Yoshinaga Demands Improvement From White Swans
Albirex Niigata (S) vs Brunei DPMM
(Thursday, 9 March, 7.30pm, Jurong East Stadium)
Written by: Phoon Jia Hui
Albirex Niigata (S) will host Brunei DPMM at the Jurong East Stadium on Thursday night as they look to extend their winning run to three games in the 2017 Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League.
The defending champions ran out 5-0 winners over Garena Young Lions the last time out as Tsubasa Sano struck twice to help the White Swans to victory. Takuya Akiyama, Kento Nagasaki and Ryota Nakai were the other names on the scoresheet as they collected all three points.
While it was a convincing victory, Albirex head coach Kazuaki Yoshinaga said his team’s overall performance left much to be desired.
“There were a lot of missed passes and our transition play was too slow,” he bemoaned.
“I hope to see that improve in our next game against Brunei DPMM and I want to see the players play with the same tempo and intensity throughout.”
Acknowledging that the Wasps will pose a much stronger threat than the Young Lions, Yoshinaga is keeping his cards close to his chest.
“Of course DPMM will be a difficult opponent for us. Hence, it is likely I will employ a different tactic for that game,” he said.
“It’s not a matter of the score, but the quality of our game that I’m looking at - whether we control the game according to our own tempo. I want the players to play according to how I want them to play.
“No matter who our opponents are, we have to control it better and show better concentration.”
DPMM on the other hand, will be eager to bounce back after falling 3-1 to Home United in Berakas in their opening game of the season.
Home’s Croatian forward Stipe Plazibat scored twice and along with Faris Ramli’s strike fifteen minutes from time, it rendered Rafael Ramazotti’s strike inconsequential.
In fact, DPMM had carved open the Protectors’ defence on numerous occasions but found goalkeeper Hassan Sunny in imperious form. Coupled with their wastefulness in front of goal, it meant they found the net only once.
“I'm not looking forward to seeing the statistics. I can count in my mind that we had seven or eight shots on target and we only got one goal. Home had around five on target and ended up with three goals,” DPMM coach Steve Kean said.
“Statistically we need to be much better and be more ruthless in their box and also to defend our box.Ultimately that is what football is about - the two 18-yard boxes. We didn’t take the chances we had, and when they had chances, we didn't defend properly.”
New signing Francois Marque however, is a doubt for this one after the defender limped out midway through the first-half in their last game with a suspected pulled muscle.
DPMM have only won one of their past five encounters against the White Swans, and they will certainly be coming into this match with a point to prove.
Albirex Niigata (S) - LLWWW
04/03/17 Garena Young Lions 0-5 Albirex Niigata (S)
26/02/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 2-1 Tampines Rovers
29/10/16 Albirex Niigata (S) 2-0 Tampines Rovers (Singapore Cup)
26/10/16 Albirex Niigata (S) 1-5 Tampines Rovers
20/10/16 Home United 3-1 Albirex Niigata (S)
Brunei DPMM - WWWLL
03/03/17 Brunei DPMM 1-3 Home United
26/10/16 Balestier Khalsa 2-0 Brunei DPMM
01/10/16 Tampines Rovers 0-1 Brunei DPMM
26/09/16 Brunei DPMM 5-3 Garena Young Lions
23/09/16 Brunei DPMM 3-1 Home United
Head to Head (S.League)
05/08/16 Brunei DPMM 2-1 Albirex Niigata (S)
22/04/16 Brunei DPMM 1-2 Albirex Niigata (S)
13/02/16 Albirex Niigata (S) 3-2 Brunei DPMM
16/09/15 Albirex Niigata (S) 0-0 Brunei DPMM
14/05/15 Albirex Niigata (S) 2-1 Brunei DPMM