Singapore Premier League • March 1, 2014

Razip Blames Fatigue in Albirex Defeat


Written by: Khalis Rifhan

Harimau Muda were handed a second consecutive defeat in the 2014 Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League after a comprehensive 3-0 defeat by Albirex Niigata (S) at Jurong East Stadium on Thursday night.

While the visitors managed to hold the fort in the first half, Albirex eventually found a way past the Malaysians after the halftime interval.

Captain Itsuki Yamada, Kazuki Sakamoto and Kazuya Okazaki grabbed a goal each to seal coach Tatsuyuki Okuyama’s first win in the league.

For Okuyama, he was pleased with his charges and hoped that goal scorer Okazaki will continue his fine performance and cement a regular place in the starting line-up.

“I am satisfied with the results because we performed in the match. We want him to do more this year and he needs more effort to show that he is important for the team,” explained Okuyama.

Accepting the defeat, Harimau coach Razip Ismail acknowledged that his boys were second best against the title-aspirant.

“They gave us a very tough time and we did not play our best game. The biggest weakness is the backline. We gave opponents space to move and slow to react to the situations,” said Razip.

Razip also felt that fatigue might have affected his players’ concentration in the match, after they played two days prior in a 2-1 loss to Tanjong Pagar at Pasir Gudang Stadium on Monday.

“Maybe they are tired and that is why they keep losing easy balls. But they tried their best,” explained the former Kuala Lumpur coach.

Undeterred by the two losses, Razip hoped his team would be able to regroup and prepare themselves for the upcoming matches.

“I want them to adapt to the situation quickly as its better for them. If they learn fast, it will be easy for them. Playing against tough opponents need lots of courage and confidence,” expressed Razip.