Yoshinaga Plots Another Albirex Victory
Albirex Niigata (S) vs Home United
(23 June, Friday, 8.30pm, Jalan Besar Stadium)
Written by: Phoon Jia Hui
Albirex Niigata (S) head coach Kazuaki Yoshinaga has vowed that his team will put up a good showing when they take on Home United in the 2017 Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday night.
The Japanese outfit are unbeaten in the S.League after 11 games as they sit pretty on top, four points clear of nearest challengers Tampines Rovers.
In their first meeting this season, Albirex came from two goals down to earn a share of the spoils in a 2-2 draw at the Bishan Stadium.
Speaking ahead of the match, Yoshinaga is demanding for an improved performance from his charges this time round.
“We did not play well in that game (in April),” he admitted.
“As the head coach of the team, I have to take full responsibility but my players will definitely better on Friday.
“We have prepared well and will give our all for the game.”
Home sealed progress to the AFC Cup ASEAN Zone final after beating Global Cebu FC 5-4 over two legs in the semi-final, with Stipe Plazibat and Faris Ramli playing key roles in their continental campaign but Yoshinaga believes they can be stopped.
“I have watched them play against Global and know what they are capable of,” the Japanese shared.
“We will also give Home a tough fight and hopefully get a result.
“We will focus on the team rather than the individual players.”
With just six goals shipped thus far, Albirex have the league’s best defence and according to centre-back Yasutaka Yanagi, it is a team effort rather than an individual one.
“I think the success behind statistic is the constant pressure and pressing for every single loose ball from all our players from attack to defence,” he said.
“So the result is not only for our defenders and goalkeeper. We have to continue to work and fight for every ball during the game.
And Yanagi is confident they can stop the duo of Plazibat and Faris.
“They are definitely quality players who are challenging to stop but we have good teamwork and communication within our team, so I believe we are up for the task,” added the 23-year-old.
Having been in Singapore for about six months now, Yanagi is pleased with his development but feels there is still room for improvement.
“Singapore football is competitive, with many good players in the league,” he noted.
“I definitely feel that I have a lot of potential for improvement, especially in terms of reading of the game situations and also the playing speed.”
Meanwhile, Home coach Aidil Sharin is raring to go after the international break and is determined to see his team return to action with a victory.
“We have started to prepare the game on Friday and we cannot wait to start again,” he told the Home United official website.
“The national team players just came back to training on Monday and I gave them some time off for them to spend with their family and try to recharge the batteries, but now we’re thinking about restarting the season in the best condition.”
“The S.League is tough and we restart the season against Albirex Niigata(S), that will be exciting because it’s our first game after a long break. With our next game against Hougang United, I’m sure the fans will be excited for that as well.
“The Albirex game is another motivation for us and because we want to close in the gap between us, we want to do well - starting from this one."
Albirex Niigata (S) - WWWWW
16/06/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 4-0 Brunei DPMM
26/05/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 8-0 Garena Young Lions
21/05/17 Tampines Rovers 1-4 Albirex Niigata (S)
11/05/17 Geylang International 0-1 Albirex Niigata (S)
29/04/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 4-2 Warriors FC
Home United - LDWWW
30/05/17 Home United 3-2 Global Cebu FC (AFC Cup)
25/05/17 Home United 9-3 Brunei DPMM
21/05/17 Garena Young Lions 1-2 Home United
16/05/17 Global Cebu FC 2-2 Home United (AFC Cup)
12/05/17 Tampines Rovers 3-2 Home United
Head to Head (S.League)
01/04/17 Home United 2-2 Albirex Niigata (S)
20/10/16 Home United 3-1 Albirex Niigata (S)
18/06/16 Albirex Niigata (S) 5-2 Albirex Niigata (S)
08/04/16 Home United 0-3 Albirex Niigata (S)
05/11/15 Home United 1-2 Albirex Niigata (S)