The Japanese side fought back after going a goal behind to make it four wins out of four as they kept up their flying start to the new seasonAlbirex Niigata (S) continued their winning ways with a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over a plucky Brunei DPMM at Jurong East Stadium on Monday night.
Just as they had done in their opening three games, the home side prevailed by a single goal again, having already beaten Harimau Muda 1-0, Home United 2-1 and more recently Hougang United with a lone strike as well.
They did it the hard way here too, conceding from a corner after only 29 minutes as a fumble by the normally-reliable Hiroaki Hara allowed DPMM ace Shahrazen Said to slam home a loose ball inside the six-yard box.
Prior to that, the White Swans were looking comfortable in the early stages, having started slowly.
However they fell behind when Azwan Saleh swung in a superb corner beyond the clear reach of veteran goalkeeper Hara and he spilled the ball to the feet of the gleeful Shahrazen, who easily made it 1-0.
For a while it looked as if DPMM were going to control things after that as they looked composed and secure on the ball, but an error by Stephane Auvray was all it took for Albirex to capitalise almost on half-time.
Auvray lost possession to Kazuki Sakamoto and the skilful striker sped into the penalty area, where he threaded the ball through to Kento Nagasaki on his left. The clever midfielder found the net with a sure touch to level the scores.
Albirex stepped up a gear in the second half and although the visitors had their share of chances as well, it was the home side that looked more confident of taking the points as time wore on.
Those same two Albirex players, Sakamoto and Nagasaki, combined again in the 58th minute, with the latter’s shot deflected for a corner.
Just as the DPPM flag-kick had deceived their opponents earlier in the game, Masatake Sato came up with something equally dangerous. His cross from the left skimmed the head of Masahiro Ishikawa before Sakamoto slammed home the loose ball from a tight angle on the right to seal victory for the league leaders.