Amiruldin helps Home United pip Hougang for third in Singapore Cup
A lone Amiruldin Asraf goal was enough to help an under-strength Home United side overcome Hougang United 1-0 in the Singapore Cup third-place playoff on Sunday night.
The game was delayed by a day because of Saturday's inclement weather.
Bangkok Glass-bound hot shot Stipe Plazibat was named captain for his final game for Home, but was unable to continue his excellent scoring record against his former employers.
Despite missing first teamers like Hassan Sunny, Izzdin Shafiq, Hariss Harun and Faris Ramli, Aidil Sharin's side made a good start by scoring on 21 minutes.
Singapore Under-22 starlet Amiruldin was at the right place at the right time to poke home M. Anumanthan's low cross towards the near post.
That goal sprung Hougang into life, with captain Nurhilmi Jasni and Fumiya Kogure both firing off-target before half-time.
The Cheetahs carried where they left off after the restart, with Kogure shooting straight at Home stand-in keeper Rudy Khairullah.
Home then went close on 53 minutes, with Amiruldin firing over from the edge of the box after Anumanthan's cross was cleared into his path.
Hougang threatened towards the dying stages, but were unable to find a way past the stout Home defence.
On 79 minutes, Kogure knocked on Nazrul Nazari's cross for substitute Fareez Farhan, whose header lacked the power to beat Rudy.
Four minutes before the end, midfielder Fabian Kwok blazed over his speculative shot from outside the area.
Time soon ran out for the Cheetahs as they ended a largely disappointing year without something to show for.
Home United: Rudy Khairullah (GK), Aqhari Abdullah, Haziq Azman, Juma'at Jantan, Iqram Rifqi (Arshad Shamim 83'), Christopher van Huizen (Sirina Camara 89'), M. Anumanthan, Song Uiyoung, Adam Swandi, Amiruldin Asraf (Syed Firdaus 89'), Stipe Plazibat (C)
Hougang United: Ridhuan Barudin (GK), Nazrul Nazari, Delwinder Singh, Atsushi Shirota, Faiz Salleh, Zulfahmi Arifin, Syahiran Miswan (Fareez Farhan 53'), Fabian Kwok, Nurhilmi Jasni (C) (Antoine Viterale 80'), Fumiya Kogure, Iqbal Hussain (Fairoz Hasan 87')
Kenneth Tan is a Singapore-based football writer on S.League and AFC Cup for ESPN FC and FourFourTwo. Twitter: @KennerveT