2017 Singapore S-League
  • Home United (24', 26')

Stipe Plazibat maintains Home United title chances

Home United kept up their faint hopes of catching Albirex Niigata (S) in the S.League title race after defeating Balestier Khalsa 2-0 in Friday night's televised game at Jalan Besar Stadium.

A quick-fire Stipe Plazibat double in the first half was enough for the Protectors to cut the gap between them and Albirex to 10 points, with still two games in hand.

The goals meant Plazibat is firmly in the driving seat to win the Golden Boot with 23 league goals -- five more than Albirex's Tsubasa Sano.

Balestier started off in promising fashion, and should have scored on 12 minutes.

Tajeli Salamat robbed Hariss Harun of possession before producing a teasing cross into the box, before Home right back Aqhari Abdullah cleared the danger.

Home gradually settled in, and opened the scoring on 24 minutes.

Shamil Sharif's persistence on chasing a lost cause paid off as he dispossessed Ahmad Syahir on the right byline, before teeing up Plazibat to slot past Zaiful Nizam from close range.

Aidil Sharin's men were on the ascendancy, and doubled their advantage just two minutes later.

Plazibat sneaked in between two Balestier defenders to power home a left-footed volley off Christopher van Huizen's lofted cross from six yards out for his 35th goal in all competitions.

Balestier coach Marko Kraljevic attempted to change their fortunes by bringing on Prime League forward Fariz Faizal to replace Shah Hirul, but the Tigers continued to struggle in the attacking third.

Plazibat could have sealed his hat trick on the hour mark when Hanafi Salleh's attempted back header fell into his path, but the Croatian's snapshot was denied by Zaiful at point-blank range.

Balestier worked hard to reduce the deficit in the final 15 minutes, but were unable to find a way past Hassan Sunny.

Aung Kyaw Naing went through on goal via Hazzuwan Halim's through pass on 76 minutes, but Hassan did well to close down the Myanmar attacker.

The defeat brings Balestier back down to earth after a two-game winning streak.

Home United: Hassan Sunny (GK, C), Aqhari Abdullah, Abdil Qaiyyim, Hariss Harun (Amiruldin Asraf 68'), Sufianto Salleh, Shamil Sharif, Haziq Azman, M. Anumanthan, Christopher van Huizen (Iqram Rifqi 77'), Adam Swandi, Stipe Plazibat (Marijan Suto 78')

Balestier Khalsa: Zaiful Nizam (GK, C), Fadli Kamis, Hanafi Salleh, Sheikh Abdul Hadi, Ashrul Syafeeq, Ahmad Syahir (Rafiqin Kamal 73'), Tajeli Salamat, Shah Hirul (Faris Faizal 53'), Raihan Rahman, Aung Kyaw Naing, Hazzuwan Halim