News • April 27, 2016

Young Lions Seeking For Redemption Against White Swans


Written by: Shawn Lim

Albirex Niigata (S) vs Garena Young Lions
(Thursday, 28 April, 7.30pm, Jurong East Stadium)

Albirex Niigata (S) will welcome Garena Young Lions to the Jurong East Stadium on Thursday night in a top versus bottom clash.

The White Swans are currently the sitting at the top of the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League table with 20 points, while the Young Lions are propping up the table after only one win in nine games.

In the first meeting between both sides this season, the Young Lions were trounced a resounding 5-0 by the White Swans, with Atsushi Kawata netting four goals.

However, Young Lions coach Patrick Hesse believes that his side have improved by leaps and bounds since that heavy defeat and is confident that his young charges can provide a stern test for the league leaders.

“This is not the same team that lost 5-0 to them – we had Ammirul (Emmran) in defence then – and we have worked hard since that game, so I am sure we are better now,” said the Frenchman.

“We play better in possession now, defending better now, so I don’t think it will be the same game as our previous game.”

Even though the Young Lions are sitting at the foot of the S.League table, Hesse is adamant that the match is not a forgone conclusion.

“Albirex is currently the leader of the league and we are in the last position. But it is a very good game to play against a good team,” noted Hesse.

“I watched their last two games and it is very difficult to play against them because they are very good technically, at defensive organisation and they are very disciplined.

“They don’t make mistakes in a game, so we might only have one or two opportunities to score, it is not a lot. We haven’t scored a lot so far, but you never know what might happen during a game.”

The Young Lions will have to face the White Swans without the services of Adam Swandi after the midfielder broke his cheekbone in the Young Lions’ 2-0 loss to Balestier Khalsa, while Fareez Farhan (nose injury) and Marcus Wheeler (ankle injury) are also doubtful for the match.

Key Men To Watch

Albirex Niigata (S): Atsushi Kawata

The league current top-scorer is currently in the form of his life and has shown that he is very adaptable, having to play in a wing-back role in recent matches.

Given that he is still finding the back of the net even though he is playing in an unfamiliar position, Kawata is definitely impossible to stop.

Garena Young Lions: Hami Syahin

With Adam sitting out the game and Fareez potentially a non-starter, the creative spark of the team will fall on the shoulders of Hami.

The attacking midfielder makes up for his lack of size with his penetrative passes as well as his powerful shots from distance.

Albirex Niigata (S) – LWWWW

22/04/16  Brunei DPMM 1-2 Albirex Niigata (S) (S.League)
16/04/16  Albirex Niigata (S) 1-0 Tampines Rovers FC (S.League)
08/04/16  Home United 0-3 Albirex Niigata (S) (S.League)
01/04/16  Albirex Niigata (S) 2-0 Hougang United (S.League)
18/03/16  Warriors FC 2-0 Albirex Niigata (S) (S.League)

Garena Young Lions – LLLLL

21/04/16  Balestier Khalsa 2-0 Garena Young Lions (S.League)
08/04/16  Brunei DPMM 4-1 Garena Young Lions (S.League)
03/04/16  Garena Young Lions 1-2 Tampines Rovers (S.League)
17/03/16  Home United 4-1 Garena Young Lions (S.League)
10/03/16  Garena Young Lions 1-3 Hougang United (S.League)

Head to Head (S.League)

20/02/16  Garena Young Lions 0-5 Albirex Niigata (S)
02/11/15  Albirex Niigata (S) 0-1 Courts Young Lions
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