News • June 27, 2016

RHB Singapore Cup 2016: White Swans Start Title Defence Against Eagles


Written by: Shawn Lim

RHB Singapore Cup (Quarter-Finals 1st Leg)

Albirex Niigata (S) vs Geylang International

(Tuesday, 28 June, 8pm, Jurong East Stadium)

RHB Singapore Cup defending champions Albirex Niigata (S) will begin their title defence when they welcome Geylang International to Jurong East Stadium on Tuesday night.

The White Swans are favourites to win the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League this season after an impeccable season, but are determined to repeat their heroics in the Singapore Cup last year where they defeated Home United in the final.

Even though the Japanese side fell to S.League title challengers Tampines Rovers last week, coach Naoki Nauro is aware that the treble is up for grabs with the form his side is on and will urge his side to get a favourable result against the Eagles on home soil.

“It’s a good time for us [to switch the focus to the Singapore Cup] as we can work on improving all of the players. In this Cup competition, I hope to improve the other players [in the team] as well,” said Nauro.

The Eagles qualified for the quarter-finals after narrowly getting past Warriors FC, but have not been impressive in their recent matches in the league, picking up three points out of a possible nine.

However, coach Hasrin Jailani believes Geylang’s come from behind victory over Home United the last time out where they grabbed two late goals right at the end, will give his side much-needed confidence when they take on the league leaders.

Geylang’s task will not be made easier by the fact that the White Swans are still unbeaten at home this season and knows that it’s crucial to get a good result before the second-leg at Bedok Stadium.

“We didn’t play well at all. The first-half was rubbish, and we struggled to control the game in the second-half,” Hasrin said after the Eagles’ 2-1 victory over the Protectors.

“I personally felt a draw would have been good. I consider ourselves very lucky, as this is a very important win because it’s a morale-boosting win for the next Singapore Cup game against Albirex.”

The Japanese side have a fully fit squad to choose from, while the Sahil Suhaimi looks set to continue to lead the line for the the Eagles as new signing Mark Hartmann has yet to receive his work permit.

Albirex Niigata (S) – WWWWL

24/06/16  Tampines Rovers 1-0 Albirex Niigata (S) (S.League)

18/06/16  Albirex Niigata (S) 5-2 Home United (S.League)

15/06/16  Hougang United 1-2 Albirex Niigata (S) (S.League)

10/06/16  Albirex Niigata (S) 3-2 Warriors FC (S.League)

20/05/16  Albirex Niigata (S) 2-0 Geylang International (S.League)

Geylang International – LWLLW

23/06/16  Home United 1-2 Geylang International (S.League)

18/06/16  Geylang International 1-2 Hougang United (S.League)

15/06/16  Warriors FC 2-0 Geylang International (S.League)

27/05/16  Geylang International 2-1 Warriors FC (Singapore Cup)

20/05/16  Albirex Niigata (S) 2-0 Geylang International (S.League)