News • July 14, 2016

The New Paper League Cup 2016: White Swans Ready To Retain Title


Written by: Shawn Lim


The New Paper League Cup (Group B)

Home United vs Albirex Niigata (S)

(Thursday, 14 July, 7.30pm, Bishan Stadium)

Having won The New Paper League Cup in their double-winning season last year, Albirex Niigata (S) will be looking to repeat the feat again this year, starting with Thursday night clash with Home United at Bishan Stadium.

The White Swans are having a wonderful season so far and are on course to complete the treble this year as they are in the semi-finals of the RHB Singapore Cup and are current at the summit of the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League table.

Having been grouped together with the Protectors, Balestier Khalsa and Geylang International in what many are calling the “Group of Death”, the Japanese side are favourites to top the group and go all the way to the final again.

Meanwhile, the League Cup is the only chance for the Protectors to earn a silverware this season, after being knocked out of the Singapore Cup by Balestier and they are currently 16 points behind Albirex in the league table.

Tipped by many to go far this season because of their promising squad, Home have flattered to deceive and after a good start to the season, they are slowly fading away.

The Protectors are also plagued by goalkeeping problems as both Hyrulnizam Juma’at and Zulfairuz Rudy have been unreliable between the sticks, causing both to come under heavy fire from coach Philippe Aw.

“We have a goalkeeping problem and we need to look at this seriously,” Aw said after the 2-2 draw against Balestier in the Singapore Cup.

“The goalkeepers need to improve and work harder now, because that’s the only problem for us at the moment.

“We have only one experienced goalkeeper, and decided to groom the other two young goalkeepers, so it’s been a harsh lesson for Zulfairuuz, so he must learn it the hard way.”

Home will also miss the services of Abdil Qaiyyim, Zulfahmi Arifin, Azhar Sairudin and Khairul Nizam as the four players are away on international duty with Singapore.

Home United – LLLLD

30/06/16  Home United 2-2 Balestier Khalsa (Singapore Cup)

27/06/16  Balestier Khalsa 2-1 Home United (Singapore Cup)

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

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

14/06/16  Home United 1-3 Balestier Khalsa (S.League)

Albirex Niigata (S) – WWLWD

01/07/16  Geylang International 2-2 Albirex Niigata (S) (Singapore Cup)

28/06/15  Albirex Niigata (S) 2-0 Geylang International (Singapore Cup)

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)