The Albirex express train showed no signs of slowing down after recording its 15th consecutive victory to maintain its 100% record for the season.
The loss of centreback Yamazaki Kaishu to a long term knee injury, sustained in the last game against Hougang on Wednesday, threatened to derail the Albirex train’s route towards the inaugural Singapore Premier League title. Another centreback Shun Kumagai was not deemed to be fit to start the game yet as he has just started training after his knee operations 3 months ago.
Head Coach Yoshinaga brought Adam Swandi back in midfield to partner Wataru Murofushi, while defensive midfielder Daiki Asaoka moved back to an unfamiliar role as centreback. Adam was starting his first game after recovering from his knee injury.
With the change in personnel in key positions, the White Swans took a long time to settle in the first half and missed several good chances to score. Captain Murofushi took matters into his own hands and drove home the opener just before half time.
The White Swans continued to carve out chances in the 2nd half but was profligate in goal. Top Scorer, Shuhei “Jumbo” Hoshino finally made Albirex dominance count, when he played a sweet one-two with strike partner Taku Morinaga and swept home the ball into the right bottom corner in the 73rd minute.
Final score 2 nil.
Despite the absence of 2 key centrebacks, the White Swans extended its lead at the top of the table to 16 points with closest rival Tampines Rovers drawing with Home Utd on the same day.
Albirex will meet Tampines Rovers next week on 14 July for the top of the table clash at Jurong East Stadium.
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