Singapore Premier League • October 20, 2015

Razip Pleased With Young Tigers’ Comeback


Written by: Shawn Lim

Harimau Muda coach Razip Ismail praised his side’s grit and tenacity after watching them come from behind to snatch a 1-1 draw with Albirex Niigata (S) on Monday night.

Kento Nagasaki had opened the scoring for the visitors at Hang Jebat Stadium in the seventh minute before the hosts grabbed the equaliser through Faizat Ghazali in the 67th minute.

Razip admitted that fatigue was a huge factor for his side’s less-than-ideal start to the game, having played their second Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League game in less than a week.

However, the former Malaysian International footballer was pleased with how his charges pulled up their socks in the second half and felt the result was fully deserved.

“A draw is a fair result because it was a great comeback from my players, who didn’t give up,” said Razip.

“We were struggling with our performance in the first-half because we were a little tired. But we pushed ourselves in the second-half and improved our game, that’s how we found the equaliser.

“We missed a couple of chances to score due to a lack of composure, but overall, I think we played well in the second-half because we controlled most of the possession.”

While the White Swans controlled a large period of the game, they eventually caved into the pressure that the Young Tigers imposed on them in the second-half.

Razip revealed that a tactical switch at half-time was the key to breaking down the Japanese side in the second half and forcing the White Swans on the back foot.

“If we want to match Albirex, we have to match them in every department. They are a hard working team and they have good mobility around the field,” explained the 53-year-old.

“We gave away a lot of possession in the first-half through misplaced passes, so we did a lot of unnecessary running and found it difficult to play our game.

“We were much better in the second half because we matched them stride on stride. In the end, one point is a fair result for us.”

The draw with Albirex also meant that the Young Tigers are now unbeaten at home in two consecutive matches and with league leaders Brunei DPMM due to pay a visit to Hang Jebat Stadium in a few days time, Razip is quietly confident of his team’s chances.

“I hope we can continue this unbeaten run against Brunei DPMM, who are very difficult opponents because they are current league leaders,” said the Malaysian.

“We will try our best because we want to improve our position – we might not move up six or seven places – but still, we need to win more matches.

“Against DPMM, they need to beat us to maintain their league position and we need to win, so it will be a very good match.”

Meanwhile, Albirex coach Tatsuyuki Okuyama cut a frustrated figure after the match and refused to talk about how this draw would affect his side’s title chances.

Instead, the Japanese coach was critical with how his team performed in the second half, as they let slipped an opportunity to close the gap on DPMM.

“We cannot talk about the title in every game, we just have to focus on winning one game at a time,” said Okuyama

“In the second half, Harimau Muda put a lot of pressure on us and we made some mistakes in our passing.

“We need to improve on that and do better in our next game.

“It is a disappointing result for us, but since we have not win a game for a long time, so it’s a good point for us since we manage to score a goal today.”