Hougang deal blow to Albirex title hopes

Albirex Niigata's hopes of winning the Great Eastern-YEO's S.League are all but over after they fell to a 3-2 defeat to Hougang United on Thursday evening.

Hasree keeps a close eye on his opponent...

By ESPNSTAR.com staff

The Cheetahs took the lead at the Jurong East Stadium in the 29th minute when Mamadou Diallo netted with a long-range strike, but Albirex hit back three minutes later when Yasuhiro Yamakoshi netted from the spot, after he had been tripped by Lau Meng Meng inside the area.

However, the visitors went ahead again six minutes after the hour mark when Sobrie Mazelan clinically sent a shot into the bottom corner, before Jordan Webb added a third ten minutes later when Canadian livewire Jordan Webb went on a bursting run before firing past Takuma Ito.

The White Swans were then reduced to ten men four minutes from time when centre-back Kunihiro Yamashita was sent off for retaliation, and although Yamakoshi pulled one back in injury-time with an unstoppable effort past Fadhil Salim, it was a case of too little too late for Koichi Sugiyama's charges.

The defeat was Albirex's second in a row after last Sunday's 1-0 loss to Balestier Khalsa, meaning they are now eight points behind leaders Tampines Rovers with four games left in the season.

While it is still mathematically possible of them to win the title, it now remains unlikely they will be able to do so, and the Stags can make sure of that if they beat the Japanese outfit when both sides meet at the Clementi Stadium next Wednesday.

In Thursday's other game, Balestier Khalsa played out a 0-0 draw with SAFFC at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

Thursday's Great Eastern-YEO's S.League Results

Albirex Niigata 2-3 Hougang United

SAFFC 0-0 Balestier Khalsa



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