Hoshino strikes against Home to make it 12 straight victories for Albirex

Albirex Niigata FC (S) continued their perfect Singapore Premier League record with a 3-0 victory over Home United at Jurong East Stadium on Saturday.

Two goals and an assist from Shuhei Hoshino helped Albirex Niigata FC (S) to their 12th straight win and kept up their perfect record in the Great Eastern-Hyundai Singapore Premier League on Saturday.

The 3-0 win over Home United was also their 33rd straight win at the Jurong East Stadium, and extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to 33 games.

The game however, was closer than the final score suggested.

Home managed to keep Albirex at bay for most of the first half, restricting Albirex from creating any clear-cut chances.

When they did so, particularly early on, Home goalkeeper Rudy Khairullah proved equal to it.

The Protectors did cause a few problems for the White Swans on the break, with Song Ui-young leading the charge, but their final ball let them down on a few occasions.

Albirex finally came close in the 30th minute from a free-kick, with Kenya Takahashi fizzing one narrowly just past the post – a sign of things to come later in the game.

The Home keeper almost cost his team in the 44th minute after he fumbled the ball in the air but he recovered quickly to tip Daiki Asaoka’s shot over the ball.

Albirex almost scored immediately after the restart when Riku Moriyasu’s cross was deflected onto the woodwork by Faizal Roslan.

Down at the other end, Song fired over under pressure after Hafiz Nor found him with a pinpoint cross.

The White Swans would then go on to seize control of the game with two goals in a five-minute spell.

A Wataru Murofushi through ball found its way to Hoshino after dummies by both Hiroyoshi Kamata and Taku Morinaga, and the striker made no mistake with a clean finish in the 52nd minute.

Hoshino would then earn a free-kick just outside the area in the 57th minute, and Takahashi placed it perfectly into the corner with Rudy left rooted to his spot.

Home could have reduced the deficit in the 66th minute after Izzdin Shafiq won the ball deep inside the Albirex half and sent Shahril Ishak down the line. But his cross failed to find an open Song in the box and the chance went begging.

The duo combined again later in the 73rd minute with Shahril’s cross finding Song this time. Yet they were denied by Albirex keeper Yosuke Nozawa, the first real save he had to make up to that point.

Asaoka then stung Rudy’s palms with a rasping drive from range, while Hoshino shot straight after Albirex carved Home open with a well-worked move.

The striker would get his name on the scoresheet again in the 84th minute, after Moriyasu’s low cross left him with the simple task to slotting it in at the near post, wrapping the win.

Both teams will face Geylang International next. Home would take on the Eagles at the Bishan Stadium on 17 June, while Albirex would go to Bedok Stadium on 24 June as they look to continue their winning run.

What they said: 

Home head coach Aidil Sharin: “In the first half, which we did very well holding them, but second half we collapsed after the first goal … we have to congratulate Albirex, they are a good team, we have to respect them.

“Albirex is a team that can do something if you give them space, they are very good in having a third man running, if you look at the goal it’s not only the number 9 (Hoshino) but a few players making runs which made it easy for number 9 to penetrate.”

Albirex head coach Kazuaki Yoshinaga: “First half was a bit difficult for us, we couldn’t find space and couldn’t score. The players did not panic, play according to instructions, and get some goals in,that was part of the game plan. Today, it was a difficult game for us. It was a good experience for the players. Home United played hard, and this is what I want my players to experience so they can continue to improve and mature. Home gave us a good game.

“The club has a good philosophy, the players subscribe to my philosophy and are working hard. Tomorrow even if I’m not around, the club will not have any problem, it’s a good club. As a coach I have always been losing. I have lost a lot of games throughout my career so I know the difficulty in winning games. That serve as a motivation for winning games.”

Albirex Niigata FC (S): Yosuke Nozawa (GK), Shuhei Sasahara,Kaishu Yamazaki, Daiki Asaoka, Riku Moriyasu, Wataru Murofushi (C), Shuhei Hoshino, Kenya Takahashi, Hiroyoshi Kamata, Taku Morinaga (Kazuki Sumiishi 90′), Ryujiro Yamanaka

Home United: Rudy Khairullah (GK), Shakir Hamzah, Abdil Qaiyyim, Aqhari Abdullah, Song Uiyoung (Amiruldin Asraf 87′), Iqram Rifqi (Christopher Van Huizen 61′), Izzdin Shafiq (C), Faizal Roslan, Shahril Ishak, Hafiz Nor, Suhairi Sabri (M Anumanthan 71′)