News • August 19, 2017

Stags Look To Derail White Swans Title Charge


Albirex Niigata (S) vs Tampines Rovers

(19 August, Saturday, 7.30pm, Jurong East Stadium)

Written by: Phoon Jia Hui

In the final clash of their trilogy of matches, Albirex Niigata (S) will host Tampines Rovers in the Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League at Jurong East Stadium on Saturday night.

The two teams had most recently met in the quarter-finals of the RHB SIngapore Cup 2017 as the White Swans emerged 7-1 victors on aggregate.

In the league, Albirex are also unbeaten against the Stags. They won 2-1 on the opening day of the season before running out 4-1 winners at Tampines’ old hunting ground, Jurong West Stadium in May.

According to Tampines midfielder Son Yong Chan, the team has put the Singapore Cup defeat behind them and are eyeing a strong run in the S.League where they trail leaders Albirex by nine points albeit with two games in hand.

“The game is a good learning opportunity for everybody in the team,” he said. “It’s a chance for every player to re-evaluate their performance, see where they didn’t do so well and improve on it.

“The team feels it lost a chance for AFC Cup next year. Definitely everyone in the team will work harder and try to focus more with the ongoing S.League.”

Despite the less than ideal results against the defending champions, the South Korean believes the team is ready for the challenges ahead.

“The six-day break afforded everyone good rest, as well as quality time with family and friends,” he shared.

“Both of which are very important in taking care of the mind and body. I believe it gave the team a renewed energy for the upcoming games and all of us in Tampines train to always be prepared.”

Albirex may have gone 24 matches without dropping a point at their Jurong East base since November 2015 but Son is hopeful of a positive outcome come Saturday.

“No one knows what will happen but I am sure that everyone in the team will give their best during the game,” he enthused.

“For me, the best help I can give to the team is to ensure that I’m healthy, fit, and free of injuries.”

Albirex have meanwhile strung nine straight wins in all competitions as they sit pretty on top of the S.League standings with 40 points in 16 games.

In addition to being in the last four of the Singapore Cup, Kazuaki Yoshinaga’s side also recently lifted their fourth The New Paper League Cup crown with a 1-0 win over Warriors FC in extra-time.

It however remains to be seen if topscorer Tsubasa Sano – who has 18 goals in the league – will take to the field after he was unused substitute for both legs of their Singapore Cup win.

Albirex Niigata (S) – WWWWW

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

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

Tampines Rovers – LLWLL

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

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)

Head to Head (S.League)

21/05/17 Tampines Rovers 1-4 Albirex Niigata (S)

26/02/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 2-1 Tampines Rovers

26/10/16 Albirex Niigata (S) 1-5 Tampines Rovers

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

16/04/16 Albirex Niigata (S) 1-0 Tampines Rovers