News Singapore Premier League • September 14, 2021
2021 Singapore Premier League Round 18: Roundup
Jorge Fellipe celebrates after scoring the equaliser for Lion City Sailors, 12 September 2021
SINGAPORE, 14 SEPTEMBER 2021 – The AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) title race remains firmly in the balance as the Lion City Sailors produced a comeback win against the Young Lions to remain five points (with a game in hand) behind leaders Albirex Niigata (S), who had thumped Geylang International a day earlier. Elsewhere, Hougang United handed out-of-sorts Tampines Rovers yet another mauling to maintain their stranglehold on third spot while Balestier Khalsa claimed a second straight home win to move up to sixth. We recap all the action below…
Relentless White Swans march on
Albirex 5-0 Geylang | Jurong East Stadium | 11 September
Fikri Junaidi 30’, Ryosuke Nagasawa 59’, Ryoya Taniguchi 79’, 87’, Kuraba Kondo 90+1’
Albirex continued their charge towards a second straight SPL title as Fikri set them on their way with a crisp shot from just inside the area. Nagasawa doubled their lead by intercepting a sloppy pass before firing beyond debutant goalkeeper Zaiful Nizam. Taniguchi got in on the act as he nodded home Takahiro Tezuka’s corner before firing in Yu Tokiwa’s cutback to complete his brace. Super-sub Kondo would complete the rout in injury time by applying the finishing touch after a superb solo run into the area.
- Albirex have now won the last six encounters since July 2019.
- Albirex have won their last four games – only the Sailors had a longer winning streak this season with a six-game run.
- Geylang have now conceded in each of their last 22 SPL matches, while Albirex kept their seventh clean sheet of the season (no team have more than four); they have not conceded a goal in their last three games as well.
- Fikri scored his first ever SPL goal and is the 12th different scorer for Albirex this season (only Hougang have more with 15).
- Taniguchi netted braces in two straight games for the first time in his SPL career.
- Kondo scored his seventh goal off the bench this season; he has the most goal involvements as a substitute with his tally of seven goals and two assists.
- All four of Tezuka’s assists this season have come via corners.
Albirex: Takahiro Koga (GK), Kazuki Hashioka (C), Shuya Yamashita, Reo Kunimoto, Yu Tokiwa, Kosuke Chiku, Takahiro Tezuka, Ong Yu En (Kiyoshiro Tsuboi 61’), Ryoya Taniguchi (Makoto Ito 90’+1), Ryosuke Nagasawa, Fikri Junaidi (Kuraba Kondo 46’).
Unused subs: Hyrulnizam Juma’at (GK), Mahiro Takahashi, Yasuhiro Hanada, Hilman Norhisam.
Geylang: Zaiful Nizam (GK), Ilhan Noor, Yuki Ichikawa (C), Afiq Yunos (Abdil Qaiyyim 46’), Harith Kanadi, Danny Kim, Firdaus Kasman (Umar Akhbar 90’), Barry Maguire, Asshukrie Wahid (Christopher van Huizen 57’), Matheus Moresche, Amy Recha.
Unused subs: Hairul Syirhan (GK), Izzdin Shafiq, Azri Suhaili, Fareez Farhan.
Cheetahs show no mercy
Hougang 7-3 Tampines | Hougang Stadium | 11 September
Fabian Kwok 4’, Tomoyuki Doi 18’, 23’, 33’, Lionel Tan 64’, Gilberto Fortunato 73’, Hafiz Abu Sujad 79’ | Zehrudin Mehmedović 12’, Boris Kopitović 42’, 59’
Hougang pulled off another convincing home win over Tampines and it all began with Kwok’s gorgeous first-time effort from range. The Stags equalised through Mehmedović after some great individual work by the Serbian, but the reprieve was short as Doi blew them away with a 15-minute hat-trick. After lashing in a left-footed drive, the Japanese hotshot then volleyed in Fortunato’s lay-off before completing his treble by emphatically smashing home an indirect free-kick in the area. Two well-taken finishes by Kopitović gave the visitors a glimmer of hope but Clement Teo’s side went on to score another three times. Tan was Johnny on the spot after Tampines failed to clear their lines from a free-kick, before Fortunato and Hafiz added close-range finishes to seal a stunning result.
- This is the highest-scoring SPL match since Home United’s 9-3 victory over Brunei DPMM in May 2017. It is the fourth time 10 goals have been scored in an SPL match.
- Hougang have won all three encounters this season, tallying a total of 15 goals, almost one-third of their 44-goal haul.
- Hougang scored seven for the first time in history; they had never scored more than five in a game before this.
- Tampines conceded seven for the first time since August 2001 when they lost 8-2 to SAFFC.
- Having let in 43 in 17 games, Tampines have conceded the most goals in a league campaign since 2001 when they allowed 55 in a 33-game season.
- Tampines have now gone six league games without a win for the first time since May 2019.
- Tampines extended their scoring streak to 51 straight SPL matches.
- Kwok scored his first goal since August 2019 when he netted in Hougang’s 4-2 win over Young Lions. It was also his first from outside the box since July 2018 when he scored in the Cheetahs’ 3-2 away defeat to Brunei DPMM.
- Kwok is Hougang’s 15th different scorer – no other team has more.
- Doi now has 30 SPL goals in 31 starts; he also scored and assisted at least once each in a game for a fourth time this season – joint-most with Sailors’ Stipe Plazibat.
- Doi’s 15-minute hat-trick is the second-fastest this season after Albirex’s Kiyoshiro Tsuboi, who struck thrice within nine minutes in a 6-0 win over Tanjong Pagar back in April.
- Both of Doi’s hat-tricks this season have come against Tampines; he is the only player this season with more than one hat-trick. He has now tallied eight goals in his last four appearances against Tampines.
- Kopitović has also scored in each of his last four outings against Hougang.
- Armin Bošnjak assisted Kopitović for a fifth time – the most by one player to another this season.
- Bošnjak’s two assists in this game meant he is the first player to hit double digits (11) for assists since Christopher van Huizen, Andrei Varankou and Ryutaro Megumi hit 10 each in 2019.
- Tampines’ Danial Iliya made his SPL debut.
Hougang: Izwan Mahbud (GK), Farhan Zulkifli, Lionel Tan, Fabian Kwok (C), Hafiz Sujad, Kaishu Yamazaki, Josiah Phua (Nazrul Nazari 46’), Naufal Azman (Afiq Noor 46’), Shawal Anuar, Tomoyuki Doi, Gilberto Fortunato (Khairul Nizam 84’).
Unused subs: Ridhuan Barudin (GK), Shahfiq Ghani, Faiz Salleh, Kishson Philip.
Tampines: Zulfairuuz Rudy (GK) (Danial Iliya 78’), Ryaan Sanizal, Madhu Mohana (Andrew Aw 82’), Daniel Bennett, Amirul Haikal, Kyoga Nakamura, Zehrudin Mehmedović, Marc Ryan Tan (Taufik Suparno 61’), Yasir Hanapi (C), Armin Bošnjak, Boris Kopitović.
Unused subs: Huzaifah Aziz, Baihakki Khaizan, Iman Hakim, Fazrul Nawaz.
Jaguars miss chance to close in on top four
Balestier 1-0 Tanjong Pagar | Toa Payoh Stadium | 12 September
Hazzuwan Halim 45’+1
Tampines’ loss gave Tanjong Pagar the chance to close the gap between them and the top four to just two points, but the Jaguars failed to capitalise. Hazzuwan finished off a superb counter-attacking move after being teed up by Šime Žužul to put the Tigers ahead on the stroke of half-time and that proved to be the only goal of the game. Despite creating some late chances, Hasrin Jailani’s side was unable to beat Riki Kimura in the Balestier goal.
- Tanjong Pagar have now failed to win the last nine encounters.
- Balestier kept a clean sheet for the first time in 14 SPL matches – their last shutout before this also came against the Jaguars in a 4-0 win at the same venue back in April, while Tanjong Pagar have now conceded in their last 12 matches.
- The clean sheet was Riki Kimura’s first in his career (in six games).
- Balestier won two straight home games at Toa Payoh for the first time since April 2018.
Balestier: Riki Kimura (GK), Fadli Kamis (C), Ensar Brunčević, Amer Hakeem, Ho Wai Loon, Faizal Raffi, Gareth Low (Aidil Johari 79’), Hazzuwan Halim (Aiman Zavyan 86’), Shuhei Hoshino, Puvan Raj (Ahmad Syahir 54’), Šime Žužul.
Unused subs: Zacharial Leong (GK), Hariysh Krishnakumar, Joshua De Souza, Aqil Yazid.
Tanjong Pagar: Zharfan Rohaizad (GK), Faritz Hameed (C), Shahrin Saberin, Shakir Hamzah, Rusyaidi Salime, Fathullah Rahmat (Ridhuan Muhammad 69’), Blake Ricciuto, Shodai Nishikawa, Anaqi Ismit (Khairul Amri 56’), Luiz Junior, Reo Nishiguchi.
Unused subs: Fashah Iskandar (GK), Emmeric Ong, Raihan Rahman, Ammirul Emmran, Naufal Ilham.
Sailors keep title fate in own hands
Young Lions 1-3 Sailors | Jalan Besar Stadium | 12 September
llhan Fandi 11′ | Jorge Fellipe 50′, 85′, Gabriel Quak 90’+1
Ilhan’s superb header off Zamani Zamri’s right-wing cross gave the Young Lions a shock lead and could have put the Sailors’ title hopes in tatters. However, Kim Do-hoon’s men rallied in the second half and Fellipe equalised with a header from Shahdan Sulaiman’s corner before finishing off Tajeli Salamat’s pinpoint cross. Quak wrapped up the points in injury time against 10-man Young Lions – who had Raoul Suhaimi sent off – as he fired beyond Ridhwan Fikri after Faris Ramli had set him through on goal.
Club news: Sailors – Big Jorge keeps Sailors’ title charge on course
- The Sailors also won 3-1 in this fixture back in April, with Ilhan and Quak both on the scoresheet on that occasion as well.
- The Sailors have now won all five encounters since their inception in 2020.
- This is the first time the Sailors have conceded first and won in their history; they also won after trailing at half time for the first time.
- The Sailors have come from behind to claim points in four out of six matches under Kim.
- The Sailors extended their unbeaten run to 14 matches – an ongoing club record.
- The Sailors have now scored in each of their last 29 SPL matches, while the Young Lions have conceded in their last 33.
- Jorge Fellipe scored his first ever career brace.
- Gabriel Quak struck double digits (10) for league goals for the first time in his career.
- Jordan Emaviwe and Shah Shahiran made their Young Lions debuts – the former made his first SPL appearance since December 2020 when he came on a second-half substitute in Balestier’s 5-2 defeat to the Sailors.
Young Lions: Ridhwan Fikri (GK), Raoul Suhaimi, Jacob Mahler (C), Syahrul Sazali, Zulqarnaen Suzliman, Harhys Stewart, Rezza Rezky, Zamani Zamri (Jordan Emaviwe 72’), Joel Chew (Arshad Shamim 86’), Shah Shahiran, Ilhan Fandi (Glenn Kweh 67’).
Unused subs: Dylan Pereira (GK), Nazhiim Harman, Danish Irfan, Khairin Nadim.
Sailors: Hassan Sunny (GK) (C), Tajeli Salamat, Hariss Harun, Jorge Fellipe, Nur Adam Abdullah, Shahdan Sulaiman, Saifullah Akbar (Adam Swandi 56’), Haiqal Pashia (Faris Ramli 46’), Diego Lopes, Hafiz Nor (Gabriel Quak 72’), Stipe Plazibat.
Unused subs: Rudy Khairullah (GK), Amirul Adli, Aqhari Abdullah, Song Uiyoung.
Red Car: Raoul Suhaimi (Young Lions) 68’