Home United decimated 2015 champions Brunei DPMM 9-3 in Thursday's S.League tie at the Bishan Stadium, days ahead of their AFC Cup zonal semi-final against Global FC. Coach Aidil Sharin believes that the big win will boost their confidence and help them be better prepared for Tuesday's clash.
The rout of DPMM began when Singapore international Faris Ramli opened the scoring in the 21st minute of the match. The in-form 24-year-old winger added three more to his tally and contributed to four more goals to end up as the star of the night yesterday. League top-scorer Stipe Plazibat added two more to take his tally to 14, four clear of Albirex Niigata's Tsubasa Sano, who is at the second spot in the list.
Home went into the break with a 6-0 scoreline with Khairul Nizam adding to Ramli's three and Plazibat's two goals. However, the tie was evenly matched in the second half, with DPMM netting three goals as well. Aidil made a series of substitutions after the one-hour mark in the game, to rest key players of the likes of Plazibat, Song Ui Young and Juma'at Jantan.
Notably, Home will head into Tuesday's semi-final second leg tie at the Jalan Besar Stadium with a slender edge over Global as they came back from behind to snatch a 2-2 in the first leg, played at Rizal Memorial Stadium on 16 May.
"It is a big win which will help us in our confidence level in the AFC cup this coming Tuesday, but we are not going to be over confident," Aidil said, as quoted by the league's official website.
"I am also not really concerned with the three goals conceded as we are an attacking team and I have made changes to bring in young players in the 60th minute to rest players for the AFC cup.
"Playing with DPMM is not always easy as they have talented foreign players. I did not expect us to score nine goals, but the boys gave everything they got and the important thing is three points."
The win also made sure Home, with 23 points, cut down on Albirex's lead at the top of the table down to two points. However, the league leaders, who take on strugglers Garena Young Lions today, have a game in hand over the Protectors.