Home United into AFC knockout stages after beating eight-man Yadanarbon
Singapore's Home United made light work of Myanmar's Yadanarbon in Tuesday's AFC Cup Group H game as they claimed an emphatic 4-1 victory to progress into the knockout stages.
In front of 1,535 fans at Jalan Besar Stadium, three goals in the first 30 minutes by Afiq Yunos, Faris Ramli, Irfan Fandi put Home in the driving seat.
Yadanarbon pulled one back through Si Thu Aung before half-time. But substitute Adam Swandi killed off any hopes of a comeback for the visitors by scoring 18 minutes from time to round off a satisfying victory.
The game saw four red cards handed out by referee Mooud Bonyadifard, with Yan Paing, Ye Ko Oo and Thet Naing (Yadanarbon) and Sirina Camara (Home United) all receiving their marching orders.
There was action aplenty from kickoff, with the deadlock broken after just 12 minutes. Afiq's header looped over Yadanarbon goalkeeper Pyae Lyan Aung after Stipe Plazibat had flicked on Christopher van Huizen's inswinging corner.
Home doubled the advantage four minutes later, as Faris tucked home from the spot after being fell by Hlaing Bo Bo in the area.
It got even better for the Protectors on 26 minutes, with Irfan taking advantage of some lax Yadanarbon defending on another Van Huizen corner to poke home the loose ball to make it 3-0.
Both sides then went down to 10 men late in the first half.
Yadanarbon captain Yan Paing was given his marching orders for a blatant stamp on Irfan. Then, Home's French defender Sirina Camara was given a straight red for violent conduct in a mass brawl between both sets of players.
Yadanarbon somehow pulled a one goal back on the stroke of half-time. Thu Aung was left with a simple tap-in after Home goalkeeper Hassan Sunny had parried Myo Ko Tun's snapshot into his path.
The away side grew in confidence and dominated much of the second half, but were unable to finish off their chances.
Rene Desaeyere's side were made to pay for their profligacy with Home restoring their three-goal advantage on 72 minutes.
Adam, on the pitch for just 16 minutes, lashed home a sizzling grounder past the helpless Lyan Aung after being teed up by Faris to make it 4-1 for the Protectors.
Plazibat then saw his 83rd minute free kick clip the outside of the post, before Yadanarbon went down to nine men deep into injury time with Ye Ko Oo receiving a second yellow card for dissent.
There was even time for another red card after the final whistle with Thet Naing sent off as Yadanarbon ended the game with just eight men.
It eventually ended 4-1 to the Protectors as they sealed top spot in Group H to progress into the knockout stages.
"Of course, I'm happy that we qualified. We have our own targets in pre-season; I said to the boys they need to qualify and they made it happen with their hard work, so the credit has to go to them," Home United coach Aidil Sharin said.
"We lost the first game [1-0 away against Yadanarbon] because we were still in preseason. We have new players and they were still gelling in. Now you can see the team is better now."
Meanwhile, Yadanarbon coach Rene Desaeyere was furious with the performance of Iranian referee Bonyadifard.
"You saw what happened on the field; I hope you will write what you saw. I'm not surprised at what happened today," Desaeyere said.
"We came here to play good football, but it was difficult if you know what I mean. I must say to the Football Association of Singapore's Belgian technical director [Michel Sablon] and hope he continues to do good work, but if you think you help Singapore football with games like this, then you're wrong.
"When the referee is continuously to one side, it's very difficult to keep discipline on my players. Don't forget Myanmar football is just starting to develop and the players did their very best. In the second half, they showed they can play good football and missed a few chances to make it 3-2."
Home United: Hassan Sunny (GK), Juma'at Jantan, Irfan Fandi, Afiq Yunos, Sirina Camara, Song Uiyoung, Aqhari Abdullah (Shamil Sharif 60'), Khairul Nizam (Adam Swandi 56'), Faris Ramli, Christopher van Huizen (Marijan Suto 71'), Stipe Plazibat
Yadanarbon: Pyae Lyan Aung (GK), Myo Ko Tun (Myo Zaw Oo 75'), Nay Myo Aung, Biassi Nyakwe William, Thein Than Win, Hlaing Bo Bo (Kyaw Thet Oo 87'), Ye Yint Tun, Ye Ko Oo, Si Thu Aung (Thet Naing 59'), Yan Paing (C), Aung Thu