Singapore Premier League • November 6, 2015

Aw: We Are Back At Square One


Written by: Shawn Lim

Home United coach Philippe Aw was in a despondent mood after watching his side give up their lead to fall to a 2-1 defeat to Albirex Niigata (S) on Thursday night.

Song Uiyong had given the Protectors the lead in the first half at Yishun Stadium before Kento Fujihara poked home Fumiya Kogure’s deflected free-kick to equalise for the visitors and Atsushi Kawata wrapped up the win for the White Swans minutes later.

While Aw praised his side’s first-half performance, he admitted the fatigue was the reason why his side could not find the equaliser as the clock ticked down.

“In the first half, Albirex had nothing. We played good football, we kept possession very well. We scored a very good goal and we were looking comfortable,” said the 39-year-old.

“In the second half, Albirex of course, being one goal down, picked up the pace a little. But I felt we were still able to handle it.

“Then Kogure’s took that’s a good free-kick, we got to give it to him. That goal changed the game.

“I felt that in the last 15, 20 minutes we were getting a little bit tired. Today is the sixth game in 20 days.

“It’s taking the toll on the players. But I felt that at 2-1 down, the last 10 minutes we came back strong, but the shots were not on target.

“Overall, we are disappointed with the defeat, but once again the performance, we did well.”

The defeat to Albirex was also Home’s third in a row, having lost to Geylang International and Harimau Muda in their last two games, and it left Aw with a feeling of deja vu.

“It’s coming back to the earlier part of the season where we don’t play well, we don’t take our chances and then the opponent has a chance and they score,” said Aw.

“Starting from the Geylang game, we are being punished for simple mistakes and it’s three defeats in a row now, but I told the team we have gone on a 10-game unbeaten run..we are not a bad team.

“As you can see, in the first half we played very well. Of course, we have two big games in the Cup (RHB Singapore Cup) coming up, so that’s really what we are going for.

“The next game is just three days away on Sunday, against Tampines (Rovers) and we have no time to dwell.

“Of course, we have to talk about the little mistakes that we did, but more important is that the players recover.”

In contrast, Albirex coach Tatsuyuki Okuyama was in a buoyant mood after the game, expressing his delight at the result which left them four points behind Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League leaders Brunei DPMM.

“The game is 90 minutes and Home United is a very good team. I was looking forward to playing against them today,” said the Japanese.

“Both teams only had two days of rest before the game, so I was expecting this result today and I am very happy to beat them by scoring two goals.

“As always, we are playing our best to win every game and the next game is very important for us, so we will do our best to win it.”