News Singapore Cup • November 22, 2017

RHB Singapore Cup 2017: Albirex Wary Of Wounded Home


RHB Singapore Cup 2017 (Semi-Final, Second Leg)

Home United vs Albirex Niigata (S)

(30 September, Saturday, 7.30pm, Bishan Stadium)

Written by: Rashid Sulaiman

Despite holding a two-goal advantage, Albirex Niigata (S) head coach Kazuki Yoshinaga has warned of complacency when they take on Home United in the RHB Singapore Cup semi-finals second leg at the Bishan Stadium on Saturday night.

Holders Albirex dominated the first leg, cruising to a 3-1 win over Home at Jurong East three days ago.

Ryota Nakai got the White Swans off to a flyer after three minutes but that strike was cancelled out by a Faris Ramli stunner midway through the first half. Hiroyoshi Kamata and Kento Nagasaki however struck in the second 45 to seal the victory.

“I have watched many matches and a 3-1 lead is nothing in these two -legged games. We have to be careful so that we will not lose our advantage,” said Yoshinaga when asked if his team were favourites going into the return leg.

“For the next game, it will start at a 0-0 score and we will approach the game that way.”

Albirex have been one of the entertaining sides to watch in this year’s competition as they have scored 10 goals in three RHB Singapore Cup matches.

Home head coach Aidil Sharin will certainly have to tighten their backline in the second leg as Yoshinaga is unlikely to tweak their style of play

“We have always played an attacking game and we will not be changing much from our playing philosophy,” added the White Swans’ tactician.

“But we have to be careful of Home’s attack so that we can defend against them properly. It is about taking a balanced approach in both attack and defence.”

With a two-goal deficit, Aidil will have to formulate a plan and penetrate the disciplined Albirex defence.

“Anything can happen in football and we are going to play at our homeground,” said Aidil, who lifted the Cup with Home as a player in 2000.

“We will definitely not sit back. We have nothing to lose and the pressure will be on Albirex. We have to learn from the first leg; if we take things too easily, we are going to get punished. Hopefully there will be no repeat of this in the second leg.”

“I believe these bunch of boys can do it. We will give everything we have. There is nothing to hold back as after this is the international break,” added the Protectors head coach.

If Home are to claw their way back from the first leg defeat, they will need their players to step up their game and pile the pressure on the White Swans from the start.

Aidil is likely to start with the same line-up for the second leg, and rely on players such as Song Uiyoung and Hariss Harun to control the middle of the park and provide supply to Stipe Plazibat and Faris Ramli in the final third.

Yoshinga is well-aware that his opponents will be coming out for the second leg with an attacking mindset and is preparing his charges to be ready for it.

“This is the sixth time we are meeting Home and if we cannot devise any strategy to stop their attack, then I think my ability as a coach will be questioned,” Yoshinaga explained.

“My players have done well to execute the plan and defend against Home’s attacks. My players are young and have lots of potential to grow. If they continue to work hard, they can do well against not only Home but any opponents.”

Home United – WWDWL

27/09/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 3-1 Home United (RHB Singapore Cup)

23/09/17 Geylang International 1-3 Home United

19/09/17 Home United 1-1 Albirex Niigata (S)

08/09/17 Brunei DPMM 1-4 Home United

16/08/17 Home United 3-1 Brunei DPMM (RHB Singapore Cup)

Albirex Niigata (S) – WWWDW

27/09/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 3-1 Home United (RHB Singapore Cup)

19/09/17 Home United 1-1 Albirex Niigata (S)

16/09/17 Brunei DPMM 0-1 Albirex Niigata (S)

08/09/17 Garena Young Lions 0-1 Albirex Niigata (S)

19/08/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 4-0 Tampines Rovers