League Cup News • June 23, 2016
The New Paper League Cup 2016: Tigers Hopeful Of Making Finals Again
Written by: Shawn Lim
The New Paper League Cup 2016 draw was conducted on Wednesday afternoon at the Singapore Press Holdings and saw eight teams split into two different groups in an open draw.
This year’s edition will see the the top two teams from each group progress to the semi-final stage of the competition, while the bottom two teams each group will compete against each other in the Plate semi-finals.
Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League defending champions Brunei DPMM, who won the competition in 2014, will have to get past Warriors FC, Tampines Rovers and Hougang United in Group A if they intend to win the League Cup again.
In Group B, which many are calling the “Group of Death”, defending champions Albirex Niigata (S)’s journey to retain their title will start against the likes Home United, Geylang International and 2013 winners Balestier Khalsa.
Tigers coach Marko Kraljevic admitted after the draw that he was hoping to avoid Albirex, who are currently sitting at the top of the S.League table and a side they lost to in the League Cup final last year.
The Croatian however, is keen to make the finals again this year and continue Balestier’s tradition of doing well in the competition.
“When you have Albirex in your group, it will be tough because they are currently the best team in the S.League,” Kraljevic told S.League.com.
“I was hoping to avoid them, but hopefully, they will not be able to maintain their form when the competition starts.
“I think the three of us (Home, Geylang and Balestier) will fight for second position and hopefully, our good form in the competition will continue.”
For Warriors, the League Cup represents a chance to win at least one trophy this year according to midfielder Emmeric Ong, even though the nine-times S.League champions have been struggling in the S.League so far this season.
“I think for this competition, it doesn’t matter where our league standing is. This competition, everybody starts on a clean state,” said Ong.
“Even though we are in the same group as Tampines and DPMM, plus Hougang who have been performing well in the league this year, we all have an equal chance.
“Warriors have been historically a big club and we have shown that we can produce results when it mattered and we will do our best in this competition.”
The competition will be held from the 11th to 30th of July and the fixtures will be announced at a later date.
Full groupings below:
Albirex Niigata (S)