News Singapore Premier League • July 26, 2021
2021 Singapore Premier League Round 12: Roundup
Harith Kanadi and Afiq Yunos celebrate Geylang International’s victory, 25 July 2021
SINGAPORE, 26 JULY 2021 – The AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) returned with a bang after a two-month hiatus. The top two of Albirex Niigata (S) and Lion City Sailors played out an entertaining draw while title-chasing Hougang United fell to a shock thrashing by ever-improving Tanjong Pagar United, who were held by the Young Lions a week earlier. Elsewhere, Geylang International ended a three-match losing streak in style as we recap all the action below…
Young Lions still waiting for first win
Tanjong Pagar 1-1 Young Lions | Jurong East | 17 July
Luiz Junior 66’ | Hami Syahin pen. 21′
In this rescheduled match, Hami put the Young Lions ahead midway through the first half with a neat penalty after Zamani Zamri was adjudged to be felled by Zharfan Rohaizad in the area. However, a poor defensive error allowed the Jaguars’ Brazilian forward Luiz to sneak in and fire home a crisp volley to earn his side a share of the spoils.
- In the abandoned match between both sides on 8 May, Hami had also opened the scoring through a penalty and Luiz equalised before the game was called off after 62 minutes.
- Young Lions have now conceded in each of their last 27 SPL matches.
- The Young Lions are still the only team without a win after 12 games this season – this is their worst streak since not winning their first 18 in 2017.
- Hami equalled his season-best goal tally of three in 2018.
- Fathullah Rahmat played the full 90 minutes on his SPL debut, while Arshad Shamim made his first appearance since December 2020.
- Luiz has scored six times in four outings against Young Lions since arriving in the SPL in 2020.
Tanjong Pagar: Zharfan Rohaizad (GK), Faritz Hameed (C), Shahrin Saberin, Delwinder Singh, Rusyaidi Salime, Fathullah Rahmat, Blake Ricciuto, Shodai Nishikawa, Daniel Martens (Ridhuan Muhammad 46’, Raihan Rahman 86’), Luiz Junior, Reo Nishiguchi.
Unused subs: Fashah Iskandar (GK), Anaqi Ismit, Ammirul Emmran, Suhairi Sabri, Elfy Danish.
Young Lions: Ridhwan Fikri (GK), Ryhan Stewart, Nazhiim Harman, Jacob Mahler (C), Raoul Suhaimi (Zulqarnaen Suzliman 84’), Harhys Stewart, Hami Syahin, Zamani Zamri (Khairin Nadim 79’), Joel Chew, Daniel Goh (Arshad Shamim 64’), Ilhan Fandi.
Unused subs: Dylan Pereira (GK), Syabil Hisham, Rezza Rezky, Glenn Kweh.
Kim Do-hoon’s Sailors era begins with draw
Albirex 1-1 Sailors | Jurong East | 23 July
Ryoya Taniguchi pen. 45’+2 | Stipe Plazibat 70’
Albirex went ahead on the stroke of half time in this top-of-the-table clash with Ryoya Taniguchi’s penalty – following Aqhari Abdullah’s foul on Yu Tokiwa – proving too hot to handle for an otherwise flawless Hassan Sunny. The goalkeeper made numerous saves to keep the home side at bay, including a couple of point-blank stops. The visitors rallied after the break and equalised through Croatian hotshot Plazibat, who produced a thumping first-time finish off Hafiz Nor’s teasing low left-wing cross into the area. That ensured Kim’s first SPL game in charge of the Sailors ended without defeat as they remained a point off the White Swans.
Club news: Albirex – Wasteful White Swans Pay for Profligacy | Sailors – Hariss proud to make Sailors debut, hails Hassan for ‘amazing’ performance
- The Sailors have still yet to beat Albirex in four encounters since their inception in 2020.
- Hariss Harun made his Sailors debut and first SPL appearance since November 2017.
- Adam Swandi made his first start in 25 matches and just over two years, since June 2019; Amiruldin Asraf was involved in a matchday squad for the first time since November 2019.
- Albirex are still the only remaining undefeated team in 2021, while the Sailors are now unbeaten in their last nine matches.
- Taniguchi equalled last season’s tally of four goals.
- The Sailors have now scored in their last 24 SPL matches.
- Plazibat scored his 10th goal of the season.
Albirex: Takahiro Koga (GK), Kazuki Hashioka (C), Shuya Yamashita, Reo Kunimoto, Yu Tokiwa, Takahiro Tezuka, Kosuke Chiku, Nicky Melvin Singh (Kuraba Kondo 67’), Ong Yu En (Mahiro Takahashi 46’), Ryoya Taniguchi, Ryosuke Nagasawa.
Unused subs: Hyrulnizam Juma’at (GK), Yasuhiro Hanada, Fikri Junaidi, Tsubasa Kawanishi, Kohga Tsuruhara.
Sailors: Hassan Sunny (GK) (C), Aqhari Abdullah, Amirul Adli, Jorge Fellipe, Nur Adam Abdullah, Hariss Harun, Glenn Ong (Diego Lopes 46’), Faris Ramli, Adam Swandi (Hafiz Nor 14’), Haiqal Pashia (Gabriel Quak 61’), Stipe Plazibat.
Unused subs: Rudy Khairullah (GK), Tajeli Salamat, Naqiuddin Eunos, Amiruldin Asraf.
Title-chasing Cheetahs mauled by Jaguars
Hougang 1-4 Tanjong Pagar | Hougang | 24 July
Tomoyuki Doi 62’ | Anaqi Ismit 47’, Luiz Junior 66’, Reo Nishiguchi 88’, Khairul Amri 90’+4
Hougang blew the chance to close within a point of second-placed Sailors as they were overpowered by their lower-ranked visitors. Anaqi’s header was cancelled out by Doi’s stunning free-kick from the edge of the area but the visitors kept coming, with in-form Luiz hammering home from close range after great work from Shodai Nishikawa down the left to put his side back ahead. Hasrin Jailani’s side sealed the victory in emphatic style late on with two neat finishes from Nishiguchi and Amri to ensure an unhappy Cheetahs debut for national goalkeeper Izwan Mahbud.
- Hougang have never won four games in a row in their history – both three-game winning streaks this season were ended by Tanjong Pagar.
- Hougang have kept only one clean sheet in 12 games this season – the joint-second worst along with Tanjong Pagar – and have conceded the most goals (seven) after 80 minutes.
- Tanjong Pagar are now undefeated in their last three matches – their best streak since returning to the SPL in 2020.
- Doi has now scored 26 goals in as many games since debuting in the SPL in 2020.
- Anaqi netted his first professional goal, while Luiz has matched his 2020 tally of seven goals.
- Nishiguchi is now up to 10 SPL goals with five on his left foot and five on his right – he has also matched his 2020 tally of five with Albirex.
- Izwan made his first SPL appearance since November 2017, when he started in Tampines Rovers’ 5-0 win away at Brunei DPMM.
Hougang: Izwan Mahbud (GK), Farhan Zulkifli, Lionel Tan, Anders Aplin, Nazrul Nazari, Idraki Adnan (Kishson Philip 26’, Shawal Anuar 46’), Fabian Kwok (C), Afiq Noor, Naufal Azman (Hafiz Sujad 68’), Tomoyuki Doi, Gilberto Fortunato.
Unused subs: Ridhuan Barudin (GK), Shahfiq Ghani, Faiz Salleh, Muhaimin Suhaimi.
Tanjong Pagar: Zharfan Rohaizad (GK), Faritz Hameed (C), Shahrin Saberin, Delwinder Singh, Rusyaidi Salime, Fathullah Rahmat, Blake Ricciuto, Shodai Nishikawa, Anaqi Ismit (Khairul Amri 61’), Luiz Junior (Suhairi Sabri 90’+3), Reo Nishiguchi.
Unused subs: Hariz Farid (GK), Emmeric Ong, Raihan Rahman, Ammirul Emmran, Daniel Martens.
Eagles rediscover their wings
Geylang 3-1 Balestier | Our Tampines Hub | 25 July
Amy Recha 40’, 63’, Matheus Moresche 55’ | Šime Žužul 12’
In this battle of two out-of-form sides, Balestier went ahead early on when Žužul pickpocketed Geylang skipper Yuki Ichikawa to lash home a low shot from the edge of the box. The Eagles would restore parity later on with Amy finishing off a one-on-one opportunity after great work by Moresche down the left. The latter turned from provider to scorer after the break as he produced an opportunistic flick past Riki Kimura after being set clear by Barry Maguire. The turnaround was complete just after the hour mark with Amy bamboozling his marker with a sharp turn in the box before firing home with his weaker left foot for his second of the night.
Club news: Geylang – Dominant Eagles soar again with 3-1 win over the Tigers
- This is the first time in 17 games that Geylang have won after conceding first – they had lost 15 out of the previous 16 times.
- Geylang is the only team along with Young Lions yet to keep a clean sheet this season – they have conceded in each of their last 14 matches stretching back to November 2020.
- Žužul’s strike is the seventh goal conceded outside the box in open play by Geylang this season – the most in the league.
- Balestier have not won any of their last seven matches – their worst streak in a season since a 10-match win-less run in 2019.
- Žužul has scored in five straight SPL games for the first time since his SPL debut in 2019. He is the first Balestier player to do so since Miroslav Krištić scored in six consecutive games in 2015.
- Amy scored more than one goal in a game for the first time since Geylang’s 5-2 win over Warriors FC in April 2019 – he has already matched his season-best tally of six from 2019.
- Amy is the 16th player to score a brace this season.
- Moresche’s tally of nine is the most by a Geylang player since Fareez Farhan in 2019.
- Moresche is the 22nd player to score and assist in the same game this season.
- Maguire assisted Moresche for a third time this season – the joint-most times between two players.
- Danny Kim made his SPL debut for Geylang, while teammate Afiq Yunos made his first SPL start since September 2019 when he started in Hougang’s 5-4 away defeat to DPMM.
- Kimura made his first SPL start since June 2019 when he started in Warriors FC’s 4-4 away draw against Home United – this is his third-ever SPL appearance.
Geylang: Hairul Syirhan (GK), Faizal Roslan, Yuki Ichikawa (C), Afiq Yunos, Harith Kanadi, Danny Kim, Azri Suhaili (Umar Akhbar 46’), Barry Maguire, Asshukrie Wahid (Christopher van Huizen 76’), Matheus Moresche, Amy Recha (Fareez Farhan 90’).
Unused subs: Sanders Saurajen (GK), Adam Hakeem, Ilhan Noor, Izzdin Shafiq.
Balestier: Riki Kimura (GK), Aidil Johari (Ho Wai Loon 52’), Fadli Kamis, Amer Hakeem, Ensar Brunčević, Ahmad Syahir, Gareth Low (Hariysh Krishnakumar 87’), Kristijan Krajček (C), Hazzuwan Halim (Iqbal Hussain 66’), Šime Žužul, Shuhei Hoshino.
Unused subs: Zaiful Nizam (GK), Aiman Zavyan, Ryan Praveen, Puvan Raj.