After conceding a late goal to Hougang United in the last group stage game of the Komoco Motors Singapore Cup, the White Swans have to win this evening’s match against Geylang International to keep alive their hope of defending their Singapore Cup title.
A defeat would mean that Albirex will be knocked out early in a 4-team group while a draw would render the hopes of moving to the semi-final stage slim and dependent on the results of other games. Thus, only a win would put the destiny of the White Swans in their own hands.
Thus, the White Swans started the match aggressively with centre back Kaishu Yamazaki surging forward and testing the Geylang custodian early with a fierce shot. Captain Kyoga Nakamura and winger Daizo Horikoshi also took shots but were not able to test the goalkeeper.
Meanwhile, Geylang were content to sit back and made swift counter attacks against the White Swans. However, they suffered a blow towards the end of the first half, when their star National Team striker, Shawal Anuar, had to be stretchered off, probably due to an ankle injury.
The first half ended goalless.
The second half continued in roughly the same vein with Geylang threatening through counter attacks.
The breakthrough for the White Swans finally came in the 81st minute when Horikoshi converted a left wing cross to seize the initiative. This was the first goal that the White Swans score in Our Tampines Hub in 2019.
Geylang started to pour forward to search for the equaliser. This opened up spaces for the White Swans to exploit and 18 year old midfielder, Daichi Tanabe, duly obliged when he pounced on a loose ball to kill off the game at the 85th minute.
The 2 nil victory moves the White Swans up to 2nd place in the table with 3 points and a positive goal difference of 1. Brunei DPMM FC lead the table with 4 points after a 1 nil victory over Hougang United at Jalan Besar Stadium. Hougang is level on points with the White Swans but has a zero goal difference. Geylang occupies 4th spot with 1 point.
The White Swans will meet Brunei DPMM FC next at Jurong East Stadium on 23 Oct. Although a draw maybe enough for the White Swans to move to the semi-finals if Hougang drew with Geylang or lose by 1 goal. However, the White Swans will be going for a win to make the semi final a certainty.
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