Singapore Football

Albirex coach: Celebrate today, forget about this win tomorrow

Albirex Niigata coach Kazuaki Yoshinaga praised his new side after a 2-1 win over Tampines Rovers in Saturday's Great Eastern Community Shield on Saturday, but added that it's back to work tomorrow.

The match, which also doubled up as the opener for the Singapore Premier League season, was played in front of 18,492 spectators at the National Stadium. 

Retaining only two players from last year's quadruple-winning side, his newly assembled team, who are almost entirely an Under-23 side, had led through a Taku Morinaga penalty in the 59th minute.

But Tampines equalised when captain Fahrudin Mustafic headed home in the 77th minute from a corner kick. Morinaga then turned provider for Shuhei Hoshino's 89th-minute winner. 

Yoshinaga praised his players for staying calm after Tampines had equalised, and reiterated their aim to retain their titles.

He added: "Of course, we want to win all the trophies on offer. This has always been our aim, but we have told the players it's not enough just to win trophies. The players have to improve every match and must aim higher than just winning trrophies in Singapore."

As the League Cup is not contested this year, their remaining targets are the Singapore Premier League and RHB Singapore Cup.

Yoshinaga added: "So tomorrow, we will start training again and we will forget about today's match.

"But today, they should celebrate this victory and express gratitude to those who have supported them."

Tampines coach Juergen Raab was naturally disappointed by the result. 

He said: "It's very disappointing that we lost the match because we came back from a goal down and i think it was deserved. 

"We tried to win. We had a great chance from Jordan (Webb). I think it's too easy this second goal we conceded, but that's our failing."
 

albirex niigataSingapore Premier LeagueKazuaki Yoshinaga