News • July 20, 2017

The New Paper League Cup 2017: Attack The Best Form Of Defence For Albirex



The New Paper League Cup 2017 Final

Albirex Niigata (S) vs Warriors FC

(21 July, Friday, 7.30pm, Jalan Besar Stadium)

Written by: Phoon Jia Hui

As the saying goes, the best form of defence is to attack.

And it is a mentality Albirex Niigata (S) head coach Kazuaki Yoshinaga is keen to adopt as his side take on Warriors FC in The New Paper League Cup Final at Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday night.

In their four matches played in the competition so far, the White Swans have scored a whopping seven goals without conceding at the other end.

“We are not only thinking about the defence because if we can attack properly, that will help our defence a lot,” Yoshinaga explained. “If we are able to put our opponents under pressure from the front, our defence will have less work to do as a result.

“Just the defence alone cannot win you games. We can only win games if we attack and defend well as a team. We have to know how to attack our opponents, so that our defence can function properly.”

While Albirex ran out 2-0 winners when the two sides met in the group stages of the League Cup just over a week ago, Yoshinaga is refusing to take things for granted.

“We are not thinking about our previous win over Warriors because this is the final and is an one-off game where the win can go either way,” he said.

“Even though we’ve beaten Warriors before, we need to know how to defend against them as they have a strong attacking line-up.

“If one side doesn’t turn up, then it is likely the the other side will win the game. So we have to turn up for this game, not think too much about our previous matches and prepare well for this game.”

With this being the final, Yoshinaga is aware of the possibility of the match going into extra-time and then penalties.

He added: “We have to prepare from the first minute until the 120th minute and possibly penalties; we must be ready for all scenarios so that we know how to deal with it when it comes.”

Holders of the League Cup, Albirex can make history if they overcome Warriors as they will become the first team to win the competition for a record fourth time. They are currently tied on three with beaten semi-finalists Brunei DPMM.

Warriors meanwhile, ran out 5-1 winners over DPMM the last time out to set up a final date with Albirex.

Skipper Shahril Ishak netted a hat-trick in the aforementioned game to lead the the nine-time Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League champions to victory over the resurgent Wasps.

Razif Onn’s side would therefore take confidence from that result and be fired up to try win their first piece of silverware of the season.

Yuuki Yamanouchi and Tomoki Menda remain long-term absentees for Albirex, while defender Hafiz Osman is doubtful for this one as he recovers from an eye infection.

Albirex Niigata (S) – LDWWW

18/07/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 4-0 Geylang International (The New Paper League Cup)

13/07/17 Home United 0-1 Albirex Niigata (S) (The New Paper League Cup)

10/07/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 2-0 Warriors FC (The New Paper League Cup)

07/07/17 Hougang United 0-0 Albirex Niigata (S) (The New Paper League Cup)

03/07/17 Hougang United 2-1 Albirex Niigata (S)

Warriors FC – WWLDW

18/07/17 Brunei DPMM 1-5 Warriors FC (The New Paper League Cup)

13/07/17 Hougang United 2-2 Warriors FC (The New Paper League Cup)

10/07/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 2-0 Warriors (The New Paper League Cup)

07/07/17 Warriors FC 4-3 Home United (The New Paper League Cup)

02/07/17 Warriors FC 1-0 Brunei DPMM