Warriors FC moved top of the table in the S.League on Friday evening after claiming a 3-2 win over rivals Home United in the Uniform Derby.
It took the Warriors just four minutes to break the deadlock at the Jalan Besar Stadium; Nicolas Velez meeting Shi Jiayi’s over-the-top pass with an exquisite volley that looped over Shahril Jantan and into the path of the net.
Five minutes before halftime, they doubled their lead when Miroslav Pejic charged through the middle and reached the edge of the box, before firing away a left-footed shot that crept into the bottom corner.
The game then appeared to be over when Warriors added a third on the hour mark after another excellent pass by Shi sent Velez racing through, and the Argentinean cooly skipped past the onrushing Shahril before slotting into the unguarded goal.
Nonetheless, Song In-young gave the Protectors a lifeline in the 71st minute when stabbed home a loose ball from close range, after Hassan Sunny had failed to cleanly gather a Juma’at Jantan cross.
And two minutes from time, they reduced the deficit even further when the ball broke into the path of Fazli Ayob inside the box; the winger making no mistake in planting his shot beyond Hassan’s despairing dive.
But despite their late efforts, Home had just left themselves with too much to do as their opponents held out for a vital win.
The three points allowed Warriors to move top of the table by a point, although second-placed DPMM FC have a game in hand against Albirex Niigata (S) on October 28.
Warriors FC: Hassan Sunny, Ismail Yunos (Zulfadli Zainal Abidin 69’), Daniel Bennett, Marin Vidosevic, Irwan Shah, Thomas Beattie, Kevin McCann, Shi Jiayi, Hafiz Rahim (Hafsyar Farkhan 78’), Miroslav Pejic, Nicolas Velez (Agu Casmir 72’).
Home United: Shahril Jantan, Masrezwan Masturi (Ahmed Fahmie 69’), Song In-young, Kwon Da-kyung, Juma’at Jantan, Noh Rahman, Lee Kwan-woo, Yasir Hanapi, Indra Sahdan Daud (Fazli Ayob 63’), Bruno Castanheira, Fazrul Nawaz (Izzdin Shafiq 63’).