Football for harmony, Albirex nearly there

Mr Masagos Zulkifli (centre), Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, after presenting the trophy to players from the Star Soccer Academy who were crowned champions of an Under-12 football festival celebrating Singapore's Racial Harmony Day
PHOTO: TAMPINES ROVERS FC

Mr Masagos Zulkifli (centre), Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, after presenting the trophy to players from the Star Soccer Academy who were crowned champions of an Under-12 football festival celebrating Singapore's Racial Harmony Day at Our Tampines Hub yesterday. In a later Singapore Premier League (SPL) match at the stadium, Tampines Rovers beat Geylang International 4-1. But defending champions Albirex Niigata are just one point away from winning the SPL title after Brunei DPMM lost 2-1 to Home United in Bandar Seri Begawan yesterday. With the defeat, the Bruneian side, on 26 points after 16 games, can no longer catch the White Swans, who top the standings with a maximum 51 points from 17 games. Tampines, with 33 points from 18 games, have a mathematical chance of reaching 51 points from their remaining six matches. But the Stags (goal difference +17) will need Albirex (+43) to lose heavily in all their last seven games. Kazuaki Yoshinaga's men can claim the championship by drawing with Balestier Khalsa this evening at Toa Payoh Stadium.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 22, 2018, with the headline 'Football for harmony, Albirex nearly there'. Print Edition | Subscribe