Singapore Premier League • June 4, 2018

Captain Murofushi leads the way as Albirex spank five past DPMM to stay perfect


A brace from the midfielder helped the White Swans win 5-0 to make it 11 straight wins

Wataru Murofushi cracks home a fine effort for his first of the night.

SINGAPORE, 3 JUNE 2018 – Albirex strolled to their 32nd straight home win with a 5-0 defeat of 10-man Brunei DPMM on Sunday evening at Jurong East Stadium.

Captain Wataru Murofushi led the way with a brace for the White Swans, with Taku Morinaga, Shuhei Hoshino and Ryuji Yamanaka joining him on the score-sheet.

The win was Albirex’s second straight five-goal victory and also meant that they have 11 wins from 11 games, with no signs of slowing down just yet.

DPMM, on the other hand, dropped to sixth in the table, behind Home United FC on goal difference after suffering their heaviest defeat of the season.

Coming into the game, DPMM had conceded six times in the opening 10 minutes – the most in the league – and that came to haunt them once again as Morinaga broke the deadlock just nine minutes in.

A low cross from Ryujiro Yamanaka was not dealt with properly by centre-back Hanif Hamir and the ball fell invitingly for the little magician to slam past a hapless Haimie Nyaring.

Albirex’s next opportunity would only come in the 33rd minute after Murofushi picked out Morinaga with a wonderful pass but this time, Haimie made a fine stop with his outstretched legs.

Two minutes later, Kenya Takahashi hit the woodwork with a free-kick from the edge of the box.

The hosts would double their lead less than 60 seconds later though, with Shuhei Hoshino turning Hanif on the edge of the box before slotting the ball into the bottom right after receiving the ball from Daiki Asaoka.

The lead was further extended five minutes before the break as Murofushi lit up the night with a wonderful solo effort.

Receiving the ball from Asaoka in the middle of the park, it looked as though he was too far out to cause any real harm. But Murofushi then embarked on a wonderful run into the box, skipping past three challenges before firing a powerful effort that dipped into the top left corner.

Albirex began the second half in similar fashion, with Murofushi firing narrowly over after a well-worked move from the Japanese side.

DPMM had a decent chance to reduce the deficit when Volodymyr Priyomov ran past Shuhei Sasahara in the 56th minute, only for Yohsuke Nozawa to deny him.

The Ukranian was at it again just a minute later, but this time he could not keep his free-kick down.

Morinaga then wasted a golden chance to add onto his tally after Albirex carved open the Bruneians with some brilliant build-up, before Asaoka saw his header off Takahashi’s free-kick saved by Haimie.

Haimie continued to be kept busy by Hoshino and Morinaga, and the pressure eventually got to the 20-year-old goalkeeper on 74 minutes.

The youngster had come out for a long ball and fumbled it, gifting possession to Morinaga. In a moment of madness, he punched the diminutive midfielder in the chest, giving referee Farhad Mohd no choice but to brandish the red card.

Down a man, DPMM failed to cope with the continuous Albirex pressure. Another mistake at the back gave the league leaders their fourth of the night in the 79th minute, after Helmi Zambin’s attempted clearance from a Morinaga cross deflected off Yamanaka into the DPMM goal.

Murofushi then got his second of the night with the last kick of the game, tapping the ball over the line after substitute goalkeeper Wardun Yussof palmed Hoshino’s header onto the Albirex captain’s path.

Albirex Head Coach Kazuaki Yoshinaga: “Although we won 5-0 tonight, I was not happy with some of the mistakes that the players made. It was just lucky that those shots we took went in today and on another day, we may not be so lucky. There are some mistakes that I am not very happy with. I devise the strategies for this team, and I have an idea how to stop my own team.

“I would like to correct some misconceptions. Opponents always say we have 25 players, but we have 21 and 19 are Japanese with two Singaporeans. With 21 players, we are unable to play 11 versus 11 during training. This year, we also cut back a lot of friendly matches but we do not have enough substitute players … it has been a handicap for us this year.

“Another misconception is that we play with a Japanese style. I do not look to Japan for my style. I take inspiration from European football. My idea is to train the Japanese players to be able to beat the teams outside of Japan. This is what my motivation and inspiration is from.”

DPMM Head Coach Rene Weber: “We have played eight games in the league, and six are away – this is not something that happens normally. It’s true that we have given up too much goals in the beginning … I think maybe we have no concentration in the beginning. I have to point out that Albirex have better fitness – they have mostly foreign players, and they are some steps further ahead than other team in the competition. I congratulate Albirex as they are doing well (for) a team (of) Under-23 (players).

“(I am) sure we can play (better). We lost two of the last three games… I expect us to come back to our level. We started very well in the beginning of the season, we have to do something about the situation we are in. We can definitely play better … I hope in the future we can do better.”

Albirex: Yohsuke Nozawa (GK), Shuhei Sasahara (kazuki Sumiishi 88′), Kaishu Yamazaki, Daiki Asaoka, Riku Moriyasu, Wataru Murofushi (C), Shuhei Hoshino, Kenya Takahashi, Hiroyoshi Kamata, Taku Morinaga (Kodai Sumikawa 82′), Ryujiro Yamanaka Ryutaro Shibanoki 85′).
Unused subs: Shahul Rayyan (GK), Taiki Itsukaichi (GK), Ryuji Yamauchi, Ibuki Inoue.

DPMM: Haimie Nyaring (GK), Brian McLean, Azwan Saleh, Azwan Ali Rahman (Wardun Yussof 75′), Hendra Azam, Volodymyr Priyomov, Suhaimi Sulau, Helmi Zambin, Adi Said, Shah Razen Said (C), Hanif Hamir (Yura Indera Putera 70′).
Unused subs: Reduan Petara, Abdul Aziz Rahman, Najib Tarif, Shafie Efenddy, Nurikhwan Othman.

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