Sports

S-LEAGUE: ALBIREX KNOCKS HOUGANG OFF THE TOP

It was a homecoming of sorts as Albirex Niigata returned to a new synthetic turf at the Jurong East Stadium for their first home game of the season. And boy, did the White Swans prove that they are the real deal both off and on the pitch with a comprehensive 2-0 victory over pretenders Hougang United who fell off the S.League summit into second place. Into their 13th season, Albirex have now established themselves as a model of professionalism and it is easy to see why. It is hopefully also not that difficult for the local S.League teams to follow suit.

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NERVOUS SINGAPORE DEFEATS MYANMAR IN UNCONVINCING 2-1 VICTORY

So after almost three years, Bernd Stange is stepping down as the national football coach, as The New Paper reported earlier this month. But based on his last home match, a 2-1 win over Myanmar in an international friendly at the Jalan Besar Stadium last night, the 68-year-old German has definitely failed in what he set out to do when he was first appointed in May 2013.

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GUTSY TAMPINES ROVERS HOLD FILIPINO SIDE CERES LA SALLE TO DRAW IN AFC CUP

On paper, this looked like an AFC Cup match between an S.League club against a team from the Philippines. But it might as well have been a Singaporean side taking on an European outfit. Whereas Tampines Rovers featured eight Singaporeans and three imports in their starting XI, Ceres La Salle deployed eight outfield players born in Europe, two from South Korea, with goalkeeper Louie Casas the only one born and bred in the Philippines.

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MINNOWS BALESTIER KHALSA SCALPS HONG KONG CHAMPIONS KITCHEE SC IN AFC CUP

For the second gameweek in a row, S.League teams Balestier Khalsa and Tampines Rovers stayed unbeaten in the AFC Cup, indicating that local football is on the up.
In fact, they beat Kitchee SC and Selangor 1-0, earning crucial wins against teams widely regarded as the best in Group F and E respectively. Both teams also rose to the top of their respective tables, putting them in a good position to fly Singapore's flag in the knockout rounds for the first time since Home United made the last 16 in 2012.

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JERMAINE PENNANT STARS AS TAMPINES ROVERS TRASH SJDC FOUR-NIL IN AFC CUP

Singaporean teams got off to a good start in the second-tier AFC club competition, with Tampines Rovers beating Bangladesh's Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club 4-0 at Jalan Besar and Balestier Khalsa holding New Radiant to a 2-2 draw in the Maldives last night. In terms of result, they delivered one that equals their biggest AFC Cup win, with former Arsenal and Liverpool star Jermaine Pennant involved in all four goals. While the 33-year-old marquee signing is clearly no longer the flying winger he once was, he was still too good for the opponents who were making their debut in the AFC Cup proper.

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