League Cup • July 11, 2014
Police Torn Apart By Ruthless White Swans
Written by: Phoon Jia Hui
Albirex Niigata (S) returned to winning ways in style as they cruised to a 13-0 victory over Police Sports Association in their final StarHub League Cup Group A match at Jurong East Stadium on Thursday evening.
Hat-tricks from Kazuya Okazaki and Kazuki Sakamoto coupled with braces from Norihiro Kawakami and Itsuki Yamada as well as a strike each from Keisuke Ota, Kazuya Fukuzaki and Kaoru Nishio propelled the White Swans to the top of the group on goal difference.
It was a game which Albirex dominated from the start and in all honesty, they could have scored more if not for the woodwork and a couple of good saves while their counterparts were devoid of any ideas going forward and were careless in possession
The home side got off to a flyer as they look the lead after five minutes when Okazaki’s freekick flew past Police SA custodian Zulhelmi Hazlan with the floodgates opening thereafter.
Three goals in the space of four minutes then saw the 2011 League Cup winners further extend their advantage through Kawakami, Fukuzaki and Sakamoto in the 22nd, 24th and 26th minutes respectively.
Zulhelmi then made two good stops to first deny Ota and Okazaki before the visitors fashioned a chance at the other end on 36 minutes.
Suhaimi Maskun tried to lob Kenjiro Ogino from distance, however Ogino was equal to the task and tipped Suhaimi Maskun’s goalbound effort over the bar for a corner.
Tatsuyuki Okuyama’s charges continued to pile more misery on Police and went on to add another two.
Yamada found the net in the 40th minute with a powerful shot before Kawakami scored his second of the night when he prodded home after Police’s failure to clear their lines on the stroke of half-time.
In the second-half, Albirex showed no signs of relenting and continued from where they left off.
Okazaki completed his hat-trick after the restart with goals in the 50th and 54th minutes before he was subsequently replaced shortly after.
It became 9-0 as Sakamoto notched his second of the night with a well-struck freekick from 20 yards out which found Zulhelmi’s bottom corner.
Things then got from bad to worse for Police as they were reduced to ten men when Hishamudin Khairudin was dismissed for a second bookable offence which pretty much summed up the night for the National Fooball League Division 1 side.
The numerical advantage played in the hands of Albirex who hit another four goals past Zulhelmi to cap off a miserable night for the 20-year-old.
Yamada grabbed his second via a freekick in the 74th minute before Ota finally got his name on the scoresheet three minutes from time.
There was still time for more goals though, as substitute Nishio swept home Sakamoto’s cutback on 89 minutes for 12-0 before the latter completed the scoring and also his hat-trick at the end of regulation time to seal a landslide victory.