HOME United left it late again on Wednesday as it frustrated Ceres Negros in the first leg of the AFC Cup Regional Finals with a 2-1 win at the Bishan Stadium in Singapore.
Harris Harum scored the match winner in the 84th minute when he pounced on an opportunity off a scramble from the set piece to give the Singaporeans a slight advantage heading into the return leg in Bacolod on August 9.
The debuting Harum snuck around the Ceres backline on their free kick then calmly headed home the winner past Roland Muller.
Stipe Plazibat, hero in both legs of their semis match against Global Cebu, scored the opener in the 11th minute via a penalty which he won in the ninth minute.
A wonder goal from distance by skipper Martin Steuble in added time of the first half levelled the score, but the Busmen were denied two clear scoring chances when Super Herrera and Fernando Rordiguez were both called for offsides that could have gone either way.
The Negros side never recovered, with Hassan Sunny living up to his stature as one of the region's best by producing two wonderful saves on Kevin Ingreso and Bienve Maranon to set the stage for Harum's winner.
For what it's worth, Ceres will be coming home with an away goal and will be thrust once again into a familiar situation after also losing the first leg to Johor Darul Ta'zim in their semis meet.