News Singapore Premier League • April 5, 2021
2021 Singapore Premier League Round 4: Roundup
Tomoyuki Doi struck the first hat-trick of the 2021 season as Hougang beat Tampines, 3 April 2021
SINGAPORE, 5 APRIL 2021 – The AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) returned with a bang as Hougang United produced an emphatic win over Tampines Rovers, while the big boys of Albirex Niigata (S) and Lion City Sailors returned to winning ways. Meanwhile, Balestier Khalsa also claimed their first win of the season as we recap all the action below…
Club news: Albirex – White Swans Beat Eagles to Return to the Top | Geylang – Eagles’ flight stalled in narrow loss to champions Albirex | Sailors – Saifullah highlights benefits of patience in Sailors’ win over Young Lions
Cheetahs display title credentials
Hougang 5-1 Tampines | Hougang | 3 April
Tomoyuki Doi 19’, 22’, 90’, Maksat Dzhakybaliev 67’, Shahfiq Ghani 71’ | Boris Kopitovic 23’
After taking down the Sailors in Round 3, Hougang gunned down another title rival. The irrepressible Doi lashed home a stunner from 20 yards before slotting home a rebound to give the Cheetahs a quick-fire early two-goal lead. Kopitovic halved the deficit but that was as good as it got for the visitors. Kyrgyzstani centre-back Dzhakybaliev stabbed in Lionel Tan’s flick-on at a corner before Shahfiq curled in a stunning free-kick from the edge of the area. Down to 10 men after Baihakki Khaizan’s dismissal, the Stags conceded a fifth late on as Doi smashed in from long range to complete his hat-trick.
- This is Hougang’s biggest victory over Tampines since their inception in 2011.
- Tampines suffered their biggest defeat since a 4-0 loss to Albirex in August 2017.
- Tampines conceded five times in a league game for the first time since a 5-0 loss to Super Reds in April 2008.
- Hougang won their first two home matches of the season for the first time since 2017.
- Hougang ended Tampines’ 13-match unbeaten streak – they were also the last time to beat the Stags in October 2020.
- Tampines have scored in 38 straight SPL games.
- Hougang are yet to keep a clean sheet in their last 13 outings.
- Doi scored his first ever SPL hat-trick – he has recorded seven goals in his last three outings.
- Doi has now scored 18 goals in 18 SPL appearances since arriving in 2020.
- Dzhakybaliev is the first Kyrgyzstani to score in the SPL.
- Shahfiq’s free-kick goal was his fourth for Hougang; of his 12 goals for the club, six have been from set-pieces (four free-kicks, two penalties).
Hougang: Mukundan Maran (GK), Faiz Salleh (Anders Aplin 67’), Maksat Dzhakybaliev, Lionel Tan, Farhan Zulkifli, Fabian Kwok (C), Kaishu Yamazaki, Idraki Adnan (Hafiz Sujad 60’), Shawal Anuar, Shahfiq Ghani (Afiq Noor 74’), Tomoyuki Doi.
Unused subs: Ridhuan Barudin (GK), Muhaimin Suhaimi, Khairul Nizam, Kishson Phillip.
Tampines: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Irfan Najeeb, Madhu Mohana, Baihakki Khaizan, Irwan Shah (Taufik Suparno 78’), Kyoga Nakamura, Shah Shahiran, Zehrudin Mehmedović (Daniel Bennett 74’), Iman Hakim (Armin Bošnjak 46’), Yasir Hanapi (C), Boris Kopitovic.
Unused subs: Danial Iliya (GK), Ryaan Sanizal, Marc Ryan Tan, Fazrul Nawaz.
Red Card: Baihakki Khaizan 70’
Sailors back in the groove
Young Lions 1-3 Sailors | Jalan Besar | 3 April
Ilhan Fandi 78’ | Gabriel Quak 27’, 62’, Stipe Plazibat 34’
After a shock loss to Hougang, the Sailors knew they had to bounce back and they put the Young Lions to the sword. Plazibat teed up Quak for a neat curler, before benefitting from Brazilian playmaker Diego Lopes’ lofted ball into the area to finish with aplomb. Quak then rounded the goalkeeper to put the result beyond doubt, although Ilhan pulled one back late on for the Young Lions after Amirul Adli copped a second yellow card to leave the visitors a man down.
- The Sailors have scored in 16 straight SPL matches.
- The Young Lions have not kept a clean sheet in their last 19 outings.
- Quak has recorded two braces for the Sailors this season – he did not have any in 2020.
- Plazibat now has scored 13 goals in 10 matches for the Sailors.
- Jorge Fellipe made his Sailors debut.
Young Lions: Nurshafiq Zaini (GK), Ryhan Stewart, Syed Akmal, Danish Irfan (C), Syahrul Sazali, Harhys Stewart, Joel Chew (Bill Mamadou 68’), Zamani Zamri (Zulqarnaen Suzliman 46’), Hami Syahin (Nor Hakim 86’), Khairin Nadim, Ilhan Fandi.
Unused subs: Ridhwan Fikri (GK), Syabil Hisham, Amir Syafiz, Sahffee Jubpre.
Sailors: Hassan Sunny (GK)(C), Naqiuddin Eunos, Amirul Adli, Jorge Fellipe, Nur Adam Abdullah, Shahdan Sulaiman, Diego Lopes, Saifullah Akbar (Song Uiyoung 72’), Gabriel Quak (Tajeli Salamat 79’), Stipe Plazibat, Justin Hui (Hafiz Nor 46’).
Unused subs: Rudy Khairullah (GK), Aqhari Abdullah, Adam Swandi, Faris Ramli.
Red Card: Amirul Adli 76’
Terrific Tigers claim first win
Balestier 4-0 Tanjong Pagar | Toa Payoh | 4 April
Faizal Raffi 24’, Kristijan Krajček 40’, 89’, Šime Žužul 55’
Balestier got their first win of the season at their fourth time of trying, with Faizal setting them on the way by belting in from unmissable range. Krajček then nodded in Hazzuwan Halim’s teasing cross before Žužul benefitted from a defensive mix-up to net the Tigers’ third. The two scorers combined late on as Krajček hit a grounder to complete a convincing victory for Marko Kraljevic’s side.
- This is Balestier’s biggest league win since a 5-1 defeat of Young Lions in April 2015.
- Tanjong Pagar are still waiting for their first win since October 2014.
- Faizal scored his first goal since September 2019 when he netted for Warriors FC in a 3-3 draw against Balestier.
- Krajček scored his first headed goal in the SPL.
- Krajček is the fourth player to net a brace against Tanjong Pagar this season.
- Tanjong Pagar’s Joey Sim made his first league start since May 2017 for Tampines in a 4-1 defeat to Albirex.
- Tanjong Pagar’s Emmeric Ong made his first start since August 2019 in Warriors’ 3-1 defeat to Home United.
Balestier: Zaiful Nizam (GK)(C), Fadli Kamis, Amer Hakeem, Ensar Brunčević, Ahmad Syahir, Aarish Kumar (Hariysh Krishnakumar 86’), Faizal Raffi (Gareth Low 76’), Hazzuwan Halim, Kristijan Krajček, Joshua De Souza (Šime Žužul 46’), Shuhei Hoshino.
Unused subs: Riki Kimura (GK), Martyn Mun (GK), Aiman Zavyan, Aqil Yazid.
Tanjong Pagar: Joey Sim (GK), Emmeric Ong (Ammirul Emmran 66’), Shahrin Saberin, Faritz Hameed (C), Rusyaidi Salime (Suhairi Sabri 46’), Blake Ricciuto, Shodai Nishikawa, Reo Nishiguchi, Anaqi Ismit, Khairul Amri, Hadiputradila Saswadimata (Luiz Junior 46’).
Unused subs: Hariz Farid (GK), Raihan Rahman, Naufal Ilham, Elfy Danish.
White Swans continue unbeaten start
Albirex 1-0 Geylang | Jurong East | 4 April
Takahiro Tezuka 33’
After being frustrated by Balestier the last time out, Albirex displayed newfound patience to break down the latest visitors to Jurong East and did it through Tezuka, who produced an unerring finish from a tight angle after being released by Kiyoshiro Tsuboi. Geylang did have their fair share of chances and the best one fell to Matheus Moresche, but the Brazilian forward somehow contrived to fire wide as the hosts returned to the top of the standings.
- With Tampines’ loss on Saturday, Albirex are the only remaining unbeaten team in the SPL this season.
- Geylang have now failed to score in their last 11 visits to Jurong East (to face Albirex) since May 2014.
- Geylang have not won in their last 18 visits to the venue (to face Albirex) since May 2010.
- Geylang have not kept a clean sheet for their last eight outings.
- Albirex’s Takahiro Koga is the first goalkeeper to keep three straight clean sheets since Kei Okawa did for Albirex in November 2020.
Albirex: Takahiro Koga (GK), Kazuki Hashioka (C), Shuya Yamashita, Reo Kunimoto, Yu Tokiwa, Takahiro Tezuka, Kosuke Chiku, Ryoya Taniguchi (Fumiya Suzuki 89’), Nicky Melvin Singh (Kuraba Kondo 46’), Kiyoshiro Tsuboi, Ong Yu En (Yasuhiro Hanada 60’).
Unused subs: Hyrulnizam Juma’at (GK), Mahiro Takahashi, Fairoz Hasan, Kohga Tsuruhara.
Geylang: Zainol Gulam (GK), Darren Teh, Faizal Roslan, Yuki Ichikawa (C), Harith Kanadi, Elijah Lim (Matheus Moresche 46’), Firdaus Kasman, Izzdin Shafiq, Nur Luqman Rahman (Amy Recha 46’), Sylvano Comvalius, Fareez Farhan (Christopher Van Huizen 73’).
Unused subs: Hairul Syirhan (GK), Adam Hakeem, Ilhan Noor, Iqram Rifqi.