Home United tentatively climbed up to third on the S.League table after claiming a controversial 2-1 win over Tanjong Pagar United at the Queenstown Stadium on Wednesday.
The Protectors edged ahead in the 12th minute when a collision between opposition defenders Nor Azli Yusoff and Anthony Aymard – as they attempted to clear a high ball – allowed the ball to break free to Sirina Camara, who made no mistake in firing a shot into the back of the net with aplomb.
But six minutes later, the hosts equalised after a brilliant bit of play by Tengku Mushadad saw him break free in the middle of the park before delivering an incisive through-pass to Sebastien Etiemble; the Frenchman clinically guiding his shot past the onrushing Shahril Jantan.
Tanjong Pagar were then dealt a blow in the 76th minute when Kamel Ramdani was questionably shown a straight red by referee Sukhbir Singh, even though his trip on Yasir Hanapi was merely cynical but far from vicious or with malicious intent.
Nonetheless, parity was restored two minutes later when Yasir too was sent off after being issued a second yellow, after a blatant tug-back on Sazali Salleh.
Remarakably, a third player was then sent off in the 81st minute when Monsef Zerka was also shown a straight red, even though it was not immediately apparent what his offence had been.
And three minutes from time, Home went on to claim all three points after Bruno Castanheira found a yard of space inside the box, and proceeded to squeeze his shot into the bottom corner.
The victory allowed the Protectors to move four points behind leaders DPMM and they are currently level on 34 points with fourth-placed Warriors FC, although they are ahead on goal difference.
Tanjong Pagar United: Aurelien Herisson, Nor Azli Yusoff, Anthony Aymard, Hafiz Osman, Asraf Rashid (Zahid Ahmad 70’), Tengku Mushadad (Sazali Salleh 72’), Kamel Ramdani, Ahmad Latiff, Sebastien Etiemble, Firdaus Idros, Monsef Zerka.
Home United: Shahril Jantan, Masrezwan Masturi (Indra Sahdan Daud 88’), Song In-young, Kwon Da-kyung, Juma’at Jantan, Yasir Hanapi, Noh Rahman, Bruno Castanheira (Fazli Ayob 88’), Lee Kwan-woo, Sirina Camara, Qiu Li (Fazrul Nawaz 60’).