News Singapore Premier League • May 17, 2021

2021 Singapore Premier League Round 10: Roundup


Amy Recha of Geylang International holds off Hougang United’s Lionel Tan, 16 May 2021


SINGAPORE, 17 MAY 2021 – There was no letting up by the frontrunners in the AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) as Albirex Niigata (S) and Lion City Sailors picked up victories over the bottom two sides, while the chasing pack of Tampines Rovers and Hougang United won by big margins to follow closely behind. We recap all the action below…


Stags demolish Tigers
Tampines 5-1 Balestier | Our Tampines Hub | 15 May
Boris Kopitović 9’, pen. 24’, Marc Ryan Tan 13’, 35’, Ryaan Sanizal 88’ | Šime Žužul pen. 20’

The Stags flew off the blocks and Armin Bošnjak was at the heart of it all, first teeing up Montenegrin compatriot Kopitović to score from close range before whipping in a superb cross into the area for Tan to head home. Balestier halved the deficit when Žužul scored a penalty after being felled in the box, but Tampines would net another two before the break. Mehmedović earned a spot-kick that Kopitović converted before sending in a superb corner delivery for Tan to nod in his second. Gavin Lee’s side wrapped up the victory late on, with Bošnjak putting in another great cross for Ryaan to net a thumping header.



  • Balestier have now failed to beat Tampines in the last 16 league encounters.
  • Tampines have now scored in 45 straight SPL matches, while Balestier have conceded at least four goals for a fourth straight outing.
  • Balestier have lost five straight games for the first time since June 2019.
  • Tan got his first professional goals, while both of Ryaan’s professional goals have come against Balestier.
  • Kopitović has scored in all four outings against Balestier since arriving in the SPL in 2020 – his 11 goals means he has exceeded last season’s tally of nine.
  • Tampines have the most different scorers along with Hougang on 11 and also have the most players with braces (four).
  • Bošnjak is the first player to make three assists in a game since Jordan Webb did in Tampines’ 4-0 win over Sailors in March 2020 – he is now the joint-highest assist maker alongside team-mate Mehmedović, on six.
  • Balestier’s Aravindhan Ramanathan made his professional debut.
  • Tampines’ Zulfairuuz Rudy made his first SPL appearance since July 2019 – he was on the bench for all 14 games last season.
Tampines: Syazwan Buhari (GK) (Zulfairuuz Rudy 85’), Madhu Mohana (C), Baihakki Khaizan, Ryaan Sanizal, Marc Ryan Tan (Yasir Hanapi 58’), Kyoga Nakamura, Iman Hakim (Taufik Suparno 67’), Irwan Shah, Zehrudin Mehmedović, Armin Bošnjak, Boris Kopitović.
Unused subs: Amirul Haikal, Fazrul Nawaz, Andrew Aw, Adam Reefdy.
Balestier: Zaiful Nizam (GK)(C), Aqil Yazid (Fadli Kamis 46’), Amer Hakeem, Ensar Brunčević, Ahmad Syahir, Gareth Low, Kristijan Krajček, Hazzuwan Halim (Aravindhan Ramanathan 76’), Šime Žužul, Joshua De Souza (Gautam Selvamany 46’), Shuhei Hoshino.
Unused subs: Riki Kimura (GK), Martyn Mun (GK), Hariysh Krishnakumar, Aidil Johari.


White Swans come through another test
Albirex 2-1 Young Lions | Jurong East | 15 May
Nicky Melvin Singh 3’, Fumiya Suzuki 49’ | Joel Chew 19’

After the champions had got off to a strong start with young Singaporean Nicky Melvin nodding home an inch-perfect cross by captain Kazuki Hashioka, the visitors found a shock equaliser when Chew tapped in a shot that was spilled by Takahiro Koga. It looked like a potential upset could be on the cards, but the White Swans would grind out another victory through substitute Suzuki’s stooping header off Ong Yu En’s wonderful cross early into the second half.


Club news: Albirex – White Swans Grind Out Victory



  • This was the first game without any cards since Hougang’s 4-2 victory over Albirex in April 2019.
  • Albirex have now won the last 16 encounters.
  • Young Lions have now conceded in 25 straight SPL matches.
  • Albirex have scored the most headers with seven, while Young Lions have conceded the most goals in the first 10 minutes with four.
  • Nicky Melvin scored his first professional goal, while Hashioka is the 10th player to assist in two consecutive games this season.
  • Suzuki is the third Albirex player to score a match-winning goal and also the third Albirex player to score after coming off the bench this season – no other team has more than two for both.
  • Young Lions’ Raoul Suhaimi became the youngest-ever player in SPL history at 15 years and 239 days, beating teammate Khairin Nadim’s record at 15 years and 298 days – he is also the first player below 16 to start in the SPL (after Zikos Chua at 16 yeards and 97 days).
Albirex: Takahiro Koga (GK), Kazuki Hashioka (C), Shuya Yamashita, Reo Kunimoto, Yu Tokiwa, Takahiro Tezuka, Kosuke Chiku, Nicky Melvin Singh (Makoto Ito 59’), Ong Yu En (Mahiro Takahashi 90’+2), Kiyoshiro Tsuboi (Fumiya Suzuki 20’), Ryosuke Nagasawa.
Unused subs: Hyrulnizam Juma’at (GK), Yasuhiro Hanada, Fairoz Hasan, Tsubasa Kawanishi.
Young Lions: Nurshafiq Zaini (GK), Ryhan Stewart, Syed Akmal, Syahrul Sazali (C), Raoul Suhaimi (Danish Irfan 65’), Jacob Mahler, Hami Syahin, Zamani Zamri, Joel Chew (Rezza Rezky 85’), Danish Qayyum (Khairin Nadim 46’), Ilhan Fandi.
Unused subs: Dylan Pereira (GK), Nazhiim Harman, Amir Syafiz, Alif Iskandar.


Cheetahs in imperious mood
Geylang 2-5 Hougang | Our Tampines Hub | 16 May
Amy Recha 86’, Sylvano Comvalius 90’+3 | Tomoyuki Doi 28’, 90’+4, Idraki Adnan 36’, Afiq Noor 66’, Shawal Anuar 72’

The goals continued to flow for the Cheetahs as Doi produced a sharp first-time finish off Idraki’s low cross before returning the favour with a smart backheel for the latter to prod past Sanders Saurajen for a two-goal lead at the break. Hougang then found further goals with super-sub Afiq reacting the quickest to a rebound to score less than a minute after coming on, before the in-form Idraki squared for Shawal to slam home. Geylang grabbed a couple of consolation goals through Amy and Comvalius, but the visitors crowned the win deep into injury time through Doi’s clinical finish from just outside the area to cap a lethal breakaway move.


Club news: Geylang – Geylang rue poor defending in 5-2 loss to Hougang



  • Hougang claimed their first-ever win against Geylang at OTH after four attempts since 2019.
  • Hougang scored at least four goals for a second straight outing – they also won by a three-goal margin the last time both sides met in March.
  • Hougang have the most goals from outside the box in open play with seven and have scored the most after 80 minutes with six (next-best are Tampines and Sailors with four each).
  • Hougang have also conceded the joint-most after 80 minutes with five – along with Tanjong Pagar.
  • Both Geylang and Hougang scored for a second time in injury time – the joint-most in the league.
  • Geylang are still waiting for their first clean sheet of the season; they have conceded in 14 straight SPL matches since defeating Hougang 2-0 in November 2020.
  • Doi has now exceeded last season’s tally with 12 goals – he has the most braces in the league with four and has scored four from outside the box (no one has more than two).
  • Idraki scored for a second straight game and got his first-ever assists.
  • Doi and Idraki, along with Sailors’ Lopes and Quak, are the second and third duos to assist each other in the same game this season.
  • Afiq scored just his second goal of his career after debuting in 2013 – his only goal before this came in October 2015 in Young Lions’ 2-2 draw against Hougang.
  • Amy scored his fourth goal in his last five games against Hougang in all competitions.
  • Geylang’s Yuki Ichikawa made his 200th SPL appearance.
Geylang: Sanders Saurajen (GK) (Zainol Gulam 49’), Darren Teh, Faizal Roslan, Yuki Ichikawa (C), Harith Kanadi (Christopher van Huizen 46’), Izzdin Shafiq, Barry Maguire, Elijah Lim, Amy Recha, Matheus Moresche, Fareez Farhan (Sylvano Comvalius 46’).
Unused subs: Ilhan Noor, Azri Suhaili, Iqram Rifqi, Furqan Raoff.
Hougang: Ridhuan Barudin (GK), Nazrul Nazari, Maksat Dzhakybaliev, Lionel Tan (C), Farhan Zulkifli, Idraki Adnan (Shahfiq Ghani 83’), Kaishu Yamazaki, Hafiz Sujad, Shawal Anuar (Shahril Ishak 86’), Naufal Azman (Afiq Noor 65’), Tomoyuki Doi.
Unused subs: Mukundan Maran (GK), Anders Aplin, Muhaimin Suhaimi, Josiah Yong.


Red-hot Sailors roll on
Sailors 3-1 Tanjong Pagar | Jalan Besar | 16 May
Jorge Fellipe 55’, Gabriel Quak 59’, Diego Lopes 80’ | Shodai Nishikawa 47’

Tanjong Pagar were on course to cause the upset of the season when Japanese wing-back Nishikawa exchanged quick passes with Blake Ricciuto before slamming inside Rudy Khairullah’s near post. However, the Sailors were stung into action, with Fellipe rising highest to nod home Shahdan Sulaiman’s inswinging corner before Quak produced a sweet daisycutter from 20 yards out that crashed in off the post to complete a quick turnaround. The three points were sealed late on by multi-million signing Lopes, who fashioned a downwards header off Quak’s cross from close range.


Club news: Sailors – ‘Matured’ Sailors unfazed by defensive opponents, says Gabriel Quak



  • The Sailors have now scored in 22 straight SPL matches.
  • The Sailors have now won five straight matches and are unbeaten in their last seven – the best run of form among the eight teams.
  • Nishikawa equalled his 2020 tally of two goals.
  • Quak is now just one goal away from matching his best league tally of nine goals in 2019 with Warriors FC. He also has the most left-footed goals, with seven.
  • Quak has scored and assisted for the third time this season – the joint-most along with teammate Stipe Plazibat.
  • Lopes is now just one goal away from his best tally of six in the 2019-20 season with Portuguese top division side Rio Ave.
  • Lopes and Quak, along with Hougang’s Doi and Idraki are the second and third duos to assist each other in the same game this season.


Sailors: Rudy Khairullah (GK), Aniq Raushan (Aqhari Abdullah 87’), Amirul Adli, Jorge Fellipe, Naqiuddin Eunos, Shahdan Sulaiman (C), Diego Lopes, Saifullah Akbar, Gabriel Quak (Adam Swandi 90’), Stipe Plazibat, Haiqal Pashia (Faris Ramli 50’).
Unused subs: Hassan Sunny (GK), Tajeli Salamat, Hafiz Nor, Glenn Ong.
Tanjong Pagar: Zharfan Rohaizad (GK), Shahrin Saberin, Delwinder Singh, Faritz Hameed (C), Naufal Ilham (Ammirul Emmran 59’), Rusyaidi Salime (Khairul Amri 79’), Blake Ricciuto, Shodai Nishikawa, Daniel Martens (Suhairi Sabri 66’), Luiz Junior, Reo Nishiguchi.
Unused subs: Fashah Iskandar (GK), Emmeric Ong, Prakash Raj, Raihan Rahman.


Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!