A scintillating first-half display by Albirex Niigata (S) on Wednesday was enough to hand them a 3-1 win over Woodlands Wellington and see them reclaim second spot in the Great Eastern-YEO’s S.League.
The White Swans opened the scoring at the Jurong East Stadium after 15 minutes when Bruno Castanheira broke the offside trap and advanced into the box, before coolly firing into the bottom corner on his left foot.
Six minutes after the half-hour mark, Bruno broke free again after latching onto an incisive through-ball from Kento Nagasaki and although his initial shot was cleverly kept out by Yazid Yasin, the rebound fell kindly to Masatake Sato who made no mistake from four yards out.
Four minutes before the break, Albirex netted their third after Nagasaki found space down the right and cut the ball into the path of Kazuya Fukuzaki, who curled a sublime effort past a hapless Yazid and into the top corner.
Woodlands did show plenty of fight after the break and duly pulled one back in the 53rd minute thanks to a fine individual strike by Ang Zhiwei; the wing-back cutting in from the left before placing his shot past Hiroaki Hara, but it proved to be a mere consolation as the hosts held on for the victory.
The result was enough to take Albirex up to second, a point above Home United, while the Rams remain in fifth.
Over at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium, Warriors FC came from a goal down to beat DPMM FC 3-2 and leapfrog their opponents into seventh.
It took the visitors just eight minutes to break the deadlock when Rodrigo Tosi scored with a header, but the Warriors equalised in the 16th minute when Mislav Karoglan found the back of the net with a clinical finish.
The hosts then went ahead a minute before the half-hour mark when Karoglan’s cut-back was turned home by Hafsyar Farkhan, before it was 3-1 in the 72nd minute when Shukor Zailan scored with a fantastic freekick.
DPMM did pull one back in injury-time when Shahrazen Said, pouncing after Hassan Sunny had made a smart save to deny Adi Said, scored on the rebound, but there was not enough time for them to find an equaliser as their opponents claimed their ninth win of the campaign.
Albirex Niigata (S) vs Woodlands Wellington
Albirex Niigata (S): Hiroaki Hara, Yuki Ichikawa, Kento Fukuda, Masahiro Ishikawa, Itsuki Yamada, Shuhei Hotta, Masatake Sato, Kento Nagasaki, Bruno Castanheira (Kazuki Hiroshi 90’), Kazuya Fukuzaki (Takeshi Nagasawa 83’), Kazuki Sakamoto (Yoshinaga Arima 88’).
Woodlands Wellington: Yazid Yasin, Ang Zhiwei (Taufiq Rahmat 74’), Shariff Samat, Shahril Alias, Rosman Sulaiman, Atsushi Shimono, Cho Sung-hwan, Farouq Farkhan (Fadhil Noh 52’), Theeraweekin Seehawong (Goh Swee Swee 82’), Chang Jo-yoon, Moon Soon-ho.
Warriors FC vs DPMM FC
Warriors FC: Hassan Sunny, Jeremy Chiang, Abdil Qaiyyim, Marin Vidosevic, Zulfadli Zainal Abidin (Syaiful Iskandar 75’), Hafsyar Farkhan, Kazuyuki Toda, Shukor Zailan, Matthew Abraham (Dharham Aziz 59’), Erwan Gunawan (Nicholas Marc Cher 81’), Mislav Karoglan.
DPMM FC: Wardun Yussof, Subhi Abdilah, Pg Sallehuddin Damit, Abdul Aziz Tamit (Tales dos Santos 46’), Rosmin Kamis, Helmi Zambin, Hendra Azam, Azwan Ali (Adi Said 51’), Azwan Saleh (Awangku Fakharazzi 68’), Rodrigo Tosi, Shahrazen Said.
Wednesday’s Great Eastern-YEO’s S.League Results
Albirex Niigata (S) 3-1 Woodlands Wellington
Warriors FC 3-2 DPMM FC