News Singapore Premier League • August 30, 2021

2021 Singapore Premier League Round 17: Roundup


Amer Hakeem of Balestier Khalsa closes down Ryoya Taniguchi of Albirex Niigata (S), 28 August 2021


SINGAPORE, 30 AUGUST 2021 – It is advantage Albirex Niigata (S) for now as the leaders took full advantage of Lion City Sailors dropping points by smashing Balestier Khalsa to go five points clear at the top. Elsewhere, Tampines Rovers’ win-less streak continued as they were held by Tanjong Pagar United while the Young Lions produced a stunning comeback win against Geylang International. We recap all the action below…


Sailors suffer setback in title bid
Sailors 1-1 Hougang | Jalan Besar Stadium | 27 August
Stipe Plazibat 75′ | Anders Aplin 51′

In a game where they were content to soak and strike, Hougang’s tactics almost worked a treat as centre-back Aplin nodded in a shock opener off Kaishu Yamazaki’s deep free-kick into the area. The Sailors rallied late on and salvaged a point, with Plazibat heading home the equaliser against his former employers after great work down the right by substitute Hafiz Nor. They came close to taking all three, only for Izwan Mahbud to produce a brilliant stop and then Nazrul Nazari following up with a goal-line clearance deep into injury time.


Club news: Sailors – Sailors rue lapse in concentration



  • The Sailors extended their unbeaten run to 13 matches and have now scored in each of their last 28 SPL matches.
  • Hougang have taken four points (one win and one draw) off the Sailors in 2021 – no other club have collected more against them this term.
  • Aplin is the 14th different scorer for Hougang this season – no other club has more.
  • Singapore national goalkeepers Hassan Sunny and Izwan Mahbud faced off in a league match for the first time since October 2017 when they were with Home United and Tampines respectively.
Sailors: Hassan Sunny (GK) (C), Tajeli Salamat, Hariss Harun, Jorge Fellipe, Nur Adam Abdullah, Shahdan Sulaiman, Song Uiyoung (Diego Lopes 56’), Faris Ramli, Saifullah Akbar (Hafiz Nor 71’), Haiqal Pashia (Gabriel Quak 46’), Stipe Plazibat.
Unused subs: Rudy Khairullah (GK), Amirul Adli, Aqhari Abdullah, Amiruldin Asraf.
Hougang: Izwan Mahbud (GK), Lionel Tan, Fabian Kwok (C), Anders Aplin, Kishson Philip (Afiq Noor 46’), Kaishu Yamazaki, Hafiz Sujad, Naufal Azman (Nazrul Nazari 46’), Farhan Zulkifli (Gilberto Fortunato 82’), Shawal Anuar, Tomoyuki Doi.
Unused subs: Ridhuan Barudin (GK), Shahfiq Ghani, Faiz Salleh, Josiah Phua.


Eagles stunned by late fightback
Geylang 2-3 Young Lions | Our Tampines Hub | 28 August
Amy Recha 7′, Matheus Moresche 56′ | Jacob Mahler pen. 4′, Ilhan Fandi 84′, 90’+4

In a topsy-turvy affair, Young Lions took an early lead through Mahler’s perfect penalty after Ilhan was fouled but Geylang struck back immediately through Amy, who controlled Yuki Ichikawa’s long ball expertly before thumping home a superb volley. The three points looked to be heading the Eagles’ way after Moresche had buried the rebound from his initial shot, but were eventually stolen from them in dramatic fashion. First, Ilhan looped a header over Chew before diverting home Harhys Stewart’s cut-back deep into injury time after Geylang had failed to clear their lines from a corner.


Club news: Geylang – Eagles fall to stoppage-time winner by Young Lions



  • Young Lions came from behind to win for the first time since defeating Tampines 2-1 in August 2018; Ilhan’s elder brothers Ikhsan and Irfan were both on target in that game.
  • Young Lions defeated Geylang for the first time in six encounters – their last win over the Eagles came in June 2019 at the same venue.
  • Young Lions have now conceded in each of their last 32 SPL matches, while Geylang have no clean sheets in any of their last 21.
  • Young Lions conceded for a sixth time in the opening 10 minutes – the most of any team this season.
  • Both penalties that Chew have conceded this season have been against Young Lions.
  • Ilhan’s first goal was Young Lion’s first headed goal this season.
  • Ilhan scored the 10th SPL goal of his career.
  • Amy is the first local player to reach 10 goals in a season since Hazzuwan Halim and Faris Ramli netted 10 and 16 respectively in 2019.
  • Amy is also the first Geylang player to reach double digits since Shawal Anuar did in 2017.
  • Six out of Amy’s nine goals from open play this season have been scored with his left foot.
Geylang: Wayne Chew (GK), Ilhan Noor (Faizal Roslan 57’), Abdil Qaiyyim, Yuki Ichikawa (C), Harith Kanadi, Danny Kim (Fareez Farhan 87’), Firdaus Kasman (Izzdin Shafiq 81’), Barry Maguire, Christopher van Huizen, Matheus Moresche, Amy Recha.
Unused subs: Hairul Syirhan (GK), Umar Akhbar, Asshukrie Wahid, Afiq Yunos.
Young Lions: Ridhwan Fikri (GK), Ryhan Stewart, Jacob Mahler (C), Syahrul Sazali, Zulqarnaen Suzliman, Harhys Stewart, Rezza Rezky (Amir Syafiz 84’), Zamani Zamri (Glenn Kweh 78’), Joel Chew, Khairin Nadim (Arshad Shamim 66’), Ilhan Fandi.
Unused subs: Martyn Mun (GK), Nazhiim Harman, Danish Qayyum, Raoul Suhaimi.


White Swans continue to set the pace
Albirex 4-0 Balestier| Jurong East Stadium | 28 August
Ryoya Taniguchi 47′, 77′, Kuraba Kondo 50′, 64′

After a frustrating first half, the introduction of Kondo made all the difference for the champions in the second 45 minutes. Following a pinpoint cross for Taniguchi to nod home the opener, the former Japan youth international got amongst the goals with a superbly-guided finish into the bottom right corner before lashing another in from 20 yards out. The rout was completed late on with Taniguchi benefitting from a goalkeeping error to stab into an empty net.


Club news: Albirex – Ohh Ahh Kuraba



  • Balestier have now failed to defeat Albirex in the last 20 encounters in all competitions since October 2015.
  • Albirex have scored four in two straight home matches.
  • Kondo’s six goals off the bench is the most in a season since Shahfiq Ghani scored the same amount for Hougang in 2019.
  • Kondo has the most goal involvements as a substitute this season with his tally of six goals and two assists.
  • Taniguchi scored his 10th SPL goal and is the fifth Albirex player to score a brace in 2021.
  • Taniguchi assisted Kondo for a fourth time – the most between any two players.
  • Albirex’s Takahiro Koga now has six clean sheets – two more than the second-most, Hassan Sunny (4).
  • Albirex’s Junki Yoshimura and Morrison Hashii made their SPL debuts.
  • Junki is the sixth Singaporean to play for Albirex this season – the most number of locals to feature in a campaign for them.
  • Balestier’s Šime Žužul failed to score for the first time in 10 outings.
Albirex: Takahiro Koga (GK), Kazuki Hashioka (C), Shuya Yamashita, Reo Kunimoto, Yu Tokiwa, Kosuke Chiku, Takahiro Tezuka, Ong Yu En (Kuraba Kondo 46’), Junki Yoshimura (Yasuhiro Hanada 46’), Ryoya Taniguchi (Morrison Hashii 88’), Ryosuke Nagasawa.
Unused subs: Hyrulnizam Juma’at (GK), Mahiro Takahashi, Makoto Ito, Hilman Norhisam.
Balestier: Riki Kimura (GK), Aidil Johari (Aiman Zavyan 78’), Fadli Kamis (C), Amer Hakeem, Ho Wai Loon, Faizal Raffi (Hariysh Krishnakumar 65’), Gareth Low, Hazzuwan Halim (Joshua De Souza 87’), Kristijan Krajček, Shuhei Hoshino, Šime Žužul.
Unused subs: Zacharial Leong (GK), Aqil Yazid, Keshav Kumar, Iftiqar Parizan.


Stags continue to stutter
Tampines 2-2 Tanjong Pagar | Our Tampines Hub | 29 August
Irfan Najeeb 18′, Marc Ryan Tan 34′ | Shakir Hamzah 29′, Anaqi Ismit 44′

Reeling from four straight defeats, Tampines were determined to bounce back and young defender Irfan nodded them into an early lead off Yasir Hanapi’s right-wing cross. After Shakir had bundled home the equaliser against his former club, the Stags went back ahead through Tan’s crisp drive inside the left-hand post. However, some poor defending led to Anaqi producing an opportunistic snapshot from close range to earn the Jaguars a share of the spoils.



  • Three out of the last four encounters have ended in 2-2 draws, with the Jaguars coming back to gain a point on all three occasions.
  • Tampines avoided a fifth straight defeat, but are now win-less in five for the first time since going six games without victory in May 2019.
  • Tampines have now scored in each of their last 50 SPL matches – a run that stretches all the way back to March 2019.
  • Tampines have conceded 36 goals in 16 matches this season – their highest since conceding the same amount over a 27-game season back in 2013.
  • Irfan scored his first SPL goal since June 2018, while Shakir netted his first league goal since August 2018 when he was on target in Home United’s 5-1 win over Geylang.
  • Tampines’ Irwan Shah received his first red card since October 2011 when he was dismissed in Young Lions’ 4-1 defeat to Tampines.
Tampines: Zulfairuuz Rudy (GK), Irwan Shah, Irfan Najeeb (Madhu Mohana 46’), Ryaan Sanizal, Daniel Bennett, Amirul Haikal (Armin Bošnjak 67’), Kyoga Nakamura, Zehrudin Mehmedović, Marc Ryan Tan (Taufik Suparno 62’), Yasir Hanapi (C), Boris Kopitović.
Unused subs: Danial Iliya (GK), Baihakki Khaizan, Iman Hakim, Fazrul Nawaz.
Tanjong Pagar: Zharfan Rohaizad (GK), Faritz Hameed (C), Shahrin Saberin, Shakir Hamzah, Rusyaidi Salime, Fathullah Rahmat (Raihan Rahman 73’), Blake Ricciuto, Shodai Nishikawa, Anaqi Ismit (Khairul Amri 68’), Luiz Junior, Reo Nishiguchi.
Unused subs: Fashah Iskandar (GK), Emmeric Ong, Suhairi Sabri, Daniel Martens, Naufal Ilham.
Red Card: Irwan Shah (Tampines) 90’+3


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