Singapore Premier League • June 13, 2014

Okuyama Did Not Expect Seven Goals Blitz


Written by: Phoon Jia Hui

Albirex Niigata (S) swept aside visiting Woodlands Wellington 7-1 at Jurong East Stadium on Wednesday evening with the main highlight being Kazuki Sakamoto’s hat-trick as that fired him to the top of the goalscoring charts.

Also getting his name on the scoresheet was defender Norihiro Kawakami who marked his return to the Japanese outfit by grabbing the third goal of the evening with a close-range header.

Albirex coach Tatsuyuki Okuyama was happy with what he saw from the former Tampines man.

“I’m satisfied with his performance,” he said after the match.

“I asked him to organise the defence and to build up from the back and I’m happy he managed to do that. He also scored one goal and I’m very happy with his performance today.”

On the game, the 38-year-old expressed his delight with the result but insisted there were still areas for improvement from his charges.

“I am very happy with the result today,” said Okuyama.

“Scoring goals is difficult in football, but today we scored seven goals so it’s good and i’m happy with that. Of course, we didn’t expect we would score seven goals tonight.

“I’m satisfied with the result, but we need to improve throughout the season from today’s game. We still have some point we need to improve especially the defence and we will work on that.”

Woodlands assistant coach Hatta Ali – who was standing in for head coach Darren Stewart – on the other hand could still afford a smile at the post-match press conference and said: “It was a bad game today and the players totally switched off.

“It is not right for me to pinpoint out any player who was bad or whatever, but the team needs to get the blame as it’s a team effort. It’s all about the team and they have to work together.”

However, he paid credit to their opponents and conceded his team were second best.

“Albirex played good. You can see that from their finishing which was good. Good day for Albirex and we played a good team today,” he said.