Singapore Premier League • June 12, 2014

Rampant White Swans Run Riot Over Woodlands


Written by: Phoon Jia Hui

A rampant Albirex Niigata (S) side cruised to a 7-1 win over Woodlands Wellington at Jurong East Stadium on Wednesday evening with Kazuki Sakamoto grabbing a hat-trick in that match to take his tally to 14 for the season.

Further strikes from Kosuke Matsuda, Norihiro Kawakami, Itsuki Yamada and substitute Kazuya Fukuzaki rendered Chang Jo Yoon’s 51st-minute penalty a consolation, as the White Swans leapfrogged Hougang United into fifth in the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League standings.

Also, Woodlands saw Walid Lounis and Armanizam Dolah dismissed for second bookable offences in the 45th and 81st minutes to finish the game with nine men.

It was all-Albirex in the first-half as they controlled possession and were relentless in their attacks while their opponents struggled to make any headway going forward.

The first chance of the game fell to Albirex merely five minutes in as Kento Nagasaki saw his effort parried by Yazid Yasin.

It did not take long for the home side to open the scoring though as they did so on 12 minutes when Matsuda glanced a looping header past Yazid which went in off the post.

Three minutes later, it was 2-0 as Sakamoto calmly finished past Yazid inside the box before Kawakami nodded home a poorly cleared corner to make it three on 17 minutes.

A defensive miscommunication at the back between Yazid and Milos Jevtic then allowed Sakamoto to sneak in to gleefully poke home his second of the evening, shortly after the half-hour mark.

Keisuke Ota tested Yazid on 35 minutes with a fierce shot which the Woodlands custodian kept out at his near post but the latter had to pick the ball out of the net once more in the first-half.

It was Yamada with the goal as the Albirex left-back hit a powerful freekick from range which sailed past Yazid,  although the veteran did manage to get a touch on the ball as the Rams went into the break with a five-goal deficit to overcome.

However, Woodlands managed to pull one back six minutes after the restart when South Korean Chang converted from the spot after Ota had handled the ball in the box.

But there was still time for more goals as Albirex added another two to add gloss to the scoreline.

Albirex were awarded with a penalty of their own at the other end in the 73rd minute after Yazid barged into Kawakami in the 18-yard box, and Sakamoto dispatched it into the bottom corner for his hat-trick.

Fukuzaki then sealed victory with three minutes remaining, as he lashed home a shot from distance which bounced over the dive of Yazid to help the White Swans return to winning ways and compound more misery on Woodlands.