By Les Tan/Red Sports. Photos by Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports.
Kenge Ludovick (Home United, #10) fires off a shot to score the second goal for Home United. (Photo 1 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)
Jalan Besar Stadium, Tuesday, March 10, 2009 – Home United FC beat Bing Duong FC of Vietnam 2-1 in their opening Group H game of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup.
Binh Duong, the defending V-League champions, took the game to Home United and did not look like a side cowed at the prospect of playing away. They created numerous chances for themselves and were let down by their own poor finishing.
Juma’at Jantan then scored for Home United against the run of play in first half time added on. The mini celebrations by some Home United players at the referee’s half-time whistle clearly indicated the feeling of relief in the home team.
Kengne Ludovick then scored the second goal of the evening for Home United in the 58th minute. Ludovick found himself with space at the top of the Vietnamese penalty box and with no one expecting him to shoot, he let fly with a quick strike that left the Vietnamese keeper stranded.
But Binh Duong were not giving up yet.
Kesley Alves pulled one back for Bing Duong in the 74th minute after his initial header was saved by Home United keeper Lionel Lewis. Lionel could only parry the ball back into the six-yard box, and with defenders static, Alves finished off the loose ball.
Bing Duong plugged away for the equaliser and almost scored when Home United captain Subramani saved a near-certain goal by Helio when he took a powerful shot in the groin while defending on the goal line.
With the game now wide open, Home United came close too in the dying moments with Shi Jiayi free to shoot in the penalty box. His point-blank shot however was excellently saved by keeper Tran Minh Quang.
Home United coach P.N. Sivaji was pleased with the result.
“I am very happy with the win. We knew it would be a tough game. This is champion team level. They came out and played good football. We set out to stop them and catch them on the break and we did that quite well. Very pleased with the result.
“I think both teams rode their luck. Most of the chances were created on counter-attacks. It will be interesting to see how many chances we created and how many we finished. We defended too deep giving our opponents too much space. Luck was a factor but we played well and deserved the result.”
“After the SAF game, we needed a response. We suffered for long periods in this game. That we suffered and bounced back shows character in the team.”
In the other Group H game played tonight, Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) Club of Thailand beat Club Valencia of Maldives 3-1.
Home United travel to Thailand to play PEA at the Supachalasai National Stadium on March 17, 2009.
Ludovick celebrates and Shahril Ishak joins in. (Photo 2 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)
Binh Duong goalkeeper Tran Minh Quang cuts a disconsolate figure after he let in Ludovick’s shot. (Photo 3 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)
Sharil Ishak (Home United, #17) makes an unselfish pass to the open Juma’at Jantan (Home United, #4)… (Photo 4 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)
… for him to fire in the first goal of the evening. (Photo 5 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)
Juma’at celebrates his goal with his team mates. (Photo 6 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)
A crowd of Binh Duong supporters turned out in full force. (Photo 7 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)
Huynh Quang Thanh (Binh Duong, #20) tries to steal the ball away from Ludovick. (Photo 8 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)
Shi Jiayi (Home United, #7) unleashes a shot at goal. (Photo 9 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)
“Why??!!” A frustrated Ludovick laments after a foul called on his team mate. (Photo 10 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)
Peres Oliveira (Home United, #20) charges towards goal with a flock of Binh Duong players in tow. (Photo 11 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)
Phung Cong Minh (Binh Duong, #22) clears a ball before Shahril Ishak can make anything of it. (Photo 12 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)
Tran Minh Quang intercepts the ball before Ludovick can get to it. (Photo 13 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)
Ludovick tussles for the ball while Itimi Dickson (Home United, #12) looks on. (Photo 14 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)
Itimi Dickson (Home United, #12) and his opponent watch the ball roll away. (Photo 15 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)
Juma’at Jantan gets pushed over by Philani Bhekizizwe (Binh Duong, #10). (Photo 16 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)
Sharil Ishak and Helio Da Silva (Binh Duong, #15) in a mid-air challenge for the ball. (Photo 17 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)
Huynh Quang Thanh utters some harsh words to referee Matsuo Hajime after disagreeing with a call. (Photo 18 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)
Lionel Lewis (Home United, #18) yells in frustration after Kesley Alves (Binh Duong, #7) scores. (Photo 19 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)
Vu Nhu Thanh (Binh Duong, #23) tries to stop Itimi Dickson’s cross. (Photo 20 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)
Huynh Quang Thanh looks like he’s trying to rip Ludovick’s head off… (Photo 21 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)
… but Ludovick breaks free… (Photo 22 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)
… only to be violently taken down by Truong Van Hai (Binh Duong, #17). (Photo 23 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)
Ludovick groans in pain after the tackle. (Photo 24 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)
Tran Truong Giang (Binh Duong, #8) steals the ball away from Juma’at Jantan. (Photo 25 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)
Shi Jiayi attempts to put in a third goal for Home United… (Photo 26 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)
… but mulls at the wasted chance after the keeper saves brilliantly. (Photo 27 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)
Sharil Ishak crosses the ball to an open Peres Oliveira… (Photo 28 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)
… who was taken down by Huyn Quang Thanh in the penalty box. No penalty was given. (Photo 29 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)
Bing Duong coach Francisco Antonio speaks about his team’s performance. (Photo 30 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)
Home United coach PN Sivaji was satisfied with the team’s performance. (Photo 31 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)