Home United coach Aidil Sharin said the Protectors will set small targets and try to achieve them in their upcoming AFC Cup 2017 campaign after they sealed a spot in the group stages with a 7-3 (on aggregate) win against Cambodia's Phnom Penh Crown in the qualifying playoff round.
After beating Phnom 4-3 on the road on 30 January in the first leg, the S.League side made full use of the away-goal advantage at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Tuesday to book their berth in Group H of the continental competition. 21-year-old Adam Swandi was in fine form last night as the midfielder opened the scoring as early as in the 14th minute of the game and also set one up for marquee signing Stipe Plazibat in the 71st minute.
Home were tested but their backline led by national goalkeeper Hassan Sunny was in top form to deny Phnom any chances of getting back in the game. Amiruldin Asraf, who was brought on as second-half substitute, added one more to finish with a 3-0 scoreline.
Sharin lauded his men saying they had executed the plans well and added that he knows the tough road ahead for the team in the group campaign.
"We had a game plan. We knew when we wanted to attack them and I can take nothing away from the players," Sharin said, as quoted by ESPN.
"As for the target of the team, we definitely want to take it one game at a time. The [opposition] teams in the AFC Cup are not easy [to beat] -- they are champions and that is why they are here."
The Protectors will now join Myanmar's Yadanarbon FC, against whom they will be playing the opener on 22 February, and FC Vietnam's Than Quang Ninh in Group H of AFC Cup and are the second representatives from Singapore after Tampines Rovers, who crashed out of AFC Champions League play-off after losing to Philippines' Global FC in the preliminary stage round one.