Adam Swandi nets first Albirex goal to keep defending champions top of SPL

Albirex Niigata FC (S) midfielder Adam Swandi

Adam Swandi scored his first goal to help Albirex Niigata FC (S) cruise to a 2-0 win over Brunei DPMM at the Jurong East Stadium on Saturday evening.

Albirex Niigata FC (S) made it 28 straight wins at Jurong East Stadium after a 2-0 victory over Brunei DPMM FC on Saturday evening as they stayed top of the Great Eastern-Hyundai Singapore Premier League standings.

In a match that was delayed due to inclement weather, first-half strikes from Adam Swandi and Wataru Murofushi were enough for the reigning champions to record a third win in as many games.

In the absence of the injured Brian McLean, the DPMM defence was torn apart as Adam capitalised on a poor clearance to net his first Albirex goal after merely 40 seconds on the clock.

Murofushi then extended Albirex’s lead in the fourth minute. After his run into the 18-yard box was unchecked, he calmly slotted the ball past DPMM custodian Haimie Nyaring to leave the Bruneian fans shell-shocked.

Comfortably in front, Albirex Captain Murofushi nearly doubled his tally on 11 minutes following a quick one-two with Adam but he failed to divert the latter’s cutback towards goal from close range.

The visitors then got an opportunity of their own at the other end three minutes later with Volodymyr Priyomov hitting a shot straight at Albirex goalkeeper Yosuke Nozawa.

Kazuaki Yoshinaga’s charges would regain control of proceedings and came close to extending their lead but found Haimie in their way with the score remaining 2-0 until the break.

DPMM came out of the interval with all guns blazing as they sought a way back into the tie but were unable to breach the Albirex backline led by Shun Kumaga and Kaishu Yamazaki.

Instead, it was Albirex who could have gone further ahead with Adam, Murofushi and Shuhei Hoshino all having chances but their efforts were not on the mark.

The Wasps piled on the pressure in the closing stages and were unlucky not to have pulled one back. Azwan Ali Rahman’s effort was deflected out for a corner in the 71st minute before Adi Said saw his half-volley come off the body of teammate Priyomov moments later.

Albirex however hung on to claim maximum points in their opening home match while Rene Weber’s side slumped to their first defeat of the season.

The White Swans next face Home United FC at Bishan Stadium on April 18 while DPMM host Geylang International FC a day earlier at Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

What they said:

Albirex Head Coach Kazuaki Yoshinaga: “Although we scored two quick goals today, I was not happy with the flow of the game in the first half. I told my players they didn’t have a good game and I want them to improve and will work on that on the training ground.

“Finishing is not the only thing I want them to work on. My players are very young and I need them to show more situational awareness and they need to improve on more aspects of the game. I want the players to not be satisfied with just the win or three points, but to look at their individual performances and how they can improve.”

DPMM Head Coach Rene Weber: “Congratulations to Albirex who picked up their third win of the season today. Any team around the world would find it difficult to organise themselves after letting in two early goals but we managed to do that after the first 15 minutes. I’m not happy about the result, but am encouraged with the second-half display.

“There are no excuses for losing but I hope we can continue improving with more games under our belt. I was happy with the contribution of the two foreign strikers and I didn’t want to risk McLean today because I could miss him for a longer period of time.”

Albirex Niigata FC (S): Yosuke Nozawa (GK), Riku Moriyasu (Kazuki Sumiishi 90’), Shun Kumagai, Kaishu Yamazaki, Kenya Takahashi, Hiroyoshi Kamata, Daiki Asaoka, Wataru Murofushi (C), Adam Swandi, Taku Morinaga (Ryujiro Yamanaka 83’), Shuhei Hosino (Shuhei Sasahara 90’)

Brunei DPMM: Haimie Nyaring (GK), Helmi Zambin, Reduan Petara, Abdul Aziz Tamit, Suhaimi Sulau, Hendra Azam, Azwan Saleh (C), Azwan Ali Rahman, Adi Said (Shah Razen Said 84’), Volodymyr Priyomov, Mojtaba Mollasaraei