Singapore Premier League • April 28, 2018

Five-star White Swans sweep Eagles aside


Albirex Niigata FC (S) stayed perfect in the league with a 5-0 rout of Geylang International FC

Albirex Niigata FC (S) midfielder Taku Morinaga scored the third goal of the night.

SINGAPORE, 28 APRIL 2018 – Albirex Niigata FC (S) made it five wins on the trot in the Great Eastern-Hyundai Singapore Premier League (SPL) after a 5-0 thrashing of Geylang International FC at Jurong East Stadium on Saturday evening.

Wataru Murofushi and Kenya Takahashi gave the White Swans a comfortable two-goal cushion at the break, before Taku Morinaga, Shuhei Hoshino and Ryujiro Yamanaka netted one each as the SPL leaders maintained their 100 per cent record.

In a match that was delayed for an hour and a half due to inclement weather, the visitors got off to a promising start and nearly opened the scoring after five minutes. Fumiya Kogure however, curled narrowly over from outside the box after being teed up by Ryan Syaffiq.

It proved to be a false dawn as the Eagles’ resistance was broken on 17 minutes when Riku Moriyasu showed excellent vision to pick out an unmarked Murofushi. The Albirex skipper then had all the time in the world to pick out Basil Chan’s near post for his third goal of the season.

Straight down the other end, Geylang almost levelled matters but Ryson Yap could only thump over a half-volley off Ryan’s pass.

It was two goals to the good for Albirex on the half-hour mark, with Takahashi’s cross-shot from a narrow angle sneaking into goal.

Albirex continued where they left off after the restart as Morinaga’s header crashed off the bar in the 49th minute, while Adam Swandi had his goal ruled out for offside six minutes later.

Kogure spurned a good opening on 67 minutes, latching on to Ryan’s slide rule pass before firing tamely at Yosuke Nozawa.

All hopes of a Geylang comeback were extinguished four minutes later as Morinaga raced onto Hoshino’s flick before hitting a stupendous arching volley from range that gave Chan no chance.

There was still time for two late goals, with Hoshino calmly slotting past an onrushing Chan on 82 minutes before substitute Yamanaka got into the act three minutes later to complete the rout.

The result meant Geylang’s win-less run stretched to six games and they will be looking to break that duck when they face the Young Lions at Bedok Stadium on 9 May. Albirex, meanwhile, take on Hougang United FC at Jurong East next Sunday.

Albirex Head Coach Kazuaki Yoshinaga:
“I didn’t think it was (going to be) an easy game today because Geylang hadn’t won a game so far… I expected a difficult game and having watched our opponents in their first few games, I found out that they had changed their tactics today.

“Thus, it wasn’t easy for us to plan for this match. I told the players they have to use their intelligence and adjust accordingly; so the players did very well today. Of course, we have identified areas where to improve and we will work on them (for future games).

“Leading 2-0, there was no reason for us to attack blindly and that’s why we put Yamanaka in where he used his speed well and we created more chances after that.”

Geylang Head Coach Hirotaka Usui: “I knew everything about Albirex today and I understood that this game was going to be difficult (for us) to win but I thought my players had done their best. When our opponents scored, our players tried to come back and that spirit is important.

“The players didn’t give up until the last minute and I thought this was our best game from us so far this season. If we could have gotten a point I’d be happy but Albirex were simply too good today. This game was all about getting the confidence back, after our 4-1 loss to Home United the last time out.”

Albirex: Yosuke Nozawa (GK), Hiroyoshi Kamata, Shuhei Sasahara, Kaishu Yamazaki, Kenya Takahashi, Riku Moriyasu (Ryujiro Yamanaka 63’), Daiki Asaoka (Kazuki Sumiishi 89’), Wataru Murofushi (C), Adam Swandi, Taku Morinaga, Shuhei Hoshino (Ibuki Inoue 90’+3).
Unused subs: Taiki Itsukaichi (GK), Kodai Sumikawa, Ryuji Yamauchi, Ryutaro Shibanoki.

Geylang: Basil Chan (GK), Darren Teh, Jufri Taha, Zulfadli Zainal Abidin (C), Danish Irfan (Fairoz Hasan 79’), Ryan Syaffiq, Yuki Ichikawa, Fuad Ramli, Ryson Yap (Yeo Hai Ngee 55’), Shawal Anuar (Azhar Sairudin 79’), Fumiya Kogure.
Unused subs: Zainol Gulam (GK), Sadiq Abdul Rahim, Noor Ariff, Ahmad Zaki.

Get your tickets for ALL Singapore Premier League games at!