Home United to 'go for broke' vs. Albirex in Singapore Cup semifinal

Trailing 3-1 from the first leg, Home United will be left with no other option, but to go for broke when they host Albirex Niigata (S) in the second leg of their Singapore Cup semifinal at Bishan Stadium on Saturday night.

Coach Aidil Sharin will adopt an all-out strategy, not dissimilar to the 4-2-4 formation which he deployed on Wednesday night at Jurong East.

The result would have been starkly different had Croatian marksman Stipe Plazibat converted a penalty when the score was still 1-1.

"Anything can happen in football and we are going to play at our home ground," a defiant Aidil told the official S.League website. "We will definitely not sit back. We have nothing to lose and the pressure will be on Albirex.

"We have to learn from the first leg. If we take things too easily, we are going to get punished. Hopefully, there will be no repeat of this in the second leg.

"I believe these bunch of boys can do it. We will give everything we have. There is nothing to hold back as after this is the international break."

The Protectors are definitely up against it because they need two goals to push the game into extra time, and three goals to overturn the tie.

Albirex have not conceded more than three goals in a game this season. The last time they did so was, ironically, against Home, at Bishan last October when they suffered a 3-1 defeat after sealing the S.League in their previous game.

Despite the two-goal advantage, Albirex coach Kazuaki Yoshinaga refused to take progression into a third successive Cup final for granted.

"I have watched many matches, so a 3-1 lead means nothing in two-legged games," the former Shimuzu S-Pulse coach said.

"We have to be careful so that we will not lose our advantage. For the second leg, it will start at a 0-0 score and we will approach the game that way.

"We have always played an attacking game and we will not be changing much from our playing philosophy.

"But we have to be careful of Home's attack so that we can defend against them properly. It is about taking a balanced approach in both attack and defence."

Both sides have already faced off three times at Bishan in 2017, with 1-1 and 2-2 S.League draws sandwiching a 1-0 Albirex win in the League Cup group stages.

Home are the record six-time winners of the Singapore Cup, but have yet to reach the final since 2013. As for Albirex, they are targeting a third after winning the last two editions.

The winners will face either surprise packages Hougang United or Philippines invitees Global-Cebu in the Singapore Cup final on Nov. 25.