Home United striker Stipe Plazibat says the S.League side are on par with the other AFC Cup 2017 zonal semi-finalists and that his team has a good chance of winning the title this year.
The Singapore side became the first team to qualify for the Asean semi-final and they will be travelling to Manila to take on Philippines' Global FC in the first of a two-legged knockout fixture on 16 May. One of the two teams will face the winner of the other semi-final between 2015 champion Johor Darul Ta'zim and Ceres Negros for a spot in the zonal final.
Despite starting the continental campaign with a defeat against Myanmar's Yadanarbon in February, the Protectors won the remaining matches (three) to top Group H, which also had Than Quang Ninh of Vietnam.
"When you come to this phase of the competition, where we have won our group and Global have won theirs... I think all teams are equal. I don't think that Johor or Ceres have more quality than us," Plazibat said, as quoted by AFC Cup's official website.
"Actually we are the first team to have clinched a spot. Maybe from a three team group but never mind, we were the first. So I think it is not fair to say that because of any club's history they are better than us because this year is different, if you see the team from last year and this year, it is a very different team.
"I think we have a very good chance to go through."
Plazibat was coach Aidil Sharin wrecker-in-chief as the Croatian striker combined well with the likes of Faris Ramli and Song Ui Young and netted four goals in the group stages to make sure Home were in the first-ever zonal semi-final.
Conceding he has very little knowledge about Global's style of play, the in-form hitman, who also tops the S.League scoring chart with 11 goals, revealed the reason behind Home's successful run this season.
"I think this year we are like one. There is no player who is a superstar and there is no one who is less important in this team," Plazibat added.
"We have veteran players I am very proud to play with like Hassan (Sunny) and JJ (Juma'at Jantan) because they are very good people first and they are very good professionals second so you can learn from them. I think younger players like Irfan (Fandi) and Adam (Swandi) [provide a good balance]."