News Singapore Premier League • August 26, 2021
2021 Singapore Premier League Round 16: Roundup
Ryaan Sanizal of Tampines Rovers tussles with Balestier Khalsa striker Šime Žužul, 19 August 2021
SINGAPORE, 26 AUGUST 2021 – The frontrunners in the AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) continue to pull away, with leaders Albirex Niigata (S) and Lion City Sailors picking up narrow victories over their lower-ranked opponents. Hougang United also kept their faint title hopes alive by defeating Geylang International, while Tampines Rovers’ chances were dented by a surprise thrashing by Balestier Khalsa. It would get worse for the Stags, as they went on to suffer a derby defeat to the Eagles. We recap all the action below…
Stuttering Stags trounced again
Balestier 5-2 Tampines | Toa Payoh Stadium | 19 August
Kristijan Krajček 9’, Šime Žužul 14’, 61’, 89’, Shuhei Hoshino 65’ | Zehrudin Mehmedović 16’, 40’
Tampines suffered a heavy defeat for a second week running and it all began with a poor opening 15 minutes. Krajček produced a clinical finish on the rebound after Žužul forced the save from Syazwan Buhari, who was then beaten again when the latter went clear and rounded him to make it two. The Stags did pull level before half-time through two excellent Mehmedović finishes – the second being an outrageous flick off Armin Bošnjak’s cross, but the home side would go back in front when Žužul slammed home after a superb turn in the box. The in-form Croatian then teed up Hoshino for a neat finish into the bottom left corner before applying the coup de grâce late on to complete his hat-trick and a handsome win for the depleted Tigers.
- Balestier defeated Tampines for the first time in 17 matches – their last victory over the Stags before this came back in November 2015.
- Balestier won for the first time in 11 matches – their last victory before this came back in April.
- Tampines have now scored in 48 straight SPL matches.
- Balestier scored five for the first time since a 5-1 win over Young Lions in April 2015.
- Tampines conceded five in a SPL game for a second time this season – they never conceded more than four between April 2008 to March 2021.
- Tampines have conceded nine times in their last two games – the most since letting in eight in two in August 2005.
- Tampines lost three straight SPL games for the first time since October 2016.
- Mehmedović netted his second career brace; his first also came against Balestier, in the Stags’ 4-2 win in July 2019.
- Krajček has registered a career-best season tally of six goals, exceeding his five-goal haul in 2019.
- Žužul scored his first-ever SPL hat-trick. He is the first Balestier player to do so in the league since Kengne Ludovick in October 2006.
- Žužul has now scored in nine straight games, tallying 13 goals in total.
- Hoshino broke a 14-game goal drought.
- Balestier’s Amer Hakeem made his first career assist.
Balestier: Riki Kimura (GK), Ahmad Syahir, Fadli Kamis (C), Amer Hakeem, Ho Wai Loon, Faizal Raffi (Hariysh Krishnakumar 63’), Gareth Low, Aidil Johari (Puvan Raj 72’), Kristijan Krajček, Shuhei Hoshino, Šime Žužul (Joshua De Souza 90’+3).
Unused subs: Zacharial Leong (GK), Aiman Zavyan, Aqil Yazid, Keshav Kumar.
Tampines: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Irwan Shah, Ryaan Sanizal, Baihakki Khaizan, Amirul Haikal (Irfan Najeeb 67’), Kyoga Nakamura, Zehrudin Mehmedović, Marc Ryan Tan (Taufik Suparno 57’), Yasir Hanapi (C), Armin Bošnjak (Fazrul Nawaz 72’), Boris Kopitović.
Unused subs: Zulfairuuz Rudy (GK), Daniel Bennett, Iman Hakim, Andrew Aw.
Sailors produce professional victory
Tanjong Pagar 1-2 Sailors | Jurong East Stadium | 20 August
Luiz Junior 76′ | Haiqal Pashia 43′, Jorge Fellipe 55′
It was always going to require something special to break the deadlock in a tight game and Pashia provided that moment of magic with a stunning 25-yard curler that left Zharfan Rohaizad grasping at thin air to put the Sailors ahead. Brazilian centre-back Fellipe then marked his return from suspension with a poacher’s finish from six yards out to double the Sailors’ advantage, before Tanjong Pagar compatriot Luiz gave the Jaguars a lifeline with a brilliantly-executed free-kick from the edge of the area. The Sailors would, however, hold out for a second straight win under Kim Do-hoon.
Club news: Sailors – Pashia’s first-ever Sailors goal pulls Sailors to victory
- Tanjong Pagar are yet to defeat the Sailors in five meetings since the latter’s exceptions in 2020.
- The Sailors extended their unbeaten run to 12 matches and have now scored in their last 27 SPL games.
- Pashia scored his first goal since April 2019 when he netted in Young Lions’ 2-1 defeat to Albirex – he is the nine different scorer for the Sailors this season.
- Fellipe is the fourth player to net a match-winning goal for the Sailors – no other club has more. He also scored in the 3-1 win over Jaguars in May.
- Luiz is the first Tanjong Pagar player to net double digits (10) since Monsef Zerka scored 12 and Kamel Ramdani accumulated 11 in 2013.
- Luiz is the third player to score at least one free-kick and one penalty this season after Hougang’s Doi and Albirex’s Kiyoshiro Tsuboi.
- Luiz’s goal meant Albirex are now the only remaining side not to have conceded from a direct free-kick this season.
Tanjong Pagar: Zharfan Rohaizad (GK), Faritz Hameed (C), Delwinder Singh, Shakir Hamzah, Rusyaidi Salime, Fathullah Rahmat (Ammirul Emmran 77’), Blake Ricciuto, Shodai Nishikawa, Daniel Martens (Khairul Amri 61’), Luiz Junior, Reo Nishiguchi.
Unused subs: Fashah Iskandar (GK), Shahrin Saberin, Raihan Rahman, Suhairi Sabri, Naufal Ilham.
Sailors: Hassan Sunny (GK) (C), Aqhari Abdullah (Tajeli Salamat 83’), Hariss Harun, Jorge Fellipe, Nur Adam Abdullah, Shahdan Sulaiman, Saifullah Akbar, Gabriel Quak (Hafiz Nor 61’), Faris Ramli, Haiqal Pashia (Diego Lopes 61’), Stipe Plazibat.
Unused subs: Rudy Khairullah (GK), Amirul Adli, Song Uiyoung, Amiruldin Asraf.
Cheetahs rediscover winning formula
Hougang 2-1 Geylang | Hougang Stadium | 20 August
Shawal Anuar 59′, Hafiz Sujad 76′ | Amy Recha pen. 82′
After a cagey first half, the introduction of Shahfiq Ghani proved to be the difference for Hougang as his intelligent lofted ball led to Shawal sneaking through to net the opener. The latter then turned provider for Hafiz to drill an unerring shot into the bottom right corner, although Amy pulled one back from the spot after Farhan Zulkifli was penalised for handball. The victory sets Clement Teo’s side up nicely for a big clash against the Sailors in Round 17.
Club news: Geylang – Eagles fall to 2-1 defeat against the Cheetahs
- Hougang have won all three encounters in 2021.
- Geylang have now conceded in their last 19 SPL matches.
- Shawal broke a four-game goal drought – his last goal before this also came against Geylang in a 5-2 win back in May.
- Three out of Hafiz’s last four SPL goals have come against Geylang.
- Hafiz netted his second match-winning goal for Hougang – the same number as Tomoyuki Doi.
- Amy has now netted in his last four appearances against Hougang – scoring in five out of his last six encounters against the Cheetahs in all competitions.
- Hougang conceded their first penalty of the season – they were the only team prior to this game not to have given away one.
Hougang: Izwan Mahbud (GK), Nazrul Nazari, Fabian Kwok (C), Lionel Tan, Farhan Zulkifli, Kaishu Yamazaki, Hafiz Sujad (Gilberto Fortunato 90’), Kishson Philip (Shahfiq Ghani 46’), Shawal Anuar, Naufal Azman (Afiq Noor 57’), Tomoyuki Doi.
Unused subs: Ridhuan Barudin (GK), Faiz Salleh, Shahril Ishak, Josiah Phua.
Geylang: Wayne Chew (GK), Ilhan Noor (Far eez Farhan 55’), Abdil Qaiyyim, Yuki Ichikawa (C), Faizal Roslan, Harith Kanadi (Christopher van Huizen 69’), Danny Kim, Izzdin Shafiq, Barry Maguire, Matheus Moresche, Amy Recha.
Unused subs: Hairul Syirhan (GK), Umar Akhbar, Asshukrie Wahid, Firdaus Kasman, Afiq Yunos.
White Swans still in the ascendancy
Young Lions 0-1 Albirex | Jalan Besar Stadium | 22 August
Ryosuke Nagasawa pen. 3
The Albirex express continues to roll on as they did just enough to edge a spirited Young Lions outfit. Nagasawa’s early penalty conversion after Ong Yu En was felled by Syahrul Sazali in the area was the difference between two sides as the hosts rued their inability to convert some promising opportunities.
Club news: Albirex – White Swans toil to return to top
- Albirex have now won the last 17 encounters since a 1-0 home defeat in November 2015.
- Albirex kept their first clean sheet in nine matches – they have now kept the most shutouts with five.
- Young Lions have now conceded in their last 31 SPL matches.
- Young Lions have conceded five times in the first 10 minutes this season – the most of any team.
- Nagasawa netted his first goal since October 2020 in a 3-2 defeat of the Sailors.
- Albirex now have the joint second-most scorers with Tampines on 11 – only Hougang have more with 13.
Young Lions: Ridhwan Fikri (GK), Ryhan Stewart, Jacob Mahler (C), Syahrul Sazali, Zulqarnaen Suzliman, Harhys Stewart, Rezza Rezky, Zamani Zamri, Joel Chew, Khairin Nadim, Ilhan Fandi.
Unused subs: Putra Anugerah (GK), Nazhiim Harman, Daniel Goh, Amir Syafiz, Danish Qayyum, Arshad Shamim, Raoul Suhaimi.
Albirex: Takahiro Koga (GK), Kazuki Hashioka (C), Shuya Yamashita, Reo Kunimoto, Yu Tokiwa, Kosuke Chiku, Takahiro Tezuka, Ryoya Taniguchi, Ong Yu En (Kuraba Kondo 46’), Nicky Melvin Singh, Ryosuke Nagasawa.
Unused subs: Hyrulnizam Juma’at (GK), Mahiro Takahashi, Yasuhiro Hanada, Hilman Norhisam, Kohga Tsuruhara, Morrison Hashii.
Eagles produce stunning comeback in Eastern Derby
Geylang 3-1 Tampines | Our Tampines Hub | 25 August
Danny Kim 59′, Amy Recha 65′, Christopher van Huizen 77′ | Boris Kopitović 45′
Tampines went ahead on the stroke of half-time when Kopitović nodded home Yasir Hanapi’s outswinging corner, but Geylang would turn the game on its head with a stunning second-half display. Former Brisbane Roar midfielder Kim produced a piledriver from 20 yards out to draw the Eagles level, before the in-form Amy drilled a stunning left-footed shot into the top left corner. Van Huizen then applied the finishing touch to a superb flowing team move late on to condemn the Stags to four straight defeats for the first time in 23 years.
Club news: Geylang – Eagles stage stunning comeback to beat Tampines Rovers 3-1
- Geylang came from behind to win in an Eastern derby for the first time since April 2015.
- Tampines lost four straight league games for the first time since May 1998.
- This is the third time Tampines have taken the lead and lost a game this season – the most of any team.
- This is the first time in 27 matches that Tampines have lost at full-time after leading at half-time – the last time it happened was in a 2-1 loss to Warriors FC in August 2018.
- For Geylang, this is the first time they won a match after trailing at half time in 13 attempts – the last one was a 2-1 win over Warriors in June 2019.
- Tampines extended their scoring streak to 49 SPL matches.
- Kim scored his first SPL goal.
- Van Huizen scored his first goal since his match-winning brace in Geylang’s 2-1 win over Hougang in March 2020.
- Tampines’ Zulfairuuz Rudy made his first SPL start since July 2019 in Tampines’ 4-2 win over Home United.
Geylang: Wayne Chew (GK), Ilhan Noor (Faizal Roslan 86′), Abdil Qaiyyim, Afiq Yunos, Harith Kanadi, Danny Kim, Barry Maguire (C), Firdaus Kasman (Izzdin Shafiq 52′), Christopher van Huizen (Fareez Farhan 90′), Matheus Moresche, Amy Recha.
Unused subs: Hairul Syirhan (GK), Adam Hakeem, Umar Akhbar, Asshukrie Wahid.
Tampines: Zulfairuuz Rudy (GK), Irfan Najeeb (Madhu Mohana 60′), Daniel Bennett, Ryaan Sanizal, Irwan Shah, Kyoga Nakamura, Iman Hakim, Yasir Hanapi (C), Armin Bošnjak, Taufik Suparno (Marc Ryan Tan 76′), Boris Kopitović.
Unused subs: Daniel Illya (GK), Baihakki Khaizan, Amirul Haikal, Fazrul Nawaz, Andrew Aw.