Chairman Bill Ng addressing the team after the pre-season friendly.

The Cheetahs faced off with 2015 RHB Singapore Cup Champion Albirex Niigata (S) in their final pre-season warm up match over at Hougang stadium on 6th February 2016.

Fairoz Hasan and Nur Na’iim were named in the starting line-up for the 1st time as Fumiya Kogure sat out of the match against his former team with an ankle injury.

The White Swans were the first to threaten as Khairulhin had to dive full stretched to his right to turned the ball away for a corner after Kento Nagasaki had found space and took a shot at goal.

Tackles were going in fast and hard as the Cheetahs breaks down the passing and movements style of this young Albirex team.

Both team were evenly matched till the 30th minutes of play when Delwinder Singh was judged to have handled the ball inside the penalty box. Referee Taqi who was standing nearby seemed to have allowed play to go on as Delwinder cleared the ball away but lineman raised up his flag for an infringement and a penalty weas awarded. Atsushi Kawata made no mistake from the spot despite Khairulhin guessing the right way.

The 2nd half saw the same high intensity displayed by the 2 teams despite a new set of players coming in as they looked to claim a starting spot in the team with less than 2 weeks to go before the league start.

Albirex extended their lead when an uncharacteristic mistake by centre-back Anumanthan allowed the White Swans to launched a quick counter and Kento Nagasaki calmly lobbed the ball over onrushing Fawwaz into goal.

Photographs courtesy of Heinkel Heinz

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