Singapore Cup • October 3, 2015
Taki Gives Albirex Narrow Lead
Written by: Nigel Chin
A second-half Rion Taki strike was enough to help Albirex Niigata (S) take a slim 1-0 advantage on aggregate against Global FC in the RHB Singapore Cup semi-finals.
Taki struck a cool finish in the 52nd minute following a mistake at the back from the Philippines side to settle the contest on Friday evening at the Clementi Stadium.
Both sides entered the game without ample preparation due to the current haze situation, which had caused the tie to be rescheduled three times.
It showed early on, as they struggled to get into any rhythm.
Global did manage to craft out a chance in the seventh minute, but captain Misagh Bahadoran’s effort was beaten away by Albirex custodian Yosuke Nozawa.
Twelve minutes later, Shun Inaba had a decent effort on goal from the edge of the box but it trickled just wide before Taki headed horribly wide after latching onto Fumiya Kogure’s cross.
Albirex continued to pile on the pressure, only to be let down by more poor finishing.
Global went on the counter in the 37th minute and could have taken the lead, but Mark Hartmann curled his effort over instead.
Both Taki and Kogure could have given the White Swans a goal just before the break as well, but Taki screwed his shot wide before Kogure curled a free-kick agonisingly wide three minutes later.
Seven minutes after the restart, Taki found the back of the net as the Global defence went to sleep.
A loose pass allowed Shotaro Ihata to pick up the ball deep inside their half and the striker slid in Taki, who made no mistakes with his finish.
They could have doubled their lead 15 minutes later, but Kogure sent his shot just over the bar.
Global almost equalised with just 11 minutes left on the clock on the counter once again, but unluckily for the Philippines side, Hartmann could not connect cleanly with Bahadoran’s dangerous cross.
There was nothing they could conjured up in the dying minutes despite camping inside Albirex’s half and this means they will head into the second leg trailing by a goal.
Global FC XI: Patrick Deyto (GK), Matthew Hartmann, Misagh Bahadoran (C), Amani Aguinaldo, Mario Clarino (Paulo Selenga 46’), Mark Hartmann, Richard Jr. Talaroc, Masaki Yanagawa, Paolo Bugas (Dennis Villanueva 67’), Jerry Barbaso, Yu Hoshide
Albirex Niigata (S) XI: Yosuke Nozawa (GK), Mikiya Yamada, Kento Fujihara, Takahiro Saito, Itsuki Yamada, Hikaru Mizuno (C), Fumiya Kogure (Ryuki Matsuya 90’) , Rion Taki, Shotaro Ihata (Hikaru Yanagawa 87’), Shun Inaba, Rui Kumada (Yusuke Mukai 66’)