Group H: Home United FC 1-0 Lao Toyota FC
Singapore: Home United recorded their first win in this year’s AFC Cup and kept their hopes of progression alive after edging Lao Toyota 1-0 on Tuesday.
The defending ASEAN Zonal champions were at risk of falling further behind the top two teams in Group H if they didn’t collect maximum points at home on Matchday Three.
In a first half in which neither team created a significant number of chances, it took until midway through the half for the first clear opportunity to present and the home side would’ve been disappointed not to have taken the lead.
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With Lao Toyota defender Manolom Phetphakdy misjudging the flight of the ball, Home United attacker Hafiz Nor was able to control a bouncing ball and get the better of his defender before smashing a shot off the bar, with Adam Swandi unable to direct the rebound on target.
It was a warning shot for the Laos champions and they received another with 10 minutes remaining in the half when Adam curled a free-kick just wide of the mark.
With the last play of the half, the visiting defence clocked off and defender Abdil Qaiyyim headed Saswadimata Dasuki’s side ahead, getting on the end of Ho Wai Loon’s precision in-swinging free-kick.
Upon the resumption of play in the second half it was Jun Fukuda’s men who created the first clear chance of the half when Soma Otani’s effort from the edge of the area just sailed over the crossbar.
The home side should’ve doubled their lead just after the hour mark after some nice build up play from Hami Syahin and Adam saw the ball laid on a platter for Aqhari Abdullah, who had only come on a minute earlier, but the substitute couldn’t direct his effort on target.
Hami and Adam combined again just over a minute later to set the ball up for the captain, Izzdin Shafiq, but he too skied his effort from the edge of the area.
Ho Wai Loon should’ve had his second assist of the evening on 76 minutes, hitting a perfect low cross across the face of goal for Aqhari but the midfielder failed to direct his effort on target.
The win takes Home United onto four points and sees them draw to within one point of both Kaya FC and PSM Makassar in Group H.
The Singaporeans will be hoping for a similar scoreline when they travel to Laos in two weeks for the return fixture.
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