News Singapore Premier League • August 9, 2021
2021 Singapore Premier League Round 14: Roundup
Luiz Junior celebrates after scoring the winner for Tanjong Pagar United against Albirex Niigata (S), 6 August 2021
SINGAPORE, 9 AUGUST 2021 – Nothing is ever predictable in the AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL), judging from what happened over the weekend. The top three sides were given a real run-out by the bottom three sides in contrasting results. Leaders Albirex Niigata (S) were dealt a surprise first loss of the season by resurgent Tanjong Pagar United, but Lion City Sailors failed to take full advantage as they were held by Balestier Khalsa. Meanwhile, Hougang United were made to sweat in a narrow victory over Young Lions as we recap all the action below…
White Swans finally taste defeat
Albirex 1-2 Tanjong Pagar | Jurong East Stadium | 6 August
Shuya Yamashita 81′ | Reo Nishiguchi 33′, Luiz Junior 84′
It was a result that no one saw coming. In a performance for the ages, Tanjong Pagar did what no other side have done this season – defeat the reigning champions. Nishiguchi put the Jaguars ahead against his former employers with a clinical finish, but Yamashita nodded the White Swans level late on to seemingly preserve their unbeaten streak. However, the visitors had other ideas. Pouncing on Yamashita’s error, Luiz proceeded to float a gorgeous effort over Takahiro Koga from all of 35 yards out to seal a stunning upset.
Club news: Albirex – Wake Up Call for White Swans
- Tanjong Pagar achieved their first ever league victory against Albirex on the 18th attempt.
- Albirex suffered their first defeat in 16 league games since a 4-1 loss to Tampines last November.
- Tanjong Pagar have collected the most points amongst all eight teams since the league restarted on 17 July – seven points (two wins and a draw) from four games.
- Nishiguchi scored his sixth goal of the season, surpassing his 2020 tally of five when he was with Albirex.
- Luiz scored in four straight games for the first time since his SPL debut last year.
- Both Nishiguchi and Luiz have scored in all three of Tanjong Pagar’s wins in 2021.
- Tanjong Pagar’s Fathullah Rahmat made his second assist of the campaign – both have been for Nishiguchi.
- Tanjong Pagar’s Khairul Amri and Shakir Hamzah were in the same starting line-up at club level for the first time since August 2017 in Tampines Rovers’ 4-0 defeat to the White Swans at the same venue.
Albirex: Takahiro Koga (GK), Kazuki Hashioka (C), Shuya Yamashita, Reo Kunimoto, Yu Tokiwa, Kosuke Chiku, Takahiro Tezuka, Ryoya Taniguchi (Yasuhiro Hanada 90’+2), Ong Yu En (Mahiro Takahashi 46’), Nicky Melvin Singh (Kuraba Kondo 46’), Ryosuke Nagasawa.
Unused subs: Hyrulnizam Juma’at (GK), Tsubasa Kawanishi, Kohga Tsuruhara, Junki Yoshimura.
Tanjong Pagar: Zharfan Rohaizad (GK), Faritz Hameed (C), Delwinder Singh, Shakir Hamzah, Rusyaidi Salime, Fathullah Rahmat, Blake Ricciuto, Shodai Nishikawa, Anaqi Ismit (Shahrin Saberin 90’), Khairul Amri (Luiz Junior 64’), Reo Nishiguchi.
Unused subs: Fashah Iskandar (GK), Raihan Rahman, Ammirul Emmran, Suhairi Sabri, Daniel Martens.
Cheetahs back on winning trail
Young Lions 0-1 Hougang | Jalan Besar | 7 August
Tomoyuki Doi 77′
A tight game was always going to be decided by fine margins and that proved to be the case on this occasion. With the home side reduced to 10 men after captain Hami Syahin was dismissed for a second bookable offence, Hougang capitalised on the numerical advantage with Doi slamming home his 16th goal of the season from unmissable range after Young Lions custodian Ridhwan Fikri had inexplicably dropped Afiq Noor’s cross.
- Young Lions have now conceded in each of their last 29 SPL matches.
- Hougang ended a run of seven games without a clean sheet – this was only their second shutout of the season following the 1-0 win over Balestier in April.
- Doi has scored in three out of his four outings against Young Lions since his SPL debut in 2020.
- Hougang’s Izwan Mahbud has not conceded in his last four SPL games against Young Lions – with the previous three coming in 2017 when he was with Tampines.
- Young Lions’ Arshad Shamim made his first SPL start since December 2020 when he was with the Sailors.
Young Lions: Ridhwan Fikri (GK), Ryhan Stewart, Nazhiim Harman (Alif Iskandar 45’+2), Harhys Stewart, Raoul Suhaimi, Rezza Rezky, Hami Syahin (C), Arshad Shamim (Amir Syafiz 77’), Joel Chew, Khairin Nadim, Ilhan Fandi (Glenn Kweh 82’).
Unused subs: Dylan Pereira (GK), Syabil Hisham, Syahrul Sazali, Danish Qayyum.
Hougang: Izwan Mahbud (GK), Nazrul Nazari, Anders Aplin, Lionel Tan, Farhan Zulkifli, Josiah Phua (Afiq Noor 58’), Fabian Kwok (C) (Hafiz Sujad 90’+2), Kishson Philip (Khairul Nizam 58’), Kaishu Yamazaki, Shawal Anuar, Tomoyuki Doi.
Unused subs: Ridhuan Barudin (GK), Faiz Salleh, Shahril Ishak, Naufal Azman.
Red Card: Hami Syahin 71’
Sailors salvage valuable point
Balestier 1-1 Sailors | Toa Payoh | 8 August
Šime Žužul 60′ | Stipe Plazibat pen. 90’+5
Balestier looked set to end an eight-match win-less run when Žužul capitalised on some uncertain Sailors defending to put them ahead on the hour mark. However, it would unravel for them deep into injury time when Ensar Brunčević was adjudged to have handled Jorge Fellipe’s goal-bound effort in the box. The Serbian centre-back saw red and Plazibat converted the resulting penalty to earn the Sailors a share of the spoils.
Club news: Sailors – Sailors in disappointing draw against Balestier
- Balestier avoided defeat for the first time in four encounters since the Sailors were formed in 2020.
- Balestier have now failed to win any of their last nine games, while the Sailors extended their unbeaten run to 10 matches.
- Balestier have now conceded five penalties this season – the most in the league.
- The Sailors have now scored in each of their last 25 SPL matches.
- Žužul now has netted in seven straight games for Balestier – it is also the longest-scoring run this season (Plazibat and Doi had six-game streaks earlier this season).
- Matching his season-best tally of nine goals in 2019, Žužul has also scored the joint-most number of goals off the bench with four, along with Albirex’s Kuraba Kondo.
- Plazibat’s goal on 94 minutes and 22 seconds is the second-latest SPL goal this season after Doi’s equaliser on 96 minutes 11 seconds in Hougang’s 3-3 draw against Tanjong Pagar earlier in April.
- Plazibat has now scored in his last five outings against Balestier, tallying eight goals.
Balestier: Zaiful Nizam (GK) (C), Fadli Kamis, Ensar Brunčević, Amer Hakeem, Ahmad Syahir (Šime Žužul 35’), Aidil Johari, Gareth Low, Hazzuwan Halim (Aiman Zavyan 85’), Kristijan Krajček, Puvan Raj (Iqbal Hussain 72’), Shuhei Hoshino.
Unused subs: Zacharial Leong (GK), Hariysh Krishnakumar, Aqil Yazid, Keshav Kumar.
Sailors: Hassan Sunny (GK) (C) (Rudy Khairullah 69’), Naqiuddin Eunos, Amirul Adli, Jorge Fellipe, Nur Adam Abdullah, Shahdan Sulaiman, Saifullah Akbar, Gabriel Quak (Faris Ramli 42’), Diego Lopes, Haiqal Pashia (Hariss Harun 46’), Stipe Plazibat.
Unused subs: Tajeli Salamat, Aqhari Abdullah, Hafiz Nor, Amiruldin Asraf.
Red Card: Ensar Brunčević 90’+4