News Singapore Premier League • August 2, 2021
2021 Singapore Premier League Round 13: Roundup
Balestier Khalsa’s Sime Zuzul holds off Young Lions duo Nazhiim Harman (L) and Jacob Mahler, 31 July 2021
SINGAPORE, 2 AUGUST 2021 – It was another enthralling week in the AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) with leaders Albirex Niigata (S) overcoming title rivals Hougang United to extend their lead at the top to four points, while the Young Lions finally got their first win of the season. Elsewhere, resurgent Geylang International notched up a second straight victory as we recap all the action below…
White Swans continue to march on
Hougang 1-2 Albirex | Hougang Stadium | 30 July
Kishson Philip 30’ | Kuraba Kondo 51’, Takahiro Tezuka 65’
Hougang could have thrown a spanner in Albirex’s works when they led at the break through Kishson’s close-range shot, which creeped inside Takahiro Koga’s near post. However, the White Swans showed their class in the second half to turn things around. Former Japan youth international Kondo clipped a deft finish past Izwan Mahbud, before substitute Tezuka produced a stupendous chip that went in off the bar to maintain the champions’ unbeaten start to the season.
Club news: Albirex – Kuraba leads White Swans comeback
- This is the first time Albirex trailed at half-time and won at full time since a 3-1 win over Balestier in June 2019.
- Hougang have now lost their last four encounters with Albirex.
- Albirex are unbeaten in their first 13 games for the first time since going through the whole 2018 undefeated.
- Hougang have now kept just one clean sheet in 13 games.
- Kishson scored his first professional goal on his fourth start – he is also the 13th different scorer for Hougang this season, the most of any team – while teammate Josiah Phua made his first SPL appearance.
- Tezuka scored a third match-winning goal this season and is the fourth player to score as a substitute for Albirex – the most in the league.
Hougang: Izwan Mahbud (GK), Nazrul Nazari (C), Maksat Dzhakybaliev, Anders Aplin, Farhan Zulkifli (Afiq Noor 80’), Kaishu Yamazaki, Josiah Phua (Fabian Kwok 46’), Kishson Philip (Hafiz Sujad 62’), Shawal Anuar, Tomoyuki Doi, Gilberto Fortunato.
Unused subs: Ridhuan Barudin (GK), Shahril Ishak, Khairul Nizam, Naufal Azman.
Albirex: Takahiro Koga (GK), Kazuki Hashioka (C), Shuya Yamashita, Reo Kunimoto, Yu Tokiwa, Kosuke Chiku, Ryoya Taniguchi, Kuraba Kondo (Yasuhiro Hanada 90’+3), Ong Yu En (Mahiro Takahashi 62’), Nicky Melvin Singh (Takahiro Tezuka 46’), Ryosuke Nagasawa.
Unused subs: Hyrulnizam Juma’at (GK), Fikri Junaidi, Tsubasa Kawanishi, Kohga Tsuruhara.
Young Lions finally off the mark
Balestier 2-3 Young Lions | Toa Payoh | 31 July
Hazzuwan Halim 47′, Šime Žužul 89′ | Hami Syahin pen. 16′, Daniel Goh 35′, Harhys Stewart 85′
Young Lions got their first win of the campaign at the 13th time of asking and it all began with Hami converting from the spot after Ilhan Fandi was felled by Amer Hakeem. Goh then pounced on some uncertain Balestier defending to net against his former side before half-time substitute Hazzuwan made an immediate impact after coming on with a close-range header to reduce the deficit. Harhys would restore the Young Lion’s two-goal advantage by slotting home Hami’s cross and that proved to be the winner, despite Žužul pulling one back late on for the Tigers.
- Balestier have now failed to win their last eight matches – their worst streak since going 10 games without a win in 2019.
- Young Lions have now conceded in their last 28 SPL matches – their last clean sheet came back in September 2019.
- Young Lions got their first win at Toa Payoh since June 2010 – they had lost 10 and drew once in their previous 11 visits to the venue.
- Hami scored his fourth of the season – surpassing his previous best goal tally of three in 2018, while Harhys scored his first professional goal.
- Šime Žužul is the first Balestier player to net in six successive games since Croatian compatriot Miroslav Krištić did in 2015.
- Balestier’s Ho Wai Loon made his first SPL start since September 2019 when he was with Home United.
- Philippe Aw got his first SPL win under his helm since leading Hougang to a 2-1 win over Young Lions in October 2017.
Balestier: Zaiful Nizam (GK) (C), Aiman Zayyan, Ensar Brunčević, Amer Hakeem (Fadli Kamis 74’), Ahmad Syahir, Aidil Johari (Gareth Low 46’), Ho Wai Loon, Iqbal Hussain (Hazzuwan Halim 46’), Kristijan Krajček, Šime Žužul, Shuhei Hoshino.
Unused subs: Riki Kimura (GK), Zacharial Leong (GK), Hariysh Krishnakumar, Aqil Yazid.
Young Lions: Ridhwan Fikri (GK), Ryhan Stewart, Nazhiim Harman (Alif Iskandar 52’), Jacob Mahler (C), Zulqarnaen Suzliman, Harhys Stewart, Hami Syahin, Daniel Goh (Arshad Shamim 82’), Ilhan Fandi, Joel Chew (Raoul Suhaimi 77’), Khairin Nadim.
Unused subs: Dylan Pereira (GK), Amir Syafiz, Nor Hakim, Glenn Kweh.
Eagles find wind in their sails
Tanjong Pagar 1-3 Geylang | Jurong East | 1 August
Luiz Junior 62′ | Ilhan Noor 13′, 37′, Shakir Hamzah O.G 35′
Tanjong Pagar were looking to build on last week’s 4-1 win over Hougang but were blown away by a stunning first-half display from the visitors. Ilhan, son of Geylang head coach Noor Ali, benefited from Matheus Moresche’s flick-on to open the scoring in instinctive fashion, before Shakir inadvertently nodded past his own goalkeeper Zharfan Rohaizad in a horrific defensive mix-up. Ilhan then tucked home a rebound to put the Eagles three up before half time and while Luiz pulled one back with a smart finish after a slick team move, Geylang held on for a second straight win.
Club news: Geylang – Eagles outclass Tanjong Pagar United
- Tanjong Pagar have now lost all four encounters since returning to SPL in 2020.
- Geylang won two straight games for the first time since November 2020, but have now conceded in their last 17 SPL matches stretching back to that period.
- Tanjong Pagar have now conceded 35 goals in 13 games – they conceded just 33 in 14 in 2020.
- Ilhan scored his first professional goals on his third SPL start.
- Shakir scored the first own goal of the season – he is also the first player to put through his own net on his club debut since Albirex’s Naofumi Tanaka did so in a 3-2 Community Shield defeat to Brunei DPMM in February 2016.
- Shakir made his first SPL appearance since September 2018 when he was with Home United, while Jaguars teammate Prakash Raj made his first league start since May 2019 when he was with Young Lions.
- Luiz scored in three straight games for a second time since his SPL debut in 2020 – he has now exceeded last season’s tally of seven with eight goals.
Tanjong Pagar: Zharfan Rohaizad (GK), Faritz Hameed (C), Shahrin Saberin, Shakir Hamzah, Prakash Raj (Khairul Amri 46’), Fathullah Rahmat, Blake Ricciuto, Shodai Nishikawa, Anaqi Ismit (Emmeric Ong 75’), Luiz Junior, Reo Nishiguchi.
Unused subs: Fashah Iskandar (GK), Raihan Rahman, Ammirul Emmran, Suhairi Sabri, Daniel Martens.
Geylang: Hairul Syirhan (GK), Yuki Ichikawa (C), Barry Maguire, Afiq Yunos, Faizal Roslan, Danny Kim, Ilhan Noor (Christopher van Huizen 46’), Elijah Lim (Izzdin Shafiq 74’), Asshukrie Wahid (Umar Akhbar 88’), Matheus Moresche, Amy Recha.
Unused subs: Zainol Gulam (GK), Firdaus Kasman, Fareez Farhan, Kieran Teo.