News • March 19, 2016
Warriors End White Swans Unbeaten Run
Written by: Aysha Ridzuan
Warriors FC ended Albirex Niigata (S) four-game unbeaten run in the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League after condemning the White Swans to a 2-0 defeat at Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday night.
After a goalless first-half, the game burst into life in the second period when Syaqir Sulaiman opened the scoring for the designated hosts before Jonathan Behe scored his fifth goal of the season to ensure that Warriors pick up their second win of the season.
In spite of the defeat, the White Swans retained their position at the summit of the league table while the Warriors moved up to third place, level on points with the Japanese side.
Despite having the most possession and creating chances, Albirex could not find a way through the hosts’ excellent defending and goalkeeping, and were
The White Swans had their first chance just five minutes into the game when Shuto Inaba’s pass found Tatsuro Inui, but the latter sent his shot high and wide.
Hafiz Rahim then launched a dipping effort from outside the box, but Albirex custodian Yosuke Nozawa tipped the ball over the bar.
The resulting corner by Shaiful Esah deflected against Nikola Rak and went straight into the path of Kento Fukuda who fired a fierce drive towards the goal. However, the Japanese defender saw his effort went wide of the mark.
A free-kick awarded to Albirex in the 36th minute saw the White Swans forming a unique wall by kneeling down alongside the Warriors’ players. However, Inui’s effort was superbly tipped away by Warriors custodian Yazid Yasin.
A failed clearance by Fukuda minutes later saw the ball fall into Hiroyoshi Kamata’s path, but the striker’s effort was well off target.
The visitors upped the pressure just before half-time when Tomoki Menda made a fine pass to Atsushi Kawata, but the latter headed the ball just over the crossbar.
Warriors threatened immediately after the interval when Zulfadli Zainal sent a low cross from the left flank to a lurking Behe, but Kento Fujihara booted the ball out for a corner
Syaqir then rose the highest to head home Shaiful’s delivery and break the deadlock for Warriors.
Albirex almost responded immediately with another one of the unique free-kick, but Masaya Jizotono’s shot was flew just inches off the post.
Kawata then send his header went wide from Kento Nagasaki’s cross which evaded Yazid, before an unmarked Inaba send his effort flashing across the goalmouth as the White Swans searched for an equaliser.
Warriors doubled their lead in the 78th minute when Behe made a quick turn in the 18-yard box to receive Shaiful’s threaded pass and slotted the ball past Nozawa’s flailing arms.
The White Swans could have pulled a goal back when Jitozono drove forward with the ball and launched a dangerous shot at goal, but Yazid pushed the ball away to safety to ensure that Warriors keep a clean sheet.
Warriors FC coach Jorg Steinbrunner: “I am satisfied with our performance in the second half. We could have done better in the first half. Albirex is a good team and they made life difficult for us but it’s good that we can pick up three points against a good side.”
Albirex Niigata (S) coach Naoki Naruo: “I think we controlled the game but then we conceded goals. We need to improve more in scoring goals. It’s the most important thing for us now.”
Warriors FC: Yazid Yasin (GK), Zulfadli Zainal (C), Syaqir Sulaiman, Kento Fukuda, Madhu Mohana, Shaiful Esah (Fazli Jaffar 84’), Emmeric Ong, Poh Yi Feng, Nikola Rak, Hafiz Rahim (Ignatius Ang 71’), Jonathan Behe
Albirex Niigata (S): Yosuke Nozawa (GK), Kento Fujihara, Atsushi Sirota (C), Naofumi Tanaka, Tomoki Menda (Rui Kumada 81’), Shuto Inaba, Kento Nagasaki, Masaya Jitozono,Tatsuro Inui, Atsushi Kawata, Hiroyoshi Kamata (Kazuki Mine 68’)