Singapore Premier League • August 27, 2014

Tough Assignment For White Swans


Geylang International vs Albirex Niigata (S)

(August 28, Thursday, 7.30pm, Bedok Stadium)

Written by: Muhammad Yazid

Title-challengers Albirex Niigata (S) make a visit to the Bedok Stadium to play Geylang International in the final game of the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League second round.

The White Swans could count themselves lucky to salvage a point against Tampines Rovers on Monday as Kazuki Sakamoto’s 74th and 88th minute goal meant that they are still just a game away from catching up to league leaders Brunei DPMM.

In this crucial part of the season, only maximum points will suffice against the ‘lower-half’ clubs, if any side wants to have a shot at the title.

But this will not be an easy task, as they are not weak teams in the league, with even the bottom-six teams capable of defeating the top sides on their day.

Geylang in particular, are on a roll. They have won two on the trot, after beating Tanjong Pagar United 2-1 in the last game three days after brushing aside Woodlands Wellington in a 2-0 scoreline.

Galvanised by the recent wins, the Eagles should prove a stern test for the White Swans.

All eyes will be on Kazuki Sakamoto. The forward is one of the league’s top scorers and is a real livewire in the Japanese squad.

As for the Eagles, they would be relying on Leonel Felice and Thorsten Schneider to bang in the goals to upset the title-chasers.

The duo should be backed up by effective wide players, which consists of Ridhuan Muhammad and Mustaqim Manzur.

The two have been playing almost every game for Geylang this season, and their marauding runs and delicate crosses have been an asset for the Eastern side.

Key Men To Watch

Geylang International: Leonel Felice

Felice earned a brace in the win against Tanjong Pagar and he is currently relishing nine goals in the league this season.

With his burly physique, the Argentine would be looking to increase his goal tally and put him along the top few strikers in the chart by the end of this season.

Albirex Niigata (S): Kazuki Sakamoto

Currently the league’s top scorer with an impressive 19 goals, the forward was the star of the show in the last game against Tampines Rovers.

Sakamoto reduced the deficit fifteen minutes from time before bagging the equaliser late in the game, and he can be counted upon to pop up with the goods if needed.

Geylang International – WWLLW

25/8/14    Tanjong Pagar United 1-2 Geylang International

22/8/14    Woodlands Wellington 0-2 Geylang International

31/7/14    Geylang International 1-2 Balestier Khalsa

21/7/14    Geylang International (0) 0-0 (3P) Brunei DPMM (StarHub League Cup SF)

18/7/14    Geylang International 3-1 Albirex Niigata (S) (StarHub League Cup QF)

Albirex Niigata (S) – DLWLW

25/8/14    Albirex Niigata (S) 2-2 Tampines Rovers

21/8/14    Home United 4-2 Albirex Niigata (S)

1/8/14      Warriors FC 1-3 Albirex Niigata (S)

18/7/14    Geylang International 3-1 Albirex Niigata (S) (StarHub League Cup QF)

10/7/14    Albirex Niigata (S) 13-0 Police SA (StarHub League Cup Group A)

7/7/14      Tanjong Pagar United 4-0 Albirex Niigata (S) (StarHub League Cup Group A)

Head to Head (S.League)

8/5/14       Albirex Niigata (S) 4-2 Geylang International

3/8/13       Albirex Niigata (S) 0-0 Geylang International

12/4/13    Geylang International 2-2 Albirex Niigata (S)

20/10/12  Albirex Niigata (S) 1-1 Geylang International

26/4/12    Geylang International 0-0 Albirex Niigata (S)

5/10/11     Albirex Niigata (S) 6-1 Geylang International

24/6/11     Geylang International 1-0 Albirex Niigata (S)

30/3/11     Albirex Niigata (S) 3-1 Geylang International