Singapore Premier League • June 10, 2018

Unstoppable Hoshino powers Albirex past Home for 12th straight win


The league top scorer made it 13 for the season and laid on an assist in a 3-0 success

Shuhei Hoshino is enjoying a fine start to his first season here.

SINGAPORE, 9 JUNE 2018 – Two goals and an assist from Shuhei Hoshino helped Albirex Niigata FC (S) to their 12th straight win and kept up their perfect record in the Great Eastern-Hyundai Singapore Premier League (SPL) on Saturday.

The 3-0 win over Home United FC was also their 33rd straight home win at the Jurong East Stadium in all competitions, as well as their 33rd game unbeaten in all competitions.

However, the game was much closer than the score-line suggested, with Home managing to keep the runaway leaders at bay for most of the first half.

The Protectors also caused a few problems on the break, with Song Ui-young leading the charge, but their final ball let them down.

Albirex finally came close in the 30th minute from a free-kick, with Kenya Takahashi fizzing one narrowly just past the post – a sign of things to come later in the game.

Rudy almost cost his team in the 44th minute after he fumbled the ball in the air, but he recovered quickly to tip Daiki Asaoka’s shot over the ball.

Albirex almost scored immediately after the restart when Riku Moriyasu’s cross was deflected onto the woodwork by Faizal Roslan.

Down at the other end, Song fired over under pressure after Hafiz Nor found him with a pin-point cross.

The White Swans would then go on to seize control of the game with two goals in a five-minute spell.

A Wataru Murofushi through ball found its way to Hoshino after dummies by both Hiroyoshi Kamata and Taku Morinaga, and the striker made no mistake with a clean finish in the 52nd minute.

Hoshino was then fouled just outside the area in the 57th minute, paving the way for Takahashi to curl his second free-kick goal of the season perfectly into the left corner with Rudy rooted.

Home could have reduced the deficit in the 66th minute after Izzdin Shafiq won the ball deep inside the Albirex half and sent Shahril Ishak down the line, whose cross failed to find an open Song in the box.

The duo combined again later in the 73rd minute with Shahril’s cross finding Song this time, but Yohsuke Nozawa pulled off the first real save he had to make to keep his seventh clean sheet.

Asaoka then stung Rudy’s palms with a rasping drive from range, while Hoshino shot straight after Albirex carved Home open with a well-worked move.

The striker would get his 13th goal in 12 matches in the 84th minute after Murofushi’s delightful pass played in right-back Moriyasu, whose low cross left Hoshino with the simple task of tapping in from close range.

Albirex Head Coach Kazuaki Yoshinaga: “The first half was a bit difficult for us, we couldn’t find space and couldn’t score (but) the players did not panic. (They continued to) play according to instructions, and get some goals in; that was part of the game plan.

“Today, it was a difficult game for us. It was a good experience for the players. Home United played hard, and this is what I want my players to experience so they can continue to improve and mature. Home gave us a good game.

“The club has a good philosophy, the players subscribe to my philosophy and are working hard. Tomorrow even if I’m not around, the club will not have any problem, it’s a good club. As a coach I have always been losing. I have lost a lot of games throughout my career so I know the difficulty in winning games. That serves as a motivation for winning games.”

Home Head Coach Aidil Sharin: “In the first half, we did very well holding them, but second half we collapsed after the first goal … we have to congratulate Albirex, they are a good team, we have to respect them.

“Albirex is a team that can do something if you give them space, they are very good in having a third man running; if you look at the third goal it’s not only the number 9 (Hoshino) but a few players making runs, which made it easy for him to penentrate.”

Albirex: Yohsuke Nozawa (GK), Shuhei Sasahara, Kaishu Yamazaki, Daiki Asaoka, Riku Moriyasu, Wataru Murofushi (C), Shuhei Hoshino, Kenya Takahashi, Hiroyoshi Kamata, Taku Morinaga (Kazuki Sumiishi 90’+3), Ryujiro Yamanaka.
Unused subs: Shahul Rayyan (GK), Taiki Itsukaichi (GK), Kodai Sumikawa, Ryuji Yamauchi, Ibuki Inoue, Ryutaro Shibanoki.

Home: Rudy Khairullah (GK), Shakir Hamzah, Abdil Qaiyyim, Aqhari Abdullah, Song Ui-young (Amiruldin Asraf 87′), Iqram Rifqi (Christopher Van Huizen 61′), Izzdin Shafiq (C), Faizal Roslan, Shahril Ishak, Hafiz Nor, Suhairi Sabri (M Anumanthan 70′).
Unused subs: Kenji Rusydi, Amy Recha, Shahrin Saberin, Arshad Shamim.

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