Albirex face Hougang in 2018 Singapore Cup with four-peat target

Kelvin Leong Kelvin Leong

The 2018 Singapore Cup will be an all-Singapore Premier League affair with defending champions Albirex Niigata FC (S) drawn against Hougang United.

Unlike previous editions, the upcoming Singapore Cup will only include Singapore Premier League (SPL) clubs this year. All matchups will be played in a home and away format except for the final.

Defending champions Albirex have been drawn against Hougang and will be aiming to become the first club to win four consecutive Singapore Cup titles having done so in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Geylang International will do battle with Balestier Khalsa while Brunei DPMM will pit their wits against Warriors FC.

Six-time winners Home United must navigate a tough tie against Tampines Rovers if they are to improve from their 2017 third-place showing.

Young Lions will sit out the Singapore Cup competition as they have been penciled in for an overseas training camp.

Home United head coach Aidil Sharin was happy with the draw but refused to look too far ahead and wants his charges to “focus on the target of qualifying for the semifinal before thinking about the next round.”

As for Warriors’ Emmeric Ong, the defender is eyeing silverware after the club’s recent good run of form.

“I would say it was a favourable draw for us but there are no easy games in football at any level today,” Ong said.

“We have to respect Brunei DPMM because they have quality in their ranks but like any other competition we go into, we aim to win it and give it our all.”

The organisers will release the full schedule at a later date but the first game has been penciled in for July 25 while the final is on October 6.