Singapore Premier League • April 22, 2019

Singapore Premier League Week 7: Roundup

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SINGAPORE, 22 APRIL 2019 – Brunei DPMM extended their unbeaten run and lead at the top of the table with victory over Warriors FC, while Hougang United moved up to second after sweeping Geylang International aside. Meanwhile, there was late joy for Albirex Niigata (S) as they edged the Young Lions, while Balestier Khalsa held Tampines Rovers. We recap the weekend’s action below…

Hougang 4-1 Geylang | Jalan Besar | 20 April
Jordan Vestering 7′, Amir Zalani 55′, Afiq Yunos 68′, Fazrul Nawaz 82′ | Barry Maguire 50′

A second consecutive league win for Clement Teo’s men saw them rise to second in the table as they ran out convincing winners over the visitors. Left-back Jordan Vestering got them going inside 10 minutes when he headed in Zulfahmi Arifin’s corner, with the captain also delivering the pin-point free-kick that Afiq Yunos headed in for their third. Before that, Amir Zalani had lashed home a loose ball to restore the lead after Barry Maguire levelled with his first Eagles goal by heading in Christopher van Huizen’s corner. Khairulhin Khalid had also pulled off a brilliant point-blank save to deny Zikos Chua. Substitute Fazrul Nawaz completed the rout by heading in Afiq Noor’s cross from three yards.

Facts
– Vestering scored his first ever professional goal.
– Amir scored his second goal of the season, making it his best ever tally in a season already.
– Both of Fazrul’s goals have come as a substitute.
– Hougang have scored six goals from set-pieces, a league-best. 

Hougang XI: Khairulhin Khalid (GK), Nazrul Nazari, M. Anumanthan, Afiq Yunos, Jordan Vestering (Hafiz Sujad 46’), Nikesh Singh (Fabian Kwok 55’), Zulfahmi Arifin (C), Afiq Noor, Amir Zalani (Fazrul Nawaz 79’), Faris Ramli, Stipe Plazibat. 
Unused subs: Ridhuan Barudin (GK), Shahfiq Ghani, Muhaimin Suhaimi, Timothy Yeo.

Geylang XI: Hairul Syirhan (GK), Anders Aplin, Darren Teh, Syahiran Miswan (Muhd Noor Ariff 72’), Amy Recha, Barry Maguire, Danish Irfan, Firdaus Kasman, Yuki Ichikawa (C), Christopher van Huizen (Ifwat Ismail 68’), Zikos Chua (Fareez Farhan 46’).
Unused subs: Zainol Gulam (GK), Jufri Taha, Corey Warren, Azri Suhaili.

Credit A•K•K Design

DPMM 4-2 Warriors | Hassanal Bolkiah | 20 April
Azwan Ali Rahman 1′, Andrei Varankou pen. 43′, 90’+1, Blake Ricciuto 82′ | Gabriel Quak 52′, Sahil Suhaimi 68′

DPMM survived a spirited comeback from bottom club Warriors to eke out victory and extend their lead at the top of the table to four points. Azwan Ali Rahman’s beautiful curling effort on 52 seconds and Andrei Varankou’s ruthless penalty seemed to set them on the path to an easy win, but they were rudely awakened after the break. Gabriel Quak’s bouncing drive from 25 yards sneaked past Wardun Yussof before Jonathan Behe set up Sahil Suhaimi to blast in an equaliser that hushed the Hassanal Bolkiah. But Adrian Pennock’s men dug deep and Varankou crossed for Blake Ricciuto to break the visitors’ resistance, before Razimee Ramlli led a breakaway and squared for Varankou to tap the ball into an empty net.

Facts
– Varankou is the first player to score 10 league goals this season.
– DPMM equalled their club record for most consecutive home wins – six.
– DPMM have scored seven headed goals, at least three more than any other team.
– DPMM have scored five goals from the 80th minute onward, a league-high; Warriors have conceded a league-most five in the same period.
– Azwan Ali’s strike is the earliest goal scored in the season so far.
– Warriors conceded a penalty for the third consecutive game and for the fourth time in five games.
– Sahil’s last league goal also came against DPMM, 20 games ago in May 2018.

DPMM XI: Wardun Yussof (GK)(C), Abdul Mu’iz Sisa, Charlie Clough, Azwan Ali (Azwan Saleh 90’+3), Hendra Azam (Najib Tarif 90’), Abdul Azizi Rahman (Razimee Ramlli 70’), Andrei Varankou, Helmi Zambin, Blake Ricciuto, Nurikhwan Othman, Yura Indera Putera.
Unused subs: Haimie Nyaring (GK), Wafi Aminuddin, Suhaimi Sulau, Shafie Efenddy.

Warriors XI: Fashah Iskandar (GK), Daniel Shafiq (Yeo Hai Ngee 70’), Delwinder Singh, Kento Fukuda, Sahil Suhaimi (C), Jonathan Behe, Ryhan Stewart (Zulkiffli Hassim 64’), Gabriel Quak, Tajeli Salamat, Shameer Aziq, Faizal Raffi (Fadhil Noh 46’). 
Unused subs: Riki Kimura (GK), Fairoz Hasan, Suria Prakash, Aarish Kumar.

Balestier 1-1 Tampines | Bishan | 21 April
Hazzuwan Halim 74′ | Zehrudin Mehmedović 76′

A resolute Balestier held off Tampines for a share of the spoils as they bounced back from last week’s mauling by DPMM. The game looked to be heading for a stalemate until a moment of magic by Hazzuwan Halim, who turned on the ball and unleashed a left-footed rocket into the top right corner from 25 yards. But the Stags pulled level barely 120 seconds later when Irwan Shah’s ball found its way to substitute Zehrudin Mehmedović, who drilled a fine low effort into the bottom left corner.

Facts
– Balestier avoided a fifth defeat in as many encounters against Tampines.
– Hazzuwan has scored two goals from outside the box, a league-best.
– Balestier became the third team to use three different goalkeepers this season after Hougang and Warriors.
– Tampines have failed to win from a losing position this season (two matches).
– After winning their first three games, Tampines have now picked up just two points from their next three.

Balestier XI: Naqiuddin Nodin (GK), Fadli Kamis, Khalili Khalif (Sufianto Salleh 73’), Hazzuwan Halim, Raihan Rahman (C), Huzaifah Aziz, Ahmad Syahir, Daniel Goh, Illyas Lee, Sanjin Vrebac (Fariz Faizal 20’), Sameer Alassane (Kristijan Krajček 62’). 
Unused subs: Faris Danial (GK), Šime Žužul, Fazli Shafie, Akbar Shah.

Tampines XI: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Akmal Azman (Madhu Mohana 82’), Amirul Adli, Shahdan Sulaiman (C), Ryutaro Megumi, Jordan Webb, Taufik Suparno (Khairul Amri 68’), Shah Shahiran (Zehrudin Mehmedović 57’), Daniel Bennett, Irwan Shah, Yasir Hanapi.
Unused subs: Zulfairuuz Rudy (GK), Zulfadhmi Suzliman, Joel Chew, Elijah Lim.

Albirex 2-1 Young Lions | Jurong East | 21 April
Naruki Takahashi 14′, Hiroyoshi Kamata 90’+8 | Haiqal Pashia pen. 32′

Hiroyoshi Kamata’s last-gasp strike sparked jubilant scenes as they edged a plucky Young Lions team, who probably deserved a point. Kyoga Nakamura was Albirex’s star man as his corner found Naruki Takahashi’s head for the opener before his low cross set up Kamata, but the visitors matched their opponents for large parts in between those strikes. Haiqal Pashia levelled with a cool penalty after Sharul Nizam was fouled and Nur Luqman curled a magnificent 25-yard effort off the bar, while Kenji Rusydi pulled off a string of good saves to deny Albirex. But Fandi Ahmad’s boys would suffer heartbreak when Kamata’s volley squirmed past Kenji to give his side a third straight win.

Facts
– Albirex won by a 2-1 score-line for a third consecutive game.
– Albirex extended their unbeaten home run to 43 games across all competitions.
– Albirex have now won all of their last 10 encounters against Young Lions.
– Kamata’s strike is the latest goal scored in the season so far.

Albirex XI: Kengo Fukudome (GK), Shuhei Sasahara, Naruki Takahashi, Firas Irwan (Daichi Tanabe 46’), Shoki Ohara, Kaishu Yamazaki (C), Daizo Horikoshi, Hiroyoshi Kamata, Kyoga Nakamura, Sota Sugiyama, Daniel Martens (Yoshikatsu Hiraga 66’).
Unused subs: Hyrulnizam Juma’at (GK), Kodai Sumikawa, Gamu Tasaka.

Young Lions XI: Kenji Rusydi (GK), Jacob Mahler, Prakash Raj, Haiqal Pashia (Syukri Bashir 86’), Syahrul Sazali, Sharul Nizam (Syed Firdaus Hassan 90’+7), Nur Luqman Rahman, Lionel Tan, Joshua Pereira (C), Gareth Low (Zulqarnaen Suzliman 76’), Syed Akmal. 
Unused subs: Adib Hakim (GK), Asraf Zahid, Naqiuddin Eunos, Qayyum Raishyan.

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