News • August 12, 2017

RHB Singapore Cup 2017: Yoshinaga Cautions Against Complacency



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

Albirex Niigata (S) vs Tampines Rovers

(13 August, Sunday, 7.30pm, Jurong East Stadium)

Written by: Rashid Sulaiman

Despite enjoying a 5-1 lead over Tampines Rovers from the RHB Singapore Cup 2017 quarter-final first leg, Albirex Niigata (S) head coach Kazuaki Yoshinaga is not taking things for granted when the two meet for the second leg at the Jurong East Stadium on Sunday.

With a four-goal cushion at hand, Albirex are favourites to advance to the semi-finals.but Yoshinaga insists anything can happen.

“This game is not finished yet, it’s only the first half. The opponent is still strong I’m now thinking of the second half although I have not thought about who I am going to play for the second leg,” said Yoshinaga.

“I didn’t expect that we would win 5-1 (first leg). In fact, we looked forward to playing this game as our opponents were well-rested and we had prepared ourselves well for this.

“I was pleased with the result but more so with the defensive performance today although there were quite a number of dangerous moments,” added the White Swans’ head coach.

While hotshot Tsubasa Sano did not feature in their first leg match, Yoshinaga is not in a rush to rush him back to the starting line-up as he he wants to give an equal opportunity to the other players.

“He (Sano) is still recovering from an injury. As much as possible, we do not want to use him in the first leg,” explained Yoshinaga.

“I am not sure if he will play the next match. But it is good for the team as it means Sano can’t just walk into the team. It is a good competition and we do not want any players to be complacent.”

For the Stags’ head coach Jurgen Raab, he is livid with his team’s inability to finish off their chances in the final third and admits the tie could well be over for them.

“Now for us it is finished with the Singapore Cup,” he said. “We must now prepare well for the second leg and show a good performance on Sunday and the S.League match a week after that

While Raab feels that his team can match the White Swans, he is hoping his team can learn a thing or two from the defending champions.

“We want to do something with our confidence and show that we are competitive. But we must learn from this and be more prepared for them,” added the Tampines head coach.

“I must see how is the condition of the players and which players have a problem and see what we can do for Sunday. It is important for us to show we are better than this results. I am sure we can beat this team.”

While the Stags will welcome back Ismadi Mukhtar from suspension, they are still unlikely to risk their talismanic striker Khairul Amri right from the start.

“Amri is not fit for 90 minutes. He had a surgery previously but he is slowly trying to come back into the team. I can’t play him for 45 minutes and after that he is gone. It makes little sense,” explained Raab.

Albirex Niigata (S) – WWWWW

10/08/17 Tampines Rovers 1-5 Albirex Niigata (S) (RHB Singapore Cup)

05/08/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 5-0 Geylang International

29/07/17 Warriors FC 1-2 Albirex Niigata (S)

26/07/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 2-1 Balestier Khalsa

21/07/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 1-0 Warriors FC (The New Paper League Cup)

Tampines Rovers –  LLLWL

10/08/17 Tampines Rovers 1-5 Albirex Niigata (S) (RHB Singapore Cup)

28/07/17 Tampines Rovers 2-0 Brunei DPMM

14/07/17 Balestier Khalsa 3-0 Tampines Rovers (The New Paper League Cup)

11/07/17 Tampines Rovers 1-4 Geylang International (The New Paper League Cup)

08/07/17 Tampines Rovers 1-5 Brunei DPMM (The New Paper League Cup)