Albirex Niigata FC made it three Great Eastern Community Shield titles in a row when they beat Tampines Rovers in the season opener 2-1 at the National Stadium last night.
Following a frustrating first half, Taku Morinaga nailed the opener from the spot for Albirex after Tampines’ Jordan Webb was penalised for handling.
But Fahrudin Mustafic gave Tampines a lifeline in the 77th minute when he nodded home Yasir Hanapi’s corner to beat Akbirex custodian Yosuke Nozawa.
However, Shuhei Hoshino had the last say in the game when he latched on to a cross from Morinaga right at the end for the winner.
“This is a significant win for us and I want to praise the players who battled for 90 minutes and deserve the win. We are always confident of our team and we knew in the second half we would be stronger and create more chances for ourselves,” said Albirex Niigata head coach Kazuaki Yoshinaga.
Added Tampines Rovers coach Juergen Raab: “Normally (when) playing such an intensive game at a good level against a very good team like Albirex, when you equalised, you think of reaching the last minute and going for a win.” – www.fas.org.sg