Singapore Premier League • November 2, 2015

White Swans Still In With A Chance


Written By: Kenneth Ho

Albirex Niigata (S) vs Courts Young Lions

(2 Nov, Monday, Jurong East Stadium)

Albirex Niigata’s hopes of landing their first-ever Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League title hang in balance and they will need a win against the Courts Young Lions to keep it alive.

After a blistering start to the season, the White Swans’ title charge have started to falter of late as they begin to drop points.

A major reason for their failure to pick up maximum points has been their inability to hit the back of the net.

Till date, Albirex possess the joint-worst offence with Geylang International in the league, with a paltry 24 goals in 23 games to show for their efforts.

However, the White Swans have been handed a lifeline after Tampines Rovers’ 1-0 defeat of league leaders Brunei DPMM. Albirex now find themselves seven points adrift of the top, with a game in hand.

Should Tampines not earn a win tonight over Warriors FC, Albirex have a chance to leapfrog them into third spot and go four points behind DPMM, with only three games remaining.

That said, Albirex can expect no favours from a Young Lions squad which made a roaring comeback against Harimau Muda in their last game to earn a 1-1 draw.

Despite having nothing but pride to play for, the Young Lions are still highly motivated to cause an upset, as defending champions Warriors FC found out in their 2-1 defeat two games back.

Key Men To Watch

Albirex Niigata (S): Rion Taki

More so than ever, Albirex need goals in order to start winning games. While Taki plays on the wings, it seems the scoring responsibility will fall on him.

While other forwards have faltered in front of goal, the winger has relished the chance to score as he tops the White Swans’ scoring charts with six league goals.

Courts Young Lions: Taufik Suparno

Despite only just linking up with the Young Lions, Taufik has not looked out of place in the national developmental squad.

A signing from Tampines Rovers’ Prime League, Taufik has shown plenty of promise. Quick feet, good cross and an eye for goal, the forward is definitely one to watch for this match.

Albirex Niigata (S) – WLDWW

30/10/15   Warriors FC 1-2 Albirex Niigata (S) (S.League)

26/10/15   Albirex Niigata (S) 2-0 Geylang International (S.League)

19/10/15   Harimau Muda 1-1 Albirex Niigata (S) (S.League)

16/10/15   Balestier Khalsa 1-0 Albirex Niigata (S) (S.League)

02/10/15   Global FC 0-1 Albirex Niigata (S) (Singapore Cup)

Courts Young Lions – DLWLD

27/10/15 Courts Young Lions 1-1 Harimau Muda (S.League)

19/10/15   Balestier Khalsa 1-0 Courts Young Lions (S.League)

16/10/15   Courts Young Lions 2-1 Warriors FC (S.League)

04/10/15   Courts Young Lions 2-3 Geylang International (S.League)

01/10/15   Hougang United 2-2 Courts Young Lions (S.League)

Head To Head (S.League)

06/08/15 Courts Young Lions 0-1 Albirex Niigata (S)

15/04/15 Albirex Niigata (S) 2-0 Courts Young Lions

22/06/14 Albirex Niigata (S) 4-2 Courts Young Lions

10/04/14 Courts Young Lions 1-2 Albirex Niigata (S)

05/07/13 Albirex Niigata (S) 1-1 Courts Young Lions