Albirex Niigata nail Home United for six at Bishan Stadium in SPL

Albirex Niigata FC (S) remain undefeated in the 2018 Singapore Premier League with a sensational 6-1 win over Home United at Bishan Stadium on Wednesday.

Albirex Niigata FC (S) continued their fine start to the Great Eastern-Hyundai Singapore Premier League (SPL) season with a 6-1 thumping of Home United FC at Bishan Stadium on Wednesday night.

A first-half brace from Shuhei Hoshino set the pace for Albirex, before a strike apiece from Taku Morinaga, Wataru Murofushi, Daiki Asaoka and Adam Swandi meant Shahril Ishak’s late penalty conversion was inconsequential as the White Swans made it four wins on the trot.

Albirex dominated proceedings from the start as Hoshino nearly put Albirex in front two minutes into the game but he hit one straight at Home custodian Rudy Khairullah.

It was an early warning sign Home failed to heed as the visitors took the lead on eight minutes.

After Adam’s cross was half-cleared by Faizal Roslan, it fell into the path of Hoshino who took a touch before looping a shot that beat a rooted Rudy before going in off the post.

Stunned by the opener, the Protectors almost levelled matters at the other end two minutes later but Shahril could only glance a header wide off Sirina Camara’s left-wing cross.

It was a miss which proved costly as Hoshino latched onto a well-timed reverse pass from Hiroyoshi Kamata to coolly slot the ball into the far corner on 20 minutes.

Kazuaki Yoshinaga’s charges came close to extending their tally moments later with Albirex skipper Murofushi curling one that sailed narrowly over the bar.

Rudy then denied Hoshino his hat-trick just before half-time, parrying the latter’s header as the White Swans went into the break with a comfortable two-goal cushion.

Home Head Coach Aidil Sharin reacted by bringing on Hafiz Nor for Shahrin Saberin at the interval but could have found themselves further behind instead.

After pouncing on a defensive error, Hoshino contrived to drag wide with only Rudy to beat in the 47th minute.

It mattered little as Albirex made it 3-0 on 53 minutes when Morinaga stabbed home after Home failed to clear their lines from a corner.

In the 69th minute, Morinaga turned provider as he slipped Murofushi through on goal for the Albirex captain to score. Asaoka then took advantage of a missed interception by Shakir Hamzah three minutes later to poke home from close range.

Home then pulled one back in stoppage time through Shahril who sent Nozawa the wrong way from the spot after M Anumanthan was fouled by Kazuki Sumiishi in the box.

There was still time for a late goal though as Adam fired an unstoppable effort into the bottom corner for his second of the season to complete the scoring.

With the victory, Albirex sit pretty on top of the SPL standings with 12 points while Home remain in sixth with three points from as many games.

Home will have little time to dwell over this defeat though, as they face Geylang International FC at Bedok Stadium this Sunday while Albirex’s next game will also be against Geylang on Saturday, 28 April.

Home Head Coach Aidil Sharin: “As head coach of the team, I will have to take full responsibility for this result. To lose in this manner, I naturally feel frustrated. Performance wise, it was unacceptable and we were second to everything today.

“But this is not the end of the day, we still have more games coming up and we need to bounce back as soon as possible… We are going to play Geylang next and we cannot look back. We have to look at today’s match videos and rectify our mistakes (from today).”

Albirex Head Coach Kazuaki Yoshinaga: “We scored six goals today, which was more than what he managed against Brunei DPMM FC in our last game and is an improvement. But we wanted to get the clean sheet, which we didn’t get today and is a problem we had since last year.

“Before the season, we heard people saying that the Albirex side are not so strong and only have about 10 players who can play at the SPL level. I’m happy we could show our pride and I’m pleased with what we have done (so far).”

Home United: Rudy Khairullah (GK), Aqhari Abdullah, Faizal Roslan, Shakir Hamzah, Juma’at Jantan, Faritz Hameed, Shahrin Saberin (Hafiz Nor 46’), Iqram Rifqi (Amy Recha 67’), Izzdin Shafiq (C) (M Anumanthan 57’), Sirina Camara, Shahril Ishak

Albirex Niigata FC (S): Yosuke Nozawa (GK), Riku Moriyasu (Ryujiro Yamanaka 70’), Shuhei Sasahara, Kaishu Yamazaki, Kenya Takahashi, Hiroyoshi Kamata, Daiki Asaoka, Wataru Murofushi (C), Adam Swandi, Taku Morinaga (Kazuki Sumiishi 85’), Shuhei Hosino (Kodai Sumikawa 90’)