Singapore Premier League • April 5, 2014

Okuyama Satisfied with Win; Vallee Vows To Bounce Back


Written by: Phoon Jia Hui

Kazuki Sakamoto came off the bench to earn a 2-1 win for Albirex Niigata (S) as they beat Tanjong Pagar United at Jalan Besar Stadium to move to fourth in the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League table.

Albirex coach Tatsuyuki Okuyama was a happy man after the game and revealed he had to bring on a half-fit Sakamoto ‘earlier than expected’.

“I think we deserved to win tonight,” he said.

“In the last five games we couldn’t score enough goals but today we scored two and won the game. However, we gave away one goal to them so we need to improve on this aspect.

“We wanted to score goals in this game and we managed to score two and I’m very satisfied. Also as you can see the mobility of the team, the players ran a lot today and I think we deserved to win tonight

“We initially wanted to put Kazuki later on but didn’t expect Tanjong Pagar to score and so we had to use him earlier than expected.”

With his height and jumping, defender Taiyo Nishida was deployed alongside Kazuya Okazaki in attack and it was his knockdown which resulted in Sakamoto netting the winner.

Okuyama added: “We still have to play against many strong foreign players so he (Nishida) can be one of our attacking options and we need this kind of options.”

His opposite number Patrick Vallee was disappointed with the result but refused to throw in the towel despite having already incurred their fourth defeat this season.

“I’m not sure if we deserved to lose and i don’t know if we deserved to win either, but it was a good game for a live match,” the French remarked.

“Sometimes football is like this. You try to win, you lead the game but you lose at the end of the day. I’m happy about the performance and I enjoyed the game just that I’m disappointed with the result, but that’s football.”

“We must keep going what we do, I think we are going on the right track. I’m sure of that because I have a good team with good players and the season is a long one. They just need to bounce back and get back their confidence.”

Vallee also admitted they needed to be clinical in front of goal and was happy with his side’s displays in their last two matches.

“But we need to be more efficient in front of goal,” he continued.

“I’m happy with the way we played in our last two games against the Courts Young Lions and Albirex today because I think we have shown good football for the S.League.”