Albirex beat Tampines to claim quadruple

Albirex Niigata completed the final leg of an historic quadruple on Saturday night, beating Tampines Rovers 2-0 at the Jalan Besar Stadium to claim the Singapore Cup.

The victory topped off a perfect year for the Japanese side, adding the Singapore Cup to the S-League, the Charity Shield, and the League Cup titles.

They become the first club in the history of the S-League to do so.

The game was pretty even, both sides having half chances before Albirex took the lead in the 28th minute thanks to an embarrassing error by Tampines keeper Izwan Mahbud.

Receiving a back pass from Mustafic Fahrudin, Izwan failed to control the ball as it rolled across the face of the goal, allowing forward Atsushi Kawata to nip in front of him and poke into the empty net.

Tampines huffed and puffed as they tried to get back into the game. Jordan Webb shot into the side-netting after a run down the right on 39 minutes in their best chance before the break.

The second period saw more of the same, the Stags having all the pressure but failing to make the breakthrough. Webb again had the best chance, flicking a free kick from substitute Jermaine Pennant over the bar with six minutes left with the keeper beaten.

Albirex then broke away to double their lead, substitute Daich Ishiyama breaking from inside his own half before crossing for Kento Nagasaki to steer a header over Izwan and in off the underside of the bar and seal the win and spark the celebrations.

Speaking after the game, Tampines coach Akbar Nawas said he had no regrets over dropping Pennant.

“I see him in training and how he behaves together with players, so I deem who should be in the line-up,” he said.

Albirex coach Naoki Naruo, meanwhile, was understandably ecstatic.

“This is the moment day of my life,” said Naruo. “I knew this game was going to be very tough, but we got stronger and adapted as it went along.”

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