Singapore Premier League • March 27, 2014

Late Drama Bestows Woodlands And Albirex A Point


Written by: Muhammad Yazid

A last-minute goal by Albirex Niigata ensured that the visitors shared the spoils with Woodlands Wellington in an intriguing encounter which ended 1-1.

An early goal by Chang Jo Yoon in the second half was cancelled out by substitute Taiyo Nishida in the final minute of injury time.

The away side had their fair share of opportunities to put themselves in the driving seat in the first half, including Kazuki Sakamoto’s volley which went wide in the 6th minute and Kazuya Okazaki’s shot which similarly flew towards the wrong side of the post in the 43rd minute.

The Rams came out fighting after the interval and got their just reward when Chang pounced on a loose ball before turning away from a defender and sending a low left-footed finish past Kenjiro Ogino in the 46th minute.

It could have been a comfortable two-goal lead for the hosts four minutes later but Goh Swee Swee’s free-kick sailed a whisker away from the crossbar.

Ogino had to deal with a series of corner-kicks from Rosman Sulaiman minutes later before keeping out the skipper’s curling efforts away from danger.

Albirex were presented with their first chance to equalise in the 57th minute but Koki Akasaka’s low shot was easy for Woodlands goalkeeper Yazid Yasin to save.

The final 20 minutes of the game was a real test for Woodlands as they had to defend against countless attacking penetration from Albirex.

A free-kick by Okazaki in the 85th minute from just outside the penalty box was spectacularly saved by Yazid, who was constantly denying the visitors the equaliser.

Five minutes later, Kento Fujihara almost put his side back into the game with a wonderful overhead kick, but once again Yazid was called into action as he parried the ball away for corner.

The final minute of injury time was the only occasion the Woodlands defence failed to deny Albirex as Nishida scored with virtually the last touch of the game to deny Woodlands the win.

A pin-point cross from Akasaka was nodded into the path of Nishida, and he volleyed it past the hapless Yazid to stun the Rams and leave them with their fourth draw of the season from