It was to have been Indra Sahdan night as everything was in place.
He only needed one more goal to reach the figure 200. Second, it was against his former club Home United where he got his 100th back in 2003 and it was the Uniform Derby .
Finally, like in 2003 when he scored a hat-trick, the match was to be telecast LIVE and he could get that all important goal and the nation will be watching it.
But nobody told Shahril Ishak the script as he wrote one for himself.
The Singaporean international stole the show with him scoring a hat-trick and providing the assists for the other two Home goals that saw the Bishan club crushed SAFFC 5-2 at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
It was an amazing individual performance that could have push Home United back into the title race.
Right from the start, Home were the better side and they got the breakthrough after 9 minutes as Shahril Ishak broke the night of another Lions, Shahril Jantan as he rose to head in the opener from a corner; ahead of the Warriors custodian who came out to gather but was beaten to it.
But it was nothing compare to Shahril Ishak second as the 26-year-old broke the offside trap and when one-on-one with the Warriors custodian, he went past him but instead shooting, he stop, as there was two defenders back already, then while choosing his spot and time he chose to dribble past Shahril Jantan again, the Warriors custodian was back on his feet and trying to stop the Home midfielder, and his time, he did shoot and score thus beating the three players trying to stop him.
It was incredible and a testimonial to his skill and abilities which have been talked about since he make his S-league debut back in 2003 with the Young Lions.
After that, Home nearly threw it away at the end of the half as they conceded a penalty and up step Indra Sahdan, who have sized the moment, but the former Lions send his kick wide of the goal and it sum up his night which was overshadow by the brilliance of Shahril Ishak.
If the Warriors thought they could regroup after the break, they were broken after just a minute after the restart as Shahril Ishak speed off on the flank from a through ball and send in a cross that Korean Jun Woo Keun could not miss with the entire goal at his mercy.
But like the period after their second goal, the Protectors lost focus and allowed the Warriors a lifeline as John Wilkinson broke the offside trap to go one-on-one with Lionel Lewis and this Lions was more direct as he blasted the ball past the Home custodian.
However, there was no denying Shahril Ishak his hat-trick and the match ball as he played a wonderful one-two with Korean Jun Woo Keun, who repay Shahril Ishak for his assist.
Shahril Ishak first back fie the ball to Jun who then lifted it over the Warriors backline, with Shahril still running, and the Singaporean was through on goal and he fool Shahril Jantan who may have thought the midfielder may pass but he shoot past the Warriors custodian instead.
It was now 4-1 and you guess it, the Protectors lost focus once again as the Warriors went back up and got a penalty almost immediately.
This time Indra will not take it and it was up to Park Tae Won.
The Korean did not disappoint as he dispatch it into the net.
After all that, one could have thought the excitement will slow down after such a high pace game but it never did and the Warriors and Protectors still went at each other with the game on the edge.
The last word had to come from Shahril Ishak as he broke the Warriors offside trap for the final time in the game and despite having the chance to score a fourth, he set it nicely for Shahdan Sulaiman to get the credit.
Overall though, there was no denying who deserves the biggest credit on the night and it must be Shahril Ishak who looked to have finally justify his abilities and skills this season.
He is now the main man leading the Home title challenge and nobody can dispute that.
Shahril Jantan (GK) (C), Hafiz Osman, (Erwan Gunawan) Syaiful Iskandar, Ivan Lovric, Ahmad Latiff, Noh Rahman, John Wilkinson, Ivan Jerkovic, Park Tae Won, (Mustaqim Manzur) Indra Sahdan Daud, Taisuke Akiyoshi
Lionel Lewis (GK), Valery Hiek, (Zulfadli Zainal Abidin) Rosman Sulaiman, (Firdaus Kasman) Shi Jiayi, Tengku Mushadad, Chun Jae Woon, Shahril Ishak(C), (Firdaus Idros) Isa Halim, Shahdan Sulaiman, Jun Woo Keun, Choi Chul Woo
2018 squad finalised - The Tuesday that just passed was the day everyone had to submit their final squads of 20 players for season 2018, and from a South point of view everything...
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