Shahril Ishak and Shakir Hamzah help Protectors rout Geylang Eagles in SPL

Home United striker Shahril Ishak

Geylang International had an evening to forget after a 5-1 defeat by Home United on Wednesday in the Singapore Premier League (SPL) at Bedok Stadium.

With Geylang missing their senior goalkeepers, Home took full advantage to put stand-in custodian Faris Danial under scrutiny and Faritz Hameed, Shakir Hamzah, Shahril Ishak and Hafiz Nor all found the back of the net as a result.

Sensing blood from the get go, Home peppered shots from distance at Faris and they were galvanised when the young goalkeeper could only tip away a 30-yard free-kick from Hafiz in the 12th minute.

Just a minute later, the Protectors opened the scoring, with Faritz’s cross-shot from 20 yards out helped into goal by the hapless 21-year-old.

Faris acquitted himself well with a decent save moments later, denying Hafiz Nor from close range after Shahril had flicked the ball on for the former to drill at goal.

Izzdin Shafiq saw a free-kick whistle just over the bar before Home doubled their lead in the 27th minute, as Shakir was left with an easy nod in from Iqram Rifqi’s knock-back.

The assault on Geylang’s defence continued and Shahril was unlucky to see his effort parried away by Faris on the half-hour mark, before Izzdin suffered similar agony when his long-range curler came off the post.

The third goal arrived in the 57th minute, as Hafiz ran onto Izzdin’s through ball and laid it on a platter for Shahril to tap home.

The dust had barely settled when it became 4-0, with Home winning the ball back right after the restart and a fast break by Faritz saw him tee up Hafiz, whose swerving volley went beyond the reach of Faris.

The rout continued when Faris failed to clear his lines and gave the ball away to Shahril, who calmly picked his spot for his double in the 62nd minute.

There were further attempts by Iqram and substitute Amy Recha but neither could hit the mark, before Geylang pulled back one through Darren Teh.

The defender scored in sublime fashion, lashing in a free-kick from all of 30 yards to secure consolation for his team.

Geylang will have little time to recover as they face champions Albirex Niigata FC (S) next on Saturday at Jurong East Stadium three days later while Home will return to AFC Cup duties and face April 25 on 21 August.

What they said:

Geylang International Head Coach Usui Hirotaka: “Home have many good players but I don’t know why my players lost so much confidence after the first goal. Last game we showed a good performance and were hardworking but today all my players’ looked less confidence after conceding.

“Our players need to maintain their confidence, it was only 1-0 and we still had a chance. But that last goal from Darren Teh gives us a good boost for the next game against Albirex. Now we need to think about recovery and this is a good experience for our young players, I played eight of them today and they will learn.”

Home United Head Coach Aidil Sharin: “The boys really wanted to win this game because we lost two points to Albirex. We were unlucky not to win them and we really wanted to bounce back. The way the boys worked on this difficult pitch, which is very bouncy, the boys did very well. It was never going to be easy against a team like Geylang but with discipline and hard work the boys made it happen.

“The boys followed the game plan and it made things easier. We kept the ball well, we were patient and we took our chances. When I took out the key players, it was 5-0 and it is normal (for us to drop in tempo) but you have to give credit to Geylang. At 5-0 they were still fighting and looking to score so it is a good thing for Singapore football.”

Geylang International FC: Faris Danial (GK), Jufri Taha (C), Darren Teh, Azhar Sairudin, Fuad Ramli (Muhammad Noor Ariff 46’), Yeo Hai Ngee (Ryan Syaffiq 46’), Danish Irfan, Afiq Yunos, Fairoz Hasan (Cameron Ayrton Bell 76’) Yuki Ichikawa, Ahmad Zaki

Home United FC: Eko Pradana (GK), Shakir Hamzah, M. Anumanthan, Faritz Hameed, Iqram Rifqi (Suhairi Sabri 87’), Izzdin Shafiq (C), Faizal Roslan, Shahril Ishak (Amy Recha 75’), Shahrin Saberin, Hafiz Nor, Isaka Cernak (Mulhelmy Suhaimi 64’)

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