Home United are 'fighters' in AFC Cup says striker Stipe Plazibat
Coach Aidil Sharin, striker Stipe Plazibat and goalkeeper Hassan Sunny earned praise for their efforts as Home United returned home to Singapore on Wednesday in the wake of their spirited AFC Cup performance.
The S.League outfit earned a 2-2 draw against Global FC in Manila in their ASEAN Zone semifinal, first leg, on Tuesday night.
Plazibat's header in the 95th minute was the last action of the match, securing a better-than-expected result ahead of the second leg at Jalan Besar Stadium on May 30.
Sharin deserves credit for taking a gamble by throwing on a half-fit Plazibat as a second-half substitute in the 53rd minute. He then added fellow attackers Marijan Suto and Khairul Nizam into the mix against a Global side reduced to 10 men after a red card to defender Amani Aguinaldo.
Trailing 2-1 late in the second half, Sharin could have taken a more conservative approach, given that Home United had already grabbed an invaluable away goal.
But after captain Hassan made two excellent saves to deny Global a third goal in added time, Plazibat nodded in a corner from Song Ui-young for his 18th goal of the season.
The Croatian said that the result proved that Home United have fighting qualities, given the way they hung tough away from home in the absence of several first-team regulars. They also bounced back from a dismal 3-2 defeat to Tampines Rovers in the S.League last Friday.
"It's a very good result," Plazibat said. "Without plenty of key players, we came here [and got a good result]. I can only congratulate my team because we gave a very good fight."
Plazibat started on the bench after missing Home's last two matches with a calf injury. Four other players, including Cup-tied midfielder Hariss Harun, weren't involved in the game.
Aguinaldo will be missing for Global when they travel to Singapore for the second leg, with Home expected to have a stronger squad than the one that travelled to Philippines.
However, Hariss, who is on-loan from Malaysia's Johor Darul Ta'zim, will only be eligible if Home make it to the AFC Cup final.
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