News Singapore Cup • November 22, 2017

RHB Singapore Cup 2017: White Swans And Protectors Clash In League Rematch



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

Albirex Niigata (S) vs Home United

(27 September, Wednesday, 7.30pm, Jurong East Stadium)

Written by: Phoon Jia Hui

Having faced off in the Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League slightly over a week ago, Albirex Niigata (S) and Home United will do battle again in the first leg of their RHB Singapore Cup semi-final tie at Jurong East Stadium on Wednesday night.

In their latest encounter at Bishan Stadium, it ended 1-1 as Adam Swandi cancelled out Naofumi Tanaka’s early strike to salvage a point for the Protectors

While it may be a different competition this time round, Albirex head coach Kazuaki Yoshinaga is keen for his charges to put up a similar display.

“We always try to perform at our best in every game, no matter who our opponents for the day are,” he said.

“While there is no sure-win game in football, There will be no special tactics or surprise that I will employ and we will go about playing the same way as we do for our other games.”

Holders of the Singapore Cup, Albirex beat Tampines Rovers 7-1 on aggregate in the quarter-final to advance to the last four of the competition.

Yoshinaga has stressed the need to get a positive result at their Jurong East base where they have not lost since November 2015.

“It is always important that we win in home games and get a good result going into the second leg at Bishan (three days from now),” Yoshinaga added.

The Japanese tactician will welcome forward Tsubasa Sano back from a two-match suspension but insists it is a team effort and everyone has a role to play.

“It does not matter (in terms of our chances) because Sano does not play alone,” Yoshinaga asserted.

“There are other players in the team as well and I believe that the efforts of the players will be rewarded as long as they work hard together.”

Home meanwhile come into this on the back of a morale-boosting 3-1 win over Geylang International last Saturday.

It took them to within four points of second-placed Tampines Rovers and more importantly closing the gap between them and Albirex to 13 points, with three games in hand over the latter.

With two goals in as many matches, youngster Adam Swandi will be one player the Albirex defence have to look out for.

While Protectors head coach Aidil Sharin will continue to miss the services of Christopher van Huizen and Khairul Nizam, he will have South Korean midfielder Song Uiyoung – who sat out the last game due to suspension – available for selection once again.

In addition, left-sided player Sirina Camara could be involved after he was not risked in Home’s previous two matches against Brunei DPMM and Albirex because of a slight injury.

Albirex Niigata (S) – WWWWD

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

13/08/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 2-0 Tampines Rovers (RHB Singapore Cup)

Home United – WWWDW

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)

13/08/17 Brunei DPMM 1-3 Home United (RHB Singapore Cup)