SINGAPORE - ALBIREX NIIGATA 4
(Kazuki Sakamoto 10, 68, Kazuya Okazaki 57, Shuhei Hotta 68) HOME UNITED 2
(Lee Kwan Woo 77, 90+2)
Kazuki Sakamoto inspired Albirex Niigata to a 4-2 win over Home United, scoring a brace at the Jurong East Stadium last night.
The White Swans recovered from a 4-0 thrashing by Warriors FC on April 16 in fine fashion and are now fifth on the Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League table, level on points with fourth-placed Home at 16.
With the Protectors mostly restricted to shots from long range, Albirex head coach Tatsuyuki Okuyama was pleased with the way his side nullified their opponents' attacking prowess.
At the post-match press conference, Okuyama said: "Today was an important game for us as we have to win to stay in a good position on the table.
"We knew that Home are a good team, so we tried to stop them from playing while playing to our strengths."
Clashes between the two sides usually yield goals and entertainment - and this match was no different.
The hosts drew first blood after 10 minutes when livewire midfielder Kento Nagasaki's cross from the left was turned in by Sakamoto from close range.
Their lead was doubled on 57 minutes when Kazuya Okazaki ran from his own half to latch onto a long ball before rounding a marooned Shahril Jantan to put the ball into an empty net.