SINGAPORE (11 Feb 2012) – With Malaysia’s Harimau Muda making a strong start to their first foray in the S-League with an outright win to lead the standings, former champions Singapore Armed Forces FC (SAFFC) had a bad start when they fell to a 3-2 loss to Albirex Niigata.
The young Malaysians showed none of the fatigue from their 2-1 loss to Bahrain in the 2012 Olympic Games qualifiers a few days earlier when they scored a goal in each half for the win to pick up the full points against Gombak United at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
Thamil Arasu was on target on 15 minute before Wan Zaharul Nizam added the second goal nine minutes to the end.
“We played the game after the very exhausting match against Bahrain but the players did not show any of the fatigue. In fact, they played really well against a side which featured four import players,” said Ong Kim Swee, the chief coach of Harimau Muda.
“Sure the players were a little tired in the second half but they still played hard for the win and did not concede a goal which was important. The artificial pitch at the Jalan Besar Stadium was testing with the speed of the ball which in turn affected focus.”
In the meantime, SAFFC started their campaign in the S-League on a woeful note when they were edged 3-2 by Albirex Niigata. Musashi Okuyama had given the homesters the lead on 26th minute before Toshikazu Soya gave them a comfortable 2-0 lead at the half with the second goal on 41st minute.
Toshikazu then put Albirex further in front with the third goal right at the hour mark as SAFFC seem pressed for an answer. And by the time they did through Mislav Paroglan’s penalty in the 70th minute and then Shukor Zainal in the 89th minute, it was already a little too late.
Elsewhere, Hougang United were held to a 1-1 draw by Tanjong Pagar United as Home United battled to a scoreless draw against Balestier.
CURRENT S-LEAGUE 2012 STANDINGS
|Albirex Niigata FC (S)||1||1||0||0||3||2||1||3|
|Hougang United FC||1||0||1||0||1||1||0||1|
|Tanjong Pagar United FC||1||0||1||0||1||1||0||1|
|Home United FC||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||1|
|Balestier Khalsa FC||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||1|
|Courts Young Lions||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Geylang United FC||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Tampines Rovers FC||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Woodlands Wellington FC||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Brunei DPMM FC||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Singapore Armed Forces FC||1||0||0||1||2||3||-1||0|
|Gombak United FC||1||0||0||1||0||2||-2||0|