Football: Albirex snatch late winner to beat Balestier 2-1 in TNP League Cup final

Albirex Niigata won The New Paper League Cup final on Friday, after edging out 10-man Balestier Khalsa 2-1 at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
Albirex Niigata won The New Paper League Cup final on Friday, after edging out 10-man Balestier Khalsa 2-1 at the Jalan Besar Stadium.PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

Albirex Niigata (S) won The New Paper League Cup final on Friday, after edging out 10-man Balestier Khalsa 2-1 at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

Balestier opened the scoring in the 15th minute through Croatian forward Miroslav Kristic. Serbian midfielder Tarik Cmajcanin released Zulkiffli Hassim down the left flank and the latter's pin point delivery found the feet of Kristic, who tucked the ball away into the bottom right corner of the net.

Albirex equalised in the second-half after constant pressure paid off in the 76th minute when Fumiyo Kogure ran onto a Shotaro Ihata flick and calmly finished past custodian Zaiful Nizam.

They found the winner in the 89th minute. Substitute Kento Nagasaki received the ball in the box and thumped his effort into the net.

Kristic received a straight red card in the 90th minute for lashing out at Kento with his elbow. With the victory, Albirex also bag $30,000 in prize money.

drajac@sph.com.sg