News • July 8, 2017

The New Paper League Cup 2017: Buoyant Warriors Eye Albirex Scalp


The New Paper League Cup 2017 (Group A)

Albirex Niigata (S) vs Warriors FC

(10 July, Monday, 7.30pm, Jurong East Stadium)

Written by: Phoon Jia Hui

Warriors FC have a chance to make it two wins out of two in The New Paper League Cup when they face holders Albirex Niigata (S) in a Group A clash at Jurong East Stadium on Monday night.

The Choa Chu Kang-based side came from two goals down to beat Home United 4-3 on Friday in their opening match, with mid-season signing Andrei-Cosmin Ciolacu netting a hat-trick to open his account for the season.

While he was pleased with the result, Ciolacu played down his contribution and gave credit to his teammates instead.

“When we were down 2-0 and 3-1, we believed we could still overturn the result and get back into the game,” said the 25-year-old.

“We spoke about it at half-time and told ourselves that we must play our hearts out which we did. You could see the true spirit of Warriors and the confidence just grew from there.

“It was an important victory for us and I’m happy with my goals in what is my second game in Singapore,” added Ciolacu.

The result saw them move top of the group on three points and a win against the White Swans would do their chances of making the semi-finals a world of good.

And the Romanian is confident that Warriors can beat Albirex if they put up a similar performance on Monday.

“We showed in our last game that we can be a big team, especially against a team like Home who play good football,” he said.

“Our next game is against Albirex who are top of the S.League table, although they have not done so well in recent games. But if we do the same as how we did against Home, hopefully we can get a decent result and I’m hoping for another good match.”

Echoing Ciolacu sentiments is Warriors head coach Razif Onn, who believes their never-say-die spirit could put them in a good stead going forward.

“We approach every game differently and it’s no different for the Albirex game,” he added.

“We lost 4-2 to them in the league, where we also conceded two early goals. It’s happened before but the boys must be prepared to come back when that happens. With the kind of spirit they showed against Home, I’m confident we can also do the same not only in the League Cup but also climb up the S.League table (when it resumes).”

Albirex on the other hand, were held to a goalless draw by Hougang United in the other match as they failed to win in three games in all competitions.

However, head coach Kazuaki Yoshinaga sees this as a good thing as they look to return to winning ways.

“The three games without a win could be good because it keeps the players on their toes,” he said. “It was a point gained against Hougang and it could be huge for us to qualify for the semi-finals.”

Warriors midfielder Fazli Jaffar will sit this one out after he was dismissed for a second bookable offence against the Protectors while Albirex are relatively injury-free and do not have any suspensions woes.

Suspension: Fazli Jaffar (Warriors FC)

Albirex Niigata (S) – WWLLD

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)

23/06/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 0-2 Home United

16/06/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 4-0 Brunei DPMM

26/05/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 8-0 Garena Young Lions

Warriors FC – WLDWW

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

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

28/06/17 Garena Young Lions 0-0 Warriors FC

22/06/17 Warriors FC 0-1 Tampines Rovers

16/06/17 Geylang International 0-2 Warriors FC