Brave Swans Salvage Win Despite Hassan's Loss

Defending Champions, Albirex Niigata, gained a hard fought 1 nil win over Hougang United despite losing National Team Goalkeeper Hassan Sunny to a red card in the 60th minute.

The White Swans grabbed an early goal through a free kick. Hougang's goalkeeper Zaiful Nizam spilled the ball and striker Shuhei "Jumbo" Hoshino was on hand to tap in the loose ball.

【#9 Shuhei Hoshino】

Hougang worked hard to find an equaliser but was unable to penetrate the impregnable Hassan, who made a couple of fine saves and was commanding his box with authority.

However, at the 45th minute, Albirex star player Yojiro Takahagi had to be replaced for seemingly a hamstring injury. Arya Igami, despite just recovering from a fever earlier in the week, came in as replacement.

Albirex took the 1 nil lead into half time.

Hougang piled on the pressure after the break.

They seemed to find a breakthrough in the 60th minute when striker Stjepan Plazonja broke through the offside trap. Hassan rushed out immediately to stop him but upended Plazonja instead. Referee Taufik Thana had no choice but to give Hassan a straight red card.

Head Coach sacrificed left winger Arshad Shamim for reserve goalkeeper Zainol Gulam and switched to a 4-4-1 formation.

【#25 Zainol Glam】

Hougang, sensing blood, attacked relentlessly, with corner kicks after corner kicks. The brave men of Albirex, led by Zainol, repelled every shot peppered by the Hougang attackers. Even the crossbar came to the White Swan's help.

Albirex managed to hold on until the full time whistle and earned a well-fought 3 points.

【#41 Mikuni Egbus Stevia】

The White Swans will host DPMM Brunei at Jurong East Stadium next week, 25 May. Kick off is 6pm.

Match Detail 

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