League Cup • July 6, 2014

Jaguars Eager To Make Things Right In Opening Clash


StarHub League Cup Group A

Tanjong Pagar United vs Albirex Niigata (S)

(July 7, Monday, 8.00pm, Queenstown Stadium)

Written by: Phoon Jia Hui

Tanjong Pagar United will be looking to snap a four-match losing streak in all competitions when they welcome Albirex Niigata (S) to Queenstown Stadium in their opening StarHub League Cup Group A fixture on Monday evening.

Currently tenth in the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League standings, Tanjong Pagar are out of the running in the RHB Singapore Cup after their loss to Tampines Rovers at the quarter-final stage a week ago.

Therefore, this would represent their final chance of winning a piece of silverware this season. With only two group matches to be played, the Jaguars will be eager to claim all three points here and take a big step towards making the quarter-finals.

In a competition where coaches tend to give second-stringers a chance, it remains to be seen if Patrick Vallee would do the same considering the fact that this is a winnable competition and he could go all out.

Just like Tanjong Pagar, Albirex have similarly been dumped out of the Singapore Cup by Brunei DPMM after a 6-4 defeat.

In the S.League though, Tatsuyuki Okuyama’s side are flying high having notched three straight wins prior to their defeat to DPMM and hence will be eager to bounce back with a win here.

Unlike their opponents, the White Swans do have history in this competition, having won the 2011 edition after beating Hougang United on penalties in the final.

However, their defensive frailties could prove to be their downfall. That was exemplified in their defeat against DPMM in the first-leg of their Singapore Cup quarter-final when they conceded three goals in the opening 17 minutes.

Despite that, they still possess a pretty potent strike force which has the ability to cause damage and this could compensate for that.

Kazuki Sakamoto will be expected to shoulder the goalscoring load once again, while being supported by Kazuya Okazaki who will pull the strings in midfield with nippy wingers Keisuke Ota and Kento Nagasaki tasked to send in crosses from both flanks.

In the league, both teams have already met twice this season with both matches ending 2-1 in favour of the White Swans. As such, this could be a good opportunity for Tanjong Pagar to avenge defeat.

Tanjong Pagar United – LLLLW

1/7/14      Tanjong Pagar United 1-4 Tampines Rovers (RHB Singapore Cup Quarter-Final Second Leg)

27/6/14    Tampines Rovers 4-2 Tanjong Pagar United (RHB Singapore Cup Quarter-Final First Leg)

23/6/14    Warriors FC 4-1 Tanjong Pagar United

18/6/14    Tanjong Pagar United 1-2 Albirex Niigata (S)

12/6/14    Tanjong Pagar United 3-0 Courts Young Lions

Albirex Niigata (S) – LLWWW

4/7/14      Brunei DPMM 2-1 Albirex Niigata (S) (RHB Singapore Cup Quarter-Final Second Leg)

29/6/14    Albirex Niigata (S) 3-4 Brunei DPMM (RHB Singapore Cup Quarter-Final First Leg)

22/6/14    Albirex Niigata (S) 4-2 Courts Young Lions

18/6/14    Tanjong Pagar United 1-2 Albirex Niigata (S)

11/6/14    Albirex Niigata (S) 7-1 Woodlands Wellington