2017 League Cup FFT’s Team of the Tournament
Goalkeeper: Yosuke Nozawa
In this department, there can be no doubt Nozawa is the cream of the crop. The goalkeeper was rarely troubled in the tournament but he always did his job when required.
His experience showed late in the final, where he made saves after saves to keep the Warriors at bay. Even when Warriors were awarded a penalty, Nozawa stood strong to deny Jordan Webb.
Incredibly, Nozawa is yet to concede in the tournament for two years running. When the White Swans conceded in the 1-0 loss to Geylang last year, back-up custodian Eita Kasagawa was standing in goal.
Left-back: Al-Qaasimy Rahman
It seems like Al-Qaasimy is finally fulfilling his potential. The defender has been impressive at the back lately, playing across Geylang’s backline when required.
Right-back: Emmeric Ong
This was definitely a good tournament for Ong, who put in good shifts for the Warriors at the back.
The defensive player also provided the breakthrough for the Warriors in the semi-finals, opening the scoring in the 5-1 win over Brunei DPMM.
Centre-back: Takuya Akiyama
Akiyama could soon be following in Atsushi Shirota’s footsteps, after rock solid displays at the back.
The towering defender has been hard to beat and his presence was a huge reason why Nozawa was rarely threatened during the tournament.
Centre-back: Baihakki Khaizan
Often maligned for over complicating matters, Baihakki went back to the basics and was really a standout in the cup final, keeping things simple and tidy by clearing whatever came his way.
A pity his goalkeeper Hyrulnizam Juma’at could not hold onto the ball and allowed Tsubasa Sano to score, but credits to Baihakki for not allowing the White Swans to overwhelm them as predicted by the fans.
Left winger: Jordan Webb
Webb will perhaps look back with regrets after his penalty miss in the final cost his team the League Cup, but he might console himself with the good performances he gave.
The winger was involved in many of the Warriors’ goals in the tournament and certainly played a key role in their charge to the final.
Right winger: Maududi Hilmi
Like Webb, Maududi was a key creative personnel for his team.
The right winger produced a few sublime passes for his teammates in this tournament and even scored a fierce effort that helped DPMM come from behind to draw 3-3 with Geylang International.
Centre midfielder: Shuto Inaba
This midfielder will not make much headlines due to the nature of his work in midfield, but it was tenacity and work rate that allowed the White Swans to dominate the centre of the pitch.
Centre midfielder: Ho Wai Loon
It is unclear what is Ho’s best position at the moment, after transiting between midfield and defence in recent times.
But in this tournament, Ho was solid in midfield and he worked tirelessly to win the ball back for his team. He also scored in the 2-2 draw with Hougang United, a result which sent Warriors through to the semi-finals.
Forward: Tsubasa Sano
With four goals, Sano was the joint top-scorer alongside Warriors duo Shahril Ishak and Andrei-Cosmin Ciolacu.
But his most vital contribution came in the final, when he pounced onto a loose ball and calmly slotted home the winner for Albirex to retain their title.
Forward: Shahril Ishak
Although Shahril failed to lead his side to victory, he was excellent throughout the tournament, where he scored four goals.
He was also especially difficult to mark in the final, constantly tormenting Albirex’s defence with his dribbling and passes.