Football: Singapore Cup draw throws up a juggernaut first-round clash with Home United taking on Tampines Rovers

Team representatives at the draw for the 21st edition of the RHB Singapore Cup at the Sports Hub on June 24, 2018.
Team representatives at the draw for the 21st edition of the RHB Singapore Cup at the Sports Hub on June 24, 2018.PHOTO: FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION OF SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE - The draw for the 21st edition of the RHB Singapore Cup was held today at the Singapore Sports Hub to determine the fixtures for the first round of the tournament.

Elaine Sng, the head of strategic corporate communications for RHB Singapore and Football Association of Singapore (FAS) president, Lim Kia Tong, were both present to conduct the draw.

The tournament is scheduled to take place from July 25 to Oct 6 and will see eight Singapore Premier League (SPL) clubs - excluding the Young Lions - competing for the prestigious trophy.

The first round of the tournament will be a two-legged knockout format, with holders Albirex Niigata, who will commence their Cup defence against Hougang United, the ones to beat as they seek a fourth consecutive triumph.

The two most successful clubs in the history of the Singapore Cup - Home United, with a record six titles to their name, and four-time champions Warriors FC - will also fancy their chances of adding one more title to their trophy cabinet.

Pitted against Tampines Rovers in the first round of the tournament, Home head coach Aidil Sharin said: "It's a fair draw. For (the) Singapore Cup, we will have our key players - both teams have a good chance and both have quality. At the end of the day, whoever performs well on the day and is hungrier will qualify for the semi-final.

"We have to take one game at a time, beat Tampines and qualify first, then we can talk about whoever we meet in the semi-finals."

In the other opening Cup fixtures, Geylang International will take on Balestier Khalsa, while Brunei DPMM have drawn the Warriors.

Lim added: "The Singapore Cup not only presents a golden opportunity for our clubs to pick up silverware, but also an opportunity to play in the 2019 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup. I believe that this year's tournament will be yet another exciting one and I look forward to seeing the teams grow in strength, putting up performances to thrill fans."

Full details of the fixtures will be released at a later date.