Geylang face Warriors for shot at holders Albirex

Minister for Communications and Information Dr Yaacob Ibrahim (right) and Football Association of Singapore president Zainudin Nordin (left) joined participants for a five-a-side kickabout as part of a curtain-raiser to the RHB Singapore Cup Kids' To
Minister for Communications and Information Dr Yaacob Ibrahim (right) and Football Association of Singapore president Zainudin Nordin (left) joined participants for a five-a-side kickabout as part of a curtain-raiser to the RHB Singapore Cup Kids' Tournament at Connaught Drive yesterday. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

Yesterday's RHB Singapore Cup draw has thrown up two intriguing ties in the preliminary round.

Last year's beaten finalists Home United will face this year's surprise package Hougang United, while Geylang International will play Warriors FC.

The draw for the Singapore Cup, which traditionally ends the domestic football season, was held at Connaught Drive, which observed the third Car-Free Sunday SG in the Civic District yesterday.

Minister for Communications and Information Dr Yaacob Ibrahim attended the event as the guest of honour, along with Football Association of Singapore president Zainudin Nordin.

Anticipating a tough match against the Warriors, Geylang coach Hasrin Jailani said: "It should be a good fight after our first game in the S-League, in which (Warriors coach) Jorg (Steinebrunner) said we were very aggressive.

"Ultimately this is a cup (game), so anything can happen."

The winner of that tie will face holders Albirex Niigata, one of the four seeded S-League teams. Balestier Khalsa will face either Home or Hougang in the quarter-finals.

The preliminary round will take place from May 22-29, while the quarter-final round is slated to take place in September.

Invited foreign teams Nagaworld FC from Cambodia and Global FC from the Philippines will face off on the other side of the draw, with the winner meeting Tampines Rovers in the last eight.

Nagaworld's vice-captain Kouch Sokumpheak said on the prospect of meeting the Stags: "We will give them a tough fight. If possible, we want to go as far as we can, do our best, and see how it goes."

Another Filipino side, Ceres-La Salle, who beat Tampines 2-1 in their Asian Football Confederation Cup group stage match earlier this month, will play the Garena Young Lions. The winners of that tie will take on defending S-League champions Brunei DPMM in the next round.

After the draw, both Dr Yaacob and Zainudin played five-a-side street soccer in the opening game of the RHB Singapore Cup Kids' Tournament, where 15 teams from the various club academies faced off in a series of matches.


Nicholas Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 25, 2016, with the headline 'Geylang face Warriors for shot at holders Albirex'. Print Edition | Subscribe