News Singapore Premier League • August 16, 2021
2021 Singapore Premier League Round 15: Roundup
Gabriel Quak on the ball for Lion City Sailors during their match against Tampines Rovers, 15 August 2021
SINGAPORE, 16 AUGUST 2021 – What a weekend we had in the AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL), where all four winning sides each scored four times. Leaders Albirex Niigata (S) bounced back with an emphatic win over Hougang United, while nearest challenger Lion City Sailors demolished title rivals Tampines Rovers. Meanwhile Tanjong Pagar United and Young Lions continued their recent good form as we recap all the action below…
White Swans back in the groove
Albirex 4-1 Hougang | Jurong East Stadium | 13 August
Reo Kunimoto 2′, 78′, Yasuhiro Hanada 89′, Takahiro Tezuka 91′ | Makahiro Takahashi O.G. 81′
Albirex recovered from last week’s defeat to Tanjong Pagar in style and it all began with Kunimoto nodding home Tezuka’s inswinging corner after just 66 seconds. The centre-back repeated the trick late into the second half to put the White Swans two up, before Takahashi inadvertently turned home Shahfiq Ghani’s free kick to give Hougang a lifeline. But Keiji Shigetomo’s men would go on to seal the victory, with Hanada emphatically volleying home Ryosuke Nagasawa’s cross before turning provider for Tezuka to apply the finishing touch.
Club news: Albirex – Fitness Key to White Swans’ Late Surge
- Albirex have won all three encounters this season, with Tezuka on target on each occasion.
- Albirex remains the only SPL team that Tomoyoki Doi has failed to score against since he arrived in the SPL in 2020.
- Kunimoto’s first goal, scored after 66 seconds, is the earliest SPL goal this season.
- Kunimoto is the second centre-back to score a brace this season after teammate Shuya Yamashita did so in a 2-2 draw with Sailors in April.
- Hanada and Tezuka are the fourth and fifth Albirex players to both score and make at least one assist in a single game this season – the most of any team.
- Hanada is the fifth Albirex player to score as a substitute – no other team has more than two.
- Ten different players have scored for Albirex this season – only Tampines (11) and Hougang (13) have more.
- Albirex have scored from six corners – the most of any team – and also scored the most headers with 10.
- Hougang have conceded nine times after 80 minutes – the most in the league – and let in seven headers – the second-most behind Tanjong Pagar’s nine.
- Hougang’s Amir Zalani made his first SPL appearance since June 2019.
Albirex: Takahiro Koga (GK), Kazuki Hashioka (C), Shuya Yamashita, Reo Kunimoto, Yu Tokiwa, Kosuke Chiku, Takahiro Tezuka, Kuraba Kondo, Ong Yu En (Mahiro Takahashi 60’), Nicky Melvin Singh (Fairoz Hasan 63’, Yasuhiro Hanada 79’), Ryosuke Nagasawa.
Unused subs: Hyrulnizam Juma’at (GK), Ryoya Taniguchi, Tsubasa Kawanishi, Kohga Tsuruhara.
Hougang: Izwan Mahbud (GK), Nazrul Nazari, Maksat Dzhakybaliev (Fabian Kwok 41’), Lionel Tan (C), Anders Aplin, Farhan Zulkifli, Afiq Noor, Kaishu Yamazaki, Josiah Phua (Shahfiq Ghani 51’), Naufal Azman (Amir Zalani 78’), Tomoyuki Doi.
Unused subs: Ridhuan Barudin (GK), Hafiz Sujad, Muhaimin Suhaimi, Kishson Philip.
First-half blitz leads Young Lions to second victory
Young Lions 4-2 Balestier | Jalan Besar Stadium | 14 August
Ilhan Fandi 18′, 45’+1, Jacob Mahler 30′, Khairin Nadim 41′ | Šime Žužul 68′, 75′
Young Lions piled on the misery for an out-of-form Balestier side and it came courtesy of a stunning first half in which they scored all four goals. Ilhan capitalised on a mix-up between Balestier stand-in custodian Zacharial Leong and Ho Wai Loon to open the scoring, before captain Jacob chested home Joel Chew’s inswinging corner at the far post to extend the home side’s advantage. The contest was over by half time, with Khairin and Ilhan in the right places at the right times to convert crosses by Jacob and Ryhan Stewart respectively. Žužul did reduce the deficit with a clinical brace, but it proved too little, too late for the Tigers.
- Balestier have now equalled their previous worst run of form: a 10-match win-less run from May to August 2019.
- Young Lions’ only two victories this season have come against Balestier.
- Young Lions got their first win in 11 home games at Jalan Besar Stadium – their last victory there also came against Balestier in a 1-0 win in July 2019.
- Young Lions led 4-0 at half time for the first time since a 4-1 win over Sengkang Punggol in July 2007.
- Ilhan netted his first-ever career brace and broke a 10-match goal drought since netting in a 3-1 loss to Sailors in April 2021.
- Khairin equalled his 2020 tally of three goals and broke a 11-match goal drought since scoring in a 1-1 draw with Geylang in March 2020.
- Žužul extended his scoring streak to eight straight games and has now bettered his previous best tally of nine goals in 2019.
- Leong made his first SPL start since September 2019 in Balestier’s 3-3 draw with Warriors FC.
Young Lions: Ridhwan Fikri (GK), Ryhan Stewart, Jacob Mahler (C), Syahrul Sazali, Zulqarnaen Suzliman, Harhys Stewart, Rezza Rezky, Daniel Goh (Glenn Kweh 58’), Joel Chew (Amir Syafiz 81’), Khairin Nadim, Ilhan Fandi (Alif Iskandar 86’).
Unused subs: Dylan Pereira (GK), Syabil Hisham, Danish Qayyum, Zamani Zamri.
Balestier: Zacharial Leong (GK), Aidil Johari, Fadli Kamis, Amer Hakeem, Ahmad Syahir, Gareth Low (Aiman Zavyan 46’), Ho Wai Loon (Puvan Raj 46’), Hazzuwan Halim, Kristijan Krajček (C), Shuhei Hoshino, Šime Žužul.
Unused subs: Zaiful Nizam (GK), Hariysh Krishnakumar, Joshua De Souza, Aqil Yazid, Keshav Kumar.
In-form Jaguars produce stunning comeback
Geylang 2-4 Tanjong Pagar | Our Tampines Hub | 14 August
Anaqi Ismit O.G. 15′, Amy Recha 18′ | Shodai Nishikawa 43′, Reo Nishiguchi 49′, Khairul Amri 78′, 90′
It had looked like Geylang would win this game comfortably after two early goals, with Barry Maguire’s header turned into his own net by Anaqi Ismit before Amy showed brilliant composure in the area to finish beyond Zharfan Rohaizad. However, Tanjong Pagar had other ideas with Nishikawa drilling home from the edge of the area before Japanese compatriot Nishiguchi converted with a deft touch off Luiz Junior’s square pass. The evergreen Amri then came off the bench to devastating effect, nodding in Rusyaidi Salime’s free-kick before benefitting from another Luiz pass to fire in off the post and put the result beyond doubt.
Club news: Geylang – Eagles’ unbeaten run against Tanjong Pagar United comes to a halt
- Tanjong Pagar won for the first time in 11 encounters – their last win over the Eagles before this came in a 1-0 win at Queenstown in March 2012.
- This is also the Jaguars’ first away win over the Eagles in league history.
- This is the first time in 12 games that Tanjong Pagar had won after trailing at half time and first time in 18 that they won after conceding first.
- Geylang let slip a two-goal lead to lose for the first time since a 4-3 loss to Albirex in August 2014, in which they had led by three goals.
- Geylang have conceded in their last 18 SPL games since November 2020.
- Amy has now exceeded his previous best career tally of six goals in 2019 with seven.
- Nishikawa has bettered his 2020 tally of two goals with three.
- Amri is the second substitute to net a brace this season after Albirex’s Kuraba Kondo did in a 6-0 thrashing of the Jaguars in April.
- Amri scored his 120th SPL goal.
- Geylang’s Abdil Qaiyyim made his first SPL start since December 2020 in the Sailors’ 5-2 win over Balestier.
Geylang: Hairul Syirhan (GK), Abdil Qaiyyim, Yuki Ichikawa (C), Afiq Yunos, Harith Kanadi (Faizal Roslan 46’), Danny Kim, Barry Maguire, Elijah Lim (Umar Akhbar 46’), Asshukrie Wahid (Christopher van Huizen 82’), Matheus Moresche, Amy Recha.
Unused subs: Wayne Chew (GK), Izzdin Shafiq, Firdaus Kasman, Fareez Farhan.
Tanjong Pagar: Zharfan Rohaizad (GK), Faritz Hameed (C), Delwinder Singh, Shakir Hamzah, Rusyaidi Salime ( Naufal Ilham 90’+2), Fathullah Rahmat, Blake Ricciuto, Shodai Nishikawa, Anaqi Ismit (Khairul Amri 74’), Luiz Junior, Reo Nishiguchi.
Unused subs: Fashah Iskandar (GK), Emmeric Ong, Raihan Rahman, Ammirul Emmran, Suhairi Sabri.
Sailors produce statement win
Sailors 4-1 Tampines | Jalan Besar Stadium | 15 August
Gabriel Quak 34’, Stipe Plazibat 36’, 48’, Saifullah Akbar 46’ | Boris Kopitović 59’
Up against a Tampines side that was playing their first SPL game in three months, the Sailors showed no mercy with two quick-fire goals late into the first half. After releasing Quak for a classy lobbed finish, Plazibat turned scorer by slamming home Faris Ramli’s square ball in a lethal counter-attacking move. It was the same script after the break, with Saifullah clipping the ball over Syazwan Buhari before Plazibat benefited from Faris’s industry to complete his brace. The Stags did pull one back through Kopitović, but there was no stopping the Sailors from getting their first win under Kim Do-hoon.
Club news: Sailors – Sailors determined to roll on after dominant victory over Tampines
- The Sailors defeated Tampines for the first time in four encounters since their inception in 2020.
- Tampines have yet to win against the rest of the top four sides (Sailors, Albirex and Hougang) this season.
- The Sailors have scored in 26 straight SPL matches, while Tampines have netted in their last 47.
- Quak has now equalled his career-best tally of nine in 2019 with Warriors FC.
- Plazibat now has 76 goals in 91 league games.
- Plazibat scored and assisted in the same game for a fourth time this season – the most of any player.
- Saifullah scored his fourth of the season – he has now exceeded his previous best tally of three goals in 2019 with Young Lions.
- Kopitović netted in four straight games for a second time this season.
- Zehrudin Mehmedović made a league-leading eighth assist.
- Faris is the second player to record three assists in a game this season since Armin Bošnjak did in Tampines’ 5-1 win over Balestier in May.
Sailors: Hassan Sunny (GK) (C), Tajeli Salamat (Aqhari Abdullah 80’), Amirul Adli, Hariss Harun, Nur Adam Abdullah, Shahdan Sulaiman, Saifullah Akbar (Song Uiyoung 61’), Gabriel Quak, Faris Ramli, Haiqal Pashia (Hafiz Nor 46’), Stipe Plazibat.
Unused subs: Rudy Khairullah (GK), Naqiuddin Eunos, Amiruldin Asraf, Glenn Ong.
Tampines: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Irwan Shah, Daniel Bennett (C) (Ryaan Sanizal 57’), Baihakki Khaizan, Amirul Haikal, Kyoga Nakamura, Iman Hakim (Taufik Suparno 57’), Zehrudin Mehmedović, Marc Ryan Tan (Yasir Hanapi 46’), Armin Bošnjak, Boris Kopitović.
Unused subs: Zulfairuuz Rudy (GK), Fazrul Nawaz, Andrew Aw, Adam Reefdy.