News Singapore Premier League • April 8, 2021

2021 Singapore Premier League Round 5: Roundup


A titanic battle between Tanjong Pagar United and Hougang United ended 3-3, 7 April 2021


SINGAPORE, 8 APRIL 2021 – The midweek AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) action did not disappoint with a total of 20 goals scored across four matches. Tampines Rovers bounced back with a handsome victory over Young Lions, while Lion City Sailors and Hougang United both came from behind in thrilling draws. Elsewhere Balestier Khalsa continued their good form by edging out Geylang International as we recap all the action below…



White Swans still undefeated
Sailors 2-2 Albirex | Jalan Besar | 7 April
Stipe Plazibat 45’, Jorge Fellipe 87’ | Shuya Yamashita 17’, 42’

Albirex took a two-goal lead in this bumper clash, with centre-back Yamashita turning home a couple of outswinging corners from Kuraba Kondo. That stung the Sailors in action and Plazibat glanced home a superb header off Nur Adam Abdullah’s deep cross to give his side a lifeline. The Croatian forward saw a penalty saved late on, but Brazilian defender Jorge Fellipe nodded in off the post from Naqiuddin Eunos’s cross moments later to earn Aurelio Vidmar’s side a precious point.


Club news: Albirex All square between White Swans and Sailors | Sailors – ‘We made it difficult for ourselves’



  • The Sailors are yet to beat Albirex in three encounters since their inception in 2020.
  • Albirex remain the only unbeaten team in the SPL this season.
  • The Sailors have now scored in 17 straight SPL matches.
  • Albirex let slip a two-goal lead to concede points for the first time since a 3-3 draw against Home United at Bishan in July 2019.
  • The Sailors have conceded the most goals from corners – four.
  • Yamashita is the first centre-back to score a brace since Kento Fukuda did in Geylang’s 4-3 defeat to Albirex on 28 August 2014.
  • Koga made the first penalty save of the season.
  • Fellipe scored his first SPL goal.
  • Kondo made his first SPL start.
Sailors: Hassan Sunny (GK, C), Naqiuddin Eunos, Tajeli Salamat, Jorge Fellipe, Nur Adam Abdullah, Shahdan Sulaiman, Diego Lopes (Song Uiyoung 70’), Saifullah Akbar, Gabriel Quak (Faris Ramli 79’), Stipe Plazibat, Justin Hui (Adam Swandi 46’).
Unused subs: Rudy Khairullah (GK), Abdil Qaiyyim, Aqhari Abdullah, Hafiz Nor.
Albirex: Takahiro Koga (GK), Kazuki Hashioka (C), Shuya Yamashita, Reo Kunimoto, Yu Tokiwa, Takahiro Tezuka, Kosuke Chiku, Kuraba Kondo (Mahiro Takahashi 90’), Fairoz Hasan (Yasuhiro Hanada 46’), Ryoya Taniguchi, Ong Yu En (Fumiya Suzuki 70’).
Unused subs: Hyrulnizam Juma’at (GK), Kiyoshiro Tsuboi, Nicky Melvin Singh, Kohga Tsuruhara.


Stags bounce back in style
Tampines 7-0 Young Lions | Our Tampines Hub | 7 April
Kyoga Nakamura 13’, 69’, Boris Kopitovic 21’, pen. 80’, 87’, Yasir Hanapi 44’, 67’

Reeling from a heavy defeat by Hougang over the weekend, Tampines were out to prove a point and did so in style. Japanese midfielder Nakamura cracked in a stunner from the edge of the area, before Montenegrin forward Kopitovic tapped in Zehrudin Mehmedović’s low cross and captain Yasir lashed finished off Madhu Mohana’s long ball for a commanding three-goal lead at the break. Four more goals came after the break, with Yasir and Nakamura being sharp in the box to land a brace each. Kopitovic then converted a penalty before clinically finishing off substitute Marc Ryan Tan’s low cross to complete his hat-trick and a resounding win for his side.



  • Tampines scored seven in a league game for the first time since a 7-1 thrashing of Young Lions in September 2007.
  • Tampines have now scored in 39 consecutive SPL matches.
  • Young Lions conceded seven for the first time since a 7-1 loss to Brunei DPMM in October 2017.
  • This is Young Lions’ biggest defeat since an 8-0 loss to Albirex in May 2017.
  • Nakamura scored his first competitive goals for Tampines.
  • Kopitovic scored his first-ever SPL hat-trick.
  • This is already Yasir’s best-scoring season with five goals – surpassing his tally of four in 2019 with Tampines and in 2013 with Geylang.
  • Tampines’ Syazwan Buhari collected his first clean sheet of the season.
  • Tampines’ Adam Reefdy made his professional debut.
Tampines: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Irfan Najeeb, Madhu Mohana (Adam Reefdy 80’), Daniel Bennett, Amirul Haikal (Irwan Shah 59’), Kyoga Nakamura, Shah Shahiran, Zehrudin Mehmedović, Armin Bošnjak, Yasir Hanapi (C) (Marc Ryan Tan 72’), Boris Kopitovic.
Unused subs: Danial Iliya (GK), Taufik Suparno, Iman Hakim, Fazrul Nawaz.
Young Lions: Nurshafiq Zaini (GK)(C), Ryhan Stewart, Syed Akmal, Syabil Hisham (Danish Irfan 46’), Zulqarnaen Suzliman, Bill Mamadou, Hami Syahin, Daniel Goh, Nor Hakim (Khairin Nadim 58’), Amir Syafiz (Sahffee Jubpre 83’), Ilhan Fandi.
Unused subs: Dylan Pereira (GK), Syahrul Sazali, Danish Qayyum, Alif Iskandar.


Jaguars finally claim first point
Tanjong Pagar 3-3 Hougang | Jurong East | 7 April
Shodai Nishikawa 6’, Luiz Junior 60’, Reo Nishiguchi 81’ | Idraki Adnan 28’, Tomoyuki Doi 61’, 90’+6

Hougang’s three-game winning streak was ended by a determined Tanjong Pagar, who took an early lead through Nishikawa’s powerful strike from an impossible angle.  The Cheetahs equalised before half time when Idraki turned in Kaishu Yamazaki’s inswinging cross but the hosts retook the lead when Luiz punished Mukundan Maran’s goalkeeping error to slot home. However, they were pegged back almost immediately when the in-form Doi diverted in Shawal Anuar’s cross. Nishiguchi’s blistering strike looked to have sealed the win nine minutes from time, but there was late heartbreak as Doi nodded in Yamazaki’s cross to nick a point at the death.



  • This is the match with the highest number of yellow cards this season with nine (five for Tanjong Pagar and four for Hougang).
  • Tanjong Pagar are still waiting for their first SPL win since October 2014.
  • Tanjong Pagar scored three for the first time since returning to the SPL in 2020.
  • Tanjong Pagar’s last 3-3 draw before this came in August 2004 against Woodlands Wellington.
  • Tanjong Pagar have conceded the most goals after the 80th minute – four.
  • Hougang have conceded three goals apiece on two visits to Jurong East in 2021.
  • Hougang have not kept a clean sheet for 14 straight SPL matches.
  • Hougang scored three or more goals for four straight games – the only team to do that this season.
  • Hougang have scored 16 goals for the season – just three behind their 2020 tally of 19.
  • Idraki scored his first professional goal.
  • Doi scored two or more for a fourth straight game – he is now on nine for the season, just two behind his 2020 tally of 11.
  • Doi’s equaliser at 96 minutes 11 seconds is the latest SPL goal since Hiroyoshi Kamata’s 98th-minute winner for Albirex in a 2-1 victory over Young Lions in April 2019.
  • Doi is the fifth player to score a brace against Tanjong Pagar this season.
  • Nishiguchi scored his first goal since October 2020 – breaking a 10-game drought in the process.
  • Yamazaki made two assists in the same game for the second time this season – he is now the league’s top assister with four.
  • Tanjong Pagar’s Shahrin Saberin also notched two assists – he is now the top-assisting centre-back in the league with three and is also the only player to assist for the Jaguars this season.
  • Khairul Nizam made his debut for Hougang.
Tanjong Pagar: Fashah Iskandar (GK), Emmeric Ong, Shahrin Saberin, Faritz Hameed (C), Rusyaidi Salime (Suhairi Sabri 59’), Blake Ricciuto, Shodai Nishikawa, Naufal Ilham (Ammirul Emmran 65’), Daniel Martens (Khairul Amri 56’), Luiz Junior, Reo Nishiguchi.
Unused subs: Hariz Farid (GK), Anaqi Ismit, Raihan Rahman, Hadiputradila Saswadimata.
Hougang: Mukundan Maran (GK), Faiz Salleh (Anders Aplin 82’), Maksat Dzhakybaliev, Lionel Tan, Farhan Zulkifli, Fabian Kwok (C), Kaishu Yamazaki, Idraki Adnan (Khairul Nizam 79’), Shawal Anuar, Shahfiq Ghani (Afiq Noor 27’), Tomoyuki Doi.
Unused subs: Ridhuan Barudin (GK), Hafiz Sujad, Muhaimin Suhaimi, Kishson Philip.


Second win on the trot for Tigers
Balestier 2-1 Geylang | Toa Payoh | 7 April
Kristijan Krajček 36’, Ensar Brunčević 45’+1 | Amy Recha 52’

Another home game, another win for Balestier as they moved to within three points off the top. Croatian playmaker Krajček thumped in Shuhei Hoshino’s flick before turning provider for Brunčević to nod past Zainol Gulam. Geylang pulled one back shortly after the restart with Amy heading home fellow substitute Christopher Van Huizen’s teasing left-wing cross, but the Eagles were unable to force an equaliser late on.


Club news: Geylang Second-half fightback not enough to avoid narrow 2-1 loss to Balestier



  • Geylang are now on a four-match win-less run for the first time since May 2019 when they suffered four straight defeats to Hougang, Home United, Albirex and DPMM respectively.
  • Geylang’s tally of four from their opening five matches is their worst since 2018 when they attained only one from five.
  • Krajček scored for a third straight outing against Geylang.
  • Krajček scored and assisted for a second straight game.
  • Balestier’s Hariysh Krishnakumar made his first professional start.
  • The Hakeem brothers – Balestier’s Amer and Geylang’s Adam – were on opposing sides for the first time in their careers.
  • Geylang’s Yuki Ichikawa missed his first game since August 2018 when he was suspended for a 2-2 draw against DPMM in Brunei.
  • Both of Amy’s goals this season have been set up by Van Huizen.
Balestier: Zaiful Nizam (GK, C), Fadli Kamis, Amer Hakeem, Ensar Brunčević, Ahmad Syahir, Aarish Kumar, Gareth Low (Šime Žužul 63’), Hazzuwan Halim, Kristijan Krajček, Hariysh Krishnakumar (Faizal Raffi 46’), Shuhei Hoshino.
Unused subs: Martyn Mun (GK), Gautam Selvamany, Joshua De Souza, Aqil Yazid, Aidil Johari.
Geylang: Zainol Gulam (GK), Darren Teh (C), Faizal Roslan, Adam Hakeem, Harith Kanadi, Elijah Lim (Christopher Van Huizen 46’), Firdaus Kasman, Izzdin Shafiq, Nur Luqman Rahman (Iqram Rifqi 72’), Sylvano Comvalius, Matheus Moresche (Amy Recha 46’).
Unused subs: Hairul Syirhan (GK), Ilhan Noor, Azri Suhaili, Fareez Farhan.



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