrict the Protectors’ chances.

Home had to wait till the hour mark before they had sight of goal again, but Izzdin could only hit his effort just wide from 20 yards out.

At the other end, Naufal Azman tried his luck from distance and his attempt flashed just past the post to present the Young Lions’ only chance of the half.

The Protectors were handed a lifeline in the 75th minute, when Zulqarnaen received his marching orders after picking up a second yellow card.

With the numerical advantage, Home were able to find the equaliser in the end through substitute Iqram, who was teed up by M. Anumanthan before proceeding to blast the ball home.

There was to be more drama in the match, as tempers flared and a melee nearly ensued, with Irfan Fandi earning a booking.

Zharfan too went into the referee’s book after the game had ended, after he made his displeasure known to the referee and was shown a red card.

Home United have only three days to prepare now before they take on Tampines Rovers FC at Our Tampines Hub. Young Lions are to face Geylang International FC next on 4 July at Jalan Besar Stadium.

Young Lions: Zharfan Rohaizad (GK), Taufiq Muqminin (C) (Aniq Iskandar 89’), Irfan Fandi, Adam Hakeem, Syahrul Sazali, Rusyaidi Salime (Prakash Raj 86’), Naqiuddin Ahmad (Ifwat Ismail 90’), Zulqarnaen Suzliman, Hami Syahin, Naufal Azman, Haiqal Pashia

Home United FC: Rudy Khairullah (GK), Faizal Roslan, Shahrin Saberin (Amiruldin Asraf 84’),  Abdil Qaiyyim, Aqhari Abdullah, Izzdin Shafiq (C), M. Anumanthan Hafiz Nor, Arshah Shamim (Faritz Hameed 75’), Amy Recha (Iqram Rifqi 61’), Shahril Ishak