Home United turn on style to book ASEAN Zonal Final berth
Jakarta: A brace from Shahril Ishak helped Home United to a stunning 3-1 win over Persija Jakarta at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium on Tuesday, sealing a 6-3 aggregate victory in their AFC Cup ASEAN Zonal Semi-final on Tuesday.
With three wins in their previous three matches at home in this campaign, the Indonesian side came into the second leg confident they could overturn the 3-2 deficit from the first leg but were dealt an early blow when a mistake from goalkeeper Rizky Darmawan gifted Ishak his first of the evening.
But no less than a minute later and the home side were gifted an equaliser when Novri Setiawan was taken down in the box, with Marko Simic converting the resulting spot-kick.
Scores weren’t level for long, however, as the referee again pointed to the spot, this time awarding Home United a penalty after Rezaldi Hehanusa was adjudged to have fouled Ishak in the area.
The 34-year-old Singaporean international stepped up to take the spot-kick only to see his effort saved by Rizky, but the keeper could do nothing about the follow up as Ishak made amends for his miss to restore the visitors’ lead.
Things went from bad to worse for the home side when Jaime was given his marching orders 10 minutes before half time, and Home United made full advantage of having the extra man when Song Ui-young headed home to make it 3-1 heading into half time.
Knowing they needed a big turnaround in the second half, Persija Jakarta came out all guns blazing as the likes of Simic, Riko Simanjuntak and Ramdhani Lestaluhu looked to pull their side back into the game, but try as they might they simply couldn’t find a way through as the Singaporean side secured a historic victory.
With their spot in the ASEAN Zonal Final secured, Home United will now sit back and watch the other ASEAN Zonal Semi-final between Ceres Negros and Yangon United on Wednesday to see which team they will face in the final.