News Singapore Premier League • March 18, 2021
2021 Singapore Premier League Round 2: Roundup
Stipe Plazibat (C) celebrates after scoring for Lion City Sailors, 17 March 2021
SINGAPORE, 18 MARCH 2021 – It was yet another goal-laden round in the AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) with 16 scored across four fixtures. Champions Albirex Niigata (S) continue to look irrepressible, while the likes of Tampines Rovers, Lion City Sailors and Hougang United all notched their first wins of the campaign. We recap all the action below…
Stags come through tricky test
Balestier 1-2 Tampines | Toa Payoh | 17 March
Amer Hakeem 67’ | Taufik Suparno 56’, Boris Kopitovic 69’
Balestier made life difficult for the Stags before the visitors eventually broke the deadlock in the second half as Taufik converted from close range. The Tigers struck back through Amer’s neat downwards header off Kristijan Krajček’s floated ball, but Tampines would grab the three points through Kopitovic as he bundled home after the Balestier back-line failed to clear a set-piece.
- Balestier have now failed to beat Tampines in their last 15 league encounters.
- Tampines extended their scoring run to 36 SPL matches.
- Amer scored his first professional goal.
Balestier: Zaiful Nizam (GK, C), Fadli Kamis, Amer Hakeem, Ensar Brunčević, Ahmad Syahir, Aarish Kumar (Hariysh Krishnakumar 75’), Puvan Raj (Faizal Raffi 58’), Hazzuwan Halim (Gautam Selvamany 81’), Kristijan Krajček, Šime Žužul, Shuhei Hoshino.
Unused subs: Riki Kimura (GK), Aiman Zavyan, Joshua De Souza, Aqil Yazid.
Tampines: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Irfan Najeeb (Daniel Bennett 87’), Madhu Mohana, Baihakki Khaizan, Amirul Haikal (Irwan Shah 80’), Kyoga Nakamura, Shah Shahiran, Yasir Hanapi (C), Taufik Suparno (Zehrudin Mehmedović 67’), Boris Kopitovic, Armin Bošnjak.
Unused subs: Zulfairuuz Rudy (GK), Ryaan Sanizal, Marc Ryan Tan, Fazrul Nawaz.
Sailors find their groove
Tanjong Pagar 0-5 Sailors | Jurong East | 17 March
Stipe Plazibat pen. 47’, 59’, Song Uiyoung 54’, 70’, Faris Ramli pen. 84’
Another game in which all the goals came in the second half, Tanjong Pagar put up stiff resistance in the first but it all unravelled for them shortly after the restart. Plazibat converted from the spot after Shahib Masnawi was penalised for handball, before Song’s superb cushioned volley doubled the lead. Plazibat then produced the pick of the bunch with a belter from 25 yards and Song made it four by heading in Shahdan Sulaiman’s pinpoint cross. Substitute Faris Ramli dusted himself off after being brought down to slot home a penalty to complete the scoring.
- Tanjong Pagar have lost only two games by a five-goal scoreline since their return to the SPL in 2020 – both were inflicted by the Sailors.
- Tanjong Pagar have already conceded three penalties this season – the highest of any team.
- On the last nine occasions that Plazibat has scored, he netted more than once – two hat-tricks and seven braces.
- Plazibat scored his first league goal from outside the area since November 2017 when he netted a free-kick in Home United’s 2-1 victory over Geylang International.
- Song has now scored 12 goals in his last 12 outings for the Sailors.
- Sailors’ Hassan Sunny, along with Albirex’s Takahiro Koga, kept the first clean sheets of the season.
Tanjong Pagar: Fashah Iskandar (GK), Blake Ricciuto, Delwinder Singh, Shahrin Saberin, Rusyaidi Salime, Ammirul Emmran, Raihan Rahman, Shahib Masnawi (Khairul Amri 60’), Shodai Nishikawa, Hadiputradila Saswadimata (Luiz Junior 46’), Reo Nishiguchi.
Unused subs: Joey Sim (GK), Emmeric Ong, Julian Tan, Naufal Ilham, Elfy Danish.
Sailors: Hassan Sunny (GK, C), Aqhari Abdullah, Tajeli Salamat, Amirul Adli, Nur Adam Abdullah, Shahdan Sulaiman, Song Uiyoung, Saifullah Akbar (Faris Ramli 78’), Gabriel Quak (Adam Swandi 68’), Stipe Plazibat, Haiqal Pashia (Diego Lopes 46’).
Unused subs: Rudy Khairullah (GK), Abdil Qaiyyim, Justin Hui, Naqiuddin Eunos.
Cheetahs back on the prowl
Hougang 4-1 Geylang | Hougang | 17 March
Tomoyuki Doi 9’, pen. 50’, Hafiz Sujad 80’, Gilberto Fortunato 83’ | Amy Recha 4’
The visitors got off to the best possible start when Amy’s speculative drive from 20 yards somehow trickled into the bottom left corner, but that only served to sting Hougang into action. Doi calmly finished off Farhan Zulkifli’s precise through ball to level and the former Albirex man then converted from the spot to put the Cheetahs ahead. The Japanese ace set up the remaining two goals, first teeing up Hafiz Sujad to thump in a piledriver and then playing in Fortunato for a stabbed finish.
- Hougang defeated Geylang for the first time in six encounters in all competitions.
- Hougang defeated Geylang at Hougang Stadium for the first time since a 2-0 win in the opening round of the 2017 season.
- Hougang have conceded first for the eighth straight game since a 4-1 win over Young Lions in November 2020.
- Hougang have conceded for 11 games running since a 0-0 draw against Tanjong Pagar in the same month.
- Amy has scored three in his last four games against Hougang in all competitions.
- Doi’s first goal for Albirex and Hougang both came against Geylang.
- Farhan has two assists in as many games, after not managing any in 2020 – he is the only player to assist in each of the two opening games.
- Hafiz scored his first goal since July 2019, when he also netted from outside the box against Geylang in a 2-2 draw.
- Hougang’s Mukundan Maran played his first SPL game since September 2018 when he started for Warriors FC in a 2-1 loss to Albirex.
Hougang: Mukundan Maran (GK), Faiz Salleh, Maksat Dzhakybaliev, Lionel Tan, Farhan Zulkifli (Muhaimin Suhaimi 86’), Fabian Kwok (C), Kaishu Yamazaki, Idraki Adnan (Hafiz Sujad 58’), Shawal Anuar, Tomoyuki Doi, Gilberto Fortunato.
Unused subs: Ridhuan Barudin (GK), Aizil Yazid (GK), Shahfiq Ghani, Shahril Ishak, Kishson Philip.
Geylang: Hairul Syirhan (GK), Darren Teh, Faizal Roslan, Yuki Ichikawa (C), Harith Kanadi, Firdaus Kasman, Izzdin Shafiq, Elijah Lim (Matheus Moresche 46’), Amy Recha, Zikos Chua (Sylvano Comvalius 46’), Christopher Van Huizen (Fareez Farhan 67’).
Unused subs: Hairul Syirhan (GK), Adam Hakeem, Ilhan Noor, Azri Suhaili.
White Swans looking like the team to beat
Young Lions 0-3 Albirex | Jalan Besar | 17 March
Ryoya Taniguchi 17’, Makoto Ito 51’, Kiyoshiro Tsuboi 79’
There was no shock in Albirex winning this one, but their task was made easier by Ridhwan Fikri’s clanger that allowed Taniguchi to have an easy finish. The White Swans then doubled their advantage early into the second half with substitute Ito rifling home a low shot into the bottom left corner, before rounding off the victory late on when Tsuboi put the finishing touch to a slick team move for their second straight win.
- Albirex have now won the last 15 encounters since November 2015.
- Tsuboi, along with Sailors’ Song, are the only two players to score in the first two opening rounds.
- Albirex’s Takahiro Koga, along with Sailors’ Hassan Sunny, kept the first clean sheets of the season.
Young Lions: Ridhwan Fikri (GK), Ryhan Stewart, Syed Akmal, Danish Irfan (C), Syahrul Sazali, Harhys Stewart, Hami Syahin (Sahffee Jubpre 87’), Zamani Zamri, Amir Syafiz (Syabil Hisham 63’), Danish Qayyum (Daniel Goh 67’), Ilhan Fandi.
Unused subs: Nurshafiq Zaini (GK), Khairin Nadim, Alif Iskandar, Raoul Suhaimi.
Albirex: Takahiro Koga (GK), Kazuki Hashioka (C), Shuya Yamashita, Reo Kunimoto, Yu Tokiwa, Takahiro Tezuka, Kosuke Chiku, Ryoya Taniguchi, Nicky Melvin Singh (Yasuhiro Hanada 46’), Kiyoshiro Tsuboi (Mahiro Takahashi 85’), Fairoz Hasan (Makoto Ito 46’).
Unused subs: Hyrulnizam Juma’at (GK), Tsubasa Kawanishi, Ong Yu En, Kohga Tsuruhara.