White Swans brought down to earth by Woodlands

The Rams ran out 2-1 winners at Woodlands Stadium to bring an end to league leaders Albirex's winning streak
Khalis Rifhan

The hosts started in an offensive mode as they went in search of goal from the get go, with Moon Soon Ho showing his dribbling prowess and taking on the entire Albirex defence, but his shot deflected off a defender and into the palms of Hiroaki Hara.

Despite missing several key players such as Shariff Samat and Armanizam Dolah from the starting eleven, the Rams were up to the task against the formidable White Swans as they dominated proceedings and looked threatening in their attacks, with Dutch starlet Khalid Hamdaoui heavily involved in most of them.

Albirex on the hand were at ease with their usual passing game and patient build-up going into the attacking third, making use of the flanks and providing the ammunition to their forward pairing of Bruno Castanheira and Kazuki Sakamoto.

The opener came as a result of a defensive mistake by Albirex as they were too casual in their passes at the back and Moon got to the end of the ball, before passing it to Chang Jo Yoon at the edge of the box.

Chang did well to shake off his marker in the box before laying it off to Hamdaoui, who had time to pick his spot and put the Rams a goal up in the 21st minute.

They could have added a second seven minutes later as Shimono sent a grounder to the centre of the box, but Moon’s shot was weak and did not trouble the goalkeeper.

The White Swans came out stronger in the second half, carving out several chances in the first 10 minutes of the restart but their efforts were denied by the heroics of former Singapore international Yazid Yasin, who did not put a foot wrong in the game.

Yazid was finally beaten when the Rams defence was caught flat-footed as Kento Nagasaki curled the ball over the custodian and into the net in the 71st minute.

But the equalizer only spurred the hosts to go forward in search of the winner and they duly scored their second of the night, as Chang slammed the ball home inside the penalty box 11 minutes from time.