News • August 12, 2016
White Swans Extend Lead At The Summit
Written by: Nevin Gabriel Khoo
Albirex Niigata (S) extended their lead at the top of the table to four points after a 4-0 victory over 10 men Garena Young Lions at the Jurong East Stadium on Thursday night.
The first half saw Albirex dominated much of the proceedings in terms of possession and chances but with little to show for as a resolute Garena Young Lions’ defence was equal to the challenge.
The Young Lions had stand-in goalkeeper Fashah Iskandar to thank for keeping the score even going into the break as he repelled Albirex’s onslaught on goal. Rui Kamada’s effort was the closest to breaking the deadlock as his thumping header rattled the crossbar in the eight minutes before the halftime interval.
The White Swans took the lead immediately after the break as Menda’s thunderous shot flew into the top left corner leaving Fashah no chance and giving Albirex a well deserved lead a minute after the restart.
Shannon Stephen’s red card in the 81st minute opened the floodgates for an Albirex rout with Kento Nagasaki taking advantage of a defensive error by the Young Lions’ defence and coolly placing the ball into the bottom right corner of the goal in the 84th minute.
It was 3-0 to Naoki Naruo’s charges in the final minute of normal regulation time as a lofted ball over the defence found Tatsuro Inui who made no mistake from inside the six yard box.
There was still time for Nagasaki to claim a brace in the last minute of added time as a similar ball over the top found him unmarked and he headed home to complete the rout.
Albirex Niigata head coach Naoki Naruo: “I think it was a very difficult game for us tonight. Their defence is organized so we could not score goals in the first half and I think they did a very good job today.”
“We showed a better performance today but I think it took awhile for the players to forget last week’s defeat and to play our game.
Their defence is organized so we could not score goals in the first half and I think they did a very good job today. My mindset now is to think that we do not have that 4 points gap over Tampines Rovers so that we have to win the rest of our remaining games.”
Garena Young Lions head coach Patrick Hesse: “In this game I see more positives than negatives because during last week’s game we didn’t show anything, but today we fought and compete for one half with (for me) the best team in the championship and the only disappointment was that we conceded early in the second half. Perhaps if we played with eleven players the score would only be 2-0.”
“There is nothing much to say about the four goals Fashah conceded because he has not much game time with the defence and he made many good saves as well. He was a last minute replacement because our first team keeper is injured.”
Albirex Niigata (S): Yosuke Nozawa (GK, C), Mikiya Yamada (Kazuki Mine 85’), Kento Fujihara, Atsushi Shirota, Naofumi Tanaka, Shuto Inaba, Tomoki Menda, Rui Kumada (Masaya Jitozono 70’), Kento Nagasaki, Atsushi Kawata, Hiroyoshi Kamata (Tatsuro Inui 46’)
Garena Young Lions: Fashah Iskandar (GK), Rusyaidi Salime, Taufiq Muqminin (Firdaus Kasman 57’), Dhukhilan Jeevamani, Shannon Stephen, Ashrul Syafeeq, Joshua Pereira, Christopher Van Huizen (Jonathan Tan 71’), Adam Swandi (C), Ryan Syaffiq, Hami Syahin (Shafeeq Faruk 77’)