Home United FC have lifted the RHB Singapore Cup after a hard fought 1-0 win over Albirex Niigata FC at the Jalan Besar Stadium. Last night, It took a long 118 minutes before a goal was scored in the match. The winning goal came from HUFC’s topscorer Frederic Mendy.
Fans turned up in droves to catch two quality teams playing attractive football in action. The stadium had a party atmosphere as both set of fans were making their voices heard.
Happy fans decked out in Protectors colours
Both teams were locked in a tactical battle from the start of the match. Albirex Niigata FC were playing their usual possession game as our Protectors sat back with five defenders. Despite that, Albirex Niigata FC were unable to carve out good openings as Man-of-the-match Valery Heik led his defence superbly.
Defensive rock Valery Heik was at his best in the final
Our Protectors created the better goal-scoring chances through the pacy Sherif El-Masri and star man Frederic Mendy. The game changer was Qiu Li, who recovered from a knee injury to play some part in this match. Qiu Li was introduced with ten minutes of regulation time to go and he made instant impact as our Protectors sliced Albirex Niigata FC apart. Frederic Mendy thought he had scored the winner on the stroke of full-time when he rose highest to nod into goal. To his dismay, referee disallowed the goal for a foul on the Albirex keeper.
Mendy nets the winning goal on 118 minutes
In extra-time, both teams were having a go at each other and oth goalkeepers made crucial saves to keep their teams in the match. With a penalty shootout looming, our Protectors found the winning goal on 118 minutes. A freekick was whipped in by Qiu Li and Valery Heik rose above his marker to head towards goal and the lanky Mendy gleefully sidefooted home to give our Protectors the lead. The last minutes were tensed as our Protectors held off Albirex’s waves of attacks to lift the RHB Singapore Cup.
Valery Heik rising above Albirex defender to set-up Mendy’s winning goal
The victory sees our Protectors break a barren run of trophies since 2005. With the RHB Singapore Cup in the bag, our Protectors will now aim to complete the domestic “Double” when they take on title rivals Tampines Rovers FC this coming Wednesday.