Albirex Niigata (S) are all but through to the quarter-finals of the Singapore League Cup after claiming a resounding 13-0 Group A win over Police SA on Thursday.
Having been beaten 4-0 by Tanjong Pagar United in their opening game, the White Swans were looking to bounce back at the Jurong East Stadium against the National Football League outfit and it took them just four minutes to break the deadlock through a Kazuya Okazaki freekick.
Norihiro Kawakami then doubled their lead in the 22nd minute when he headed home a cross from the left, and it was 3-0 just two minutes later as Kazuya Fukuzaki latched onto Kosuke Matsuda’s incisive pass before curling his shot past Zulhelmi Hazlan.
Kazuki Sakamoto, Albirex’s top scorer so far this year, then got in on the act by netting four minutes before the half-hour mark, before Itsuki Yamada struck with an emphatic finish from inside the box in the 40th minute.
Right on the stroke of halftime, Kawakami scored again to hand the hosts a resounding six-goal lead the break but they showed no signs of letting up in the second half; Okazaki grabbing a brace of his own in the 50th minute before completing his hat-trick four minutes after.
A ninth goal arrived for Tatsuyuki Okuyama’s charges five minutes after the hour mark when Sakamoto found the bottom corner with a firmly-struck freekick, but Police’s evening got even worse in the 73rd minute when they had Hishamudin Khairudin sent off for a second bookable offence.
From then on, it was only going to be a matter of how many more Albirex would pile on and Yamada made it 10-0 a minute later, before Ota, Kaoru Nishio and Sakamoto – who grabbed a hat-trick as well – all netted in the final three minutes to complete the rout.
Thursday’s other match – a Group B clash between Tampines Rovers and Warriors FC – at the Clementi Stadium was postponed after a fault was found with one of the goalposts.
Albirex Niigata (S): Kenjiro Ogino, Kento Fujihara, Shuhei Hotta, Norihiro Kawakami, Itsuki Yamada, Koki Akasaka, Kosuke Matsuda, Keisuke Ota, Kazuya Okazaki, Kazuya Fukuzaki, Kazuki Sakamoto.
Police SA: Zulhelmi Hazlan, Farhan Shamsudin, Noor Halem Hanifa, Hishamudin Khairudin, Farhan Nabrawi, Shaiful Ayub, Firdaus Tohari, Danial Razali, Zulkarnain Adam, Suhaimi Maskun, Sharill Amin.