Singapore Premier League • July 8, 2019
Singapore Premier League Week 16: Roundup
SINGAPORE, 8 JULY 2019 – Albirex Niigata (S) will likely be the happiest of the bunch after the weekend as their victory against the Young Lions meant they took advantage of Brunei DPMM’s draw with Warriors FC to move within one point of the former at the top. Similarly, Tampines Rovers capitalised on Hougang United’s stumble at Geylang International to displace them from third, thanks to their win over Balestier Khalsa. We recap the weekend’s action below…
Geylang 2-2 Hougang | Our Tampines Hub | 5 July
Fareez Farhan 3′, 38′ | Fazrul Nawaz 15′, Hafiz Sujad 63′
Hougang were denied a second straight league win by a fired-up Geylang, who broke the deadlock after just three minutes. Christopher van Huizen, a menace throughout his time on the pitch, pinged a laser-guided cross from the left that Fareez Farhan met with a firm header. Then, against the run of play, the visitors equalised through Fazrul Nawaz, who broke the offside trap to collect Stipe Plazibat’s flick and round the goalkeeper to finish. The effervescent Van Huizen was pivotal in the Eagles’ second, beating his man and squaring the ball for Fareez to impudently flick it in from close range. It would have been a worthy winning goal but the Cheetahs hit back a second time through Hafiz Sujad, whose drive from range took a huge deflection and left Hairul Syirhan with no chance.
– Fareez netted his first career brace.
– This was the fourth time Geylang led at half-time this season; they had gone on to win on all three previous instances.
– Fazrul scored for a second game running.
Geylang XI: Hairul Syirhan (GK), Anders Aplin, Darren Teh, Yuki Ichikawa (C), Fareez Farhan (Umar Akhbar 67’), Barry Maguire, Christopher van Huizen, Danish Irfan, Zikos Chua (Matthew Palmer 71’), Firdaus Kasman, Ifwat Ismail (Muhd Noor Ariff 46’).
Unused subs: Zainol Gulam (GK), Jufri Taha, Bryan Tan, Azri Suhaili.
Hougang XI: Ridhuan Barudin (GK), Nazrul Nazari, Afiq Yunos, Kong Howon, Hafiz Sujad, Fabian Kwok (Zulfahmi Arifin 68’), Stipe Plazibat, Nikesh Singh (M Anumanthan 46’), Timothy Yeo (Faris Ramli 46’), Farhan Zulkifli, Fazrul Nawaz (C).
Unused subs: Khairulhin Khalid (GK), Alif Iskandar, Iqbal Hussain, Muhaimin Suhaimi.
Young Lions 1-2 Albirex | Jalan Besar | 6 July
Syahrul Sazali 56’| Kyoga Nakamura 19′, Yoshikatsu Hiraga 62′
Albirex overcame a stubborn Young Lions side to close in on leaders DPMM, with their victory here leaving them just one point behind. They had a helping hand from Lady Luck to open the scoring as Naruki Takahashi teed up Kyoga Nakamura to have a go from 25 yards, whose effort took a big deflection to end up in goal. Fandi Ahmad’s charges came into the game though and drew level through a moment of brilliance from Syahrul Sazali, whose 25-yard free-kick was placed right into the top left corner. But the hosts could not hold on. Yoshikatsu Hiraga, making his first start of the season, met Hiroyoshi Kamata’s wicked free-kick with the perfect glancing header to give his side all three points. To compound their misery, Syahrul copped a straight red for a poor tackle and Haiqal Pashia followed him into the dressing room with a second yellow minutes later.
– Syahrul scored his first professional goal.
– Albirex beat Young Lions for an 11th straight encounter.
– Albirex won a fourth straight league game and are unbeaten in their last seven.
– Nakamura scored from outside the box for a fourth time; no other player has more than three such goals (from open play).
Young Lions XI: Zharfan Rohaizad (GK), Irfan Najeeb, Asraf Zahid (Lionel Tan 62’), Syahrul Sazali, Naqiuddin Eunos (Qayyum Raishyan 82’), Jacob Mahler, Joshua Pereira (C), Syed Firdaus Hassan, Haiqal Pashia, Sharul Nizam, Abdul Rasaq Akeem (Saifullah Akbar 70’).
Unused subs: Adib Hakim (GK), Danial Syafiq, Nur Adam Abdullah, Syahadat Masnawi.
Albirex XI: Kengo Fukudome (GK), Naruki Takahashi, Kyoga Nakamura (C), Sota Sugiyama, Kaishu Yamazaki, Noor Akid Nordin (Firas Irwan 32’ (Gamu Tasaka 72’)), Zamani Zamri, Yoshikatsu Hiraga (Shunsuke Fukuda 80’), Yosuke Nakagawa, Daichi Tanabe, Hiroyoshi Kamata.
Unused subs: Hyrulnizam Juma’at (GK), Yusuke Kawagoe (GK).
Warriors 3-3 DPMM | Jurong East | 6 July
Gabriel Quak 13′, pen. 65′, Sahil Suhaimi 78′ | Abdul Azizi Rahman 30′, Azwan Ali Rahman 38′, Blake Ricciuto 55′
Jurong East witnessed a six-goal thriller and plenty of drama as DPMM were foiled by a spirited Warriors side. Gabriel Quak continued his excellent run of form by heading in an excellent cross from Jonathan Behe and his side could have taken a two-goal advantage, only for Behe to sidefoot a weak penalty into Wardun Yussof’s grateful arms. Instead, the visitors turned the game on its head as Abdul Azizi Rahman produced the perfect looping header to meet Najib Tarif’s pinpoint cross before his brother got on the scoresheet. A textbook short corner routine saw Azwan Ali exchange passes twice with Hendra Azam, before curling the ball into the far corner from an impossible angle. Blake Ricciuto’s low skidding effort looked to have buried Warriors, but they were given a lifeline when Nurikhwan Othman hauled Khairul Nizam down in the box and was sent off. Quak made no mistake from the spot and the hosts’ pressure was rewarded when Sahil Suhaimi reacted deftly to volley in after Nizam’s strike came off the post to him. Quak was denied by Wardun late on in a breathless game; he might feel he should have done better.
– Quak took his tally to eight for the season; he has never scored more than four goals in one season before.
– Warriors scored their first penalty of the season.
– DPMM dropped points from a winning position at half-time for the first time in ten occasions this season.
– DPMM conceded a headed goal for the first time this season.
– Siblings Azizi and Azwan scored in the same game for the first time.
Warriors XI: Shahul Rayyan (GK), Ryhan Stewart (Sahil Suhaimi 58’), Kento Fukuda, Delwinder Singh, Emmeric Ong, Tajeli Salamat, Poh Yi Feng, Faizal Raffi (Ignatius Ang 75’), Gabriel Quak (C), Ifat Sha’aban (Khairul Nizam 46’), Jonathan Behe.
Unused subs: Riki Kimura (GK), Yeo Hai Ngee, R Aaravin, Afiq Azhry.
DPMM XI: Wardun Yussof (C), Hazwan Hamzah, Yura Indera Putera, Nurikhwan Othman, Helmi Zambin, Hendra Azam (Azwan Salleh 60’), Blake Ricciuto, Najib Tarif, Azwan Ali Rahman, Abdul Azizi Rahman (Razimee Ramlli 61’), Andrei Varankou (Adi Said 80’).
Unused subs: Haimie Nyaring (GK), Awangku Fakharrazi, Abdul Mu’iz Sisa, Wafi Aminuddin.
Tampines 4-2 Balestier | Our Tampines Hub | 7 July
Zehrudin Mehmedović 15′, 44′, Jordan Webb 17′, Ryutaro Megumi 31’| Raihan Rahman 47′, Šime Žužul pen. 87′
A first-half blitz was enough for the Stags to overpower the Tigers and move to third in the table. Zehrudin Mehmedović made the most of a fifth start of the season to score a brace, heading in Hamizan Hisham’s inch-perfect cross to break the deadlock and then converting Jordan Webb’s cut-back on the stroke of half-time. Between his two goals, Webb curled in a speculative effort while Ryutaro Megumi buried a rebound as Tampines laid siege to their visitors. To their credit, Balestier regrouped after the break and Raihan Rahman finished splendidly after being released by Huzaifah Aziz, but the mountain was simply too high to climb even with Šime Žužul’s late successful penalty.
– Tampines are now unbeaten in their last 11 games at home.
– Balestier have now utilised four different goalkeepers this season; no other team has called upon more than three.
– Žužul scored for a third consecutive game.
– Balestier lost their seventh league game in a row.