News Singapore Premier League • May 3, 2021
2021 Singapore Premier League Round 8: Roundup
Diego Lopes celebrates his wondergoal for Lion City Sailors against Hougang United, 24 April 2021
SINGAPORE, 3 MAY 2021 – The frontrunners of Albirex Niigata (S) and Lion City Sailors continued their winning ways to remain as the top two of the AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL), while Tampines Rovers slipped further behind after being held by Tanjong Pagar United. Elsewhere Geylang International managed to end a six-game winless run as we recap all the action below…
Sailors exact revenge with golazo
Hougang 0-1 Sailors | Hougang | 24 April
Diego Lopes 69’
In a game that they dominated but were continually frustrated by a combination of some desperate defending, great goalkeeping and the woodwork, the Sailors eked out a win courtesy of a moment of brilliance from star signing Lopes. Receiving the ball from a Faris Ramli throw-in, the former Rio Ave midfielder produced an audacious volley from the edge of the area that arched over a bemused Ridhuan Barudin before nestling into the bottom right corner for an incredible match-winning strike.
Club news: Sailors – Hassan hails improved Sailors defence
- Hougang have collected just five points from their last four matches after starting the season with nine points from their first four. They have won just one out of their last four matches.
- The Sailors are unbeaten in five matches since the 3-1 loss to Hougang earlier in March – they have matched their longest unbeaten run in a season, from November 2020.
- The Sailors have scored in their last 20 SPL matches.
- The Sailors have conceded just three in their last four matches, after letting in seven in their first four.
- Sailors’ Hassan Sunny is now on three clean sheets – one away from matching his 2020 tally.
- Hougang’s Afiq Noor made his first start and Nazrul Nazari made his first appearance since the 1-0 loss to Albirex on the final day of last season.
- Sailors’ Song Uiyoung is the first substitute to be substituted off this season.
- This was the only match in Round 8 without a penalty awarded.
Hougang: Ridhuan Barudin (GK), Farhan Zulkifli, Maksat Dzhakybaliev, Lionel Tan, Anders Aplin, Afiq Noor, Fabian Kwok (C) (Shahril Ishak 46’), Idraki Adnan (Tomoyuki Doi 74’), Kaishu Yamazaki, Naufal Azman (Nazrul Nazari 58’), Khairul Nizam.
Unused subs: Mukundan Maran (GK), Hafiz Sujad, Faiz Salleh, Kishson Philip.
Sailors: Hassan Sunny (GK)(C), Aniq Raushan, Amirul Adli, Jorge Fellipe, Naqiuddin Eunos, Shahdan Sulaiman, Glenn Ong (Song Uiyoung 46’ (Adam Swandi 77’)), Gabriel Quak, Diego Lopes, Saifullah Akbar (Faris Ramli 64’), Stipe Plazibat.
Unused subs: Rudy Khairullah (GK), Tajeli Salamat, Aqhari Abdullah, Hafiz Nor.
Stags frustrated by gritty Jaguars
Tanjong Pagar 2-2 Tampines | Jurong East | 24 April
Reo Nishiguchi 20’, Luiz Junior pen. 60’ | Armin Bošnjak 38’, Daniel Bennett 45’+3
Reeling from a 6-0 thrashing by Albirex the last time out, Tanjong Pagar were determined to make amends and they took a shock lead when Nishiguchi calmly finished off Blake Ricciuto’s through ball. Tampines rallied through Bošnjak, who fired home after a neat one-two with Zehrudin Mehmedović, before Bennett then put them ahead with a header off Yasir Hanapi’s inswinging corner. However, the veteran defender was then penalised for a handball, which allowed Luiz to score from the spot and secure a point for the Jaguars.
- Both sides also drew 2-2 in the corresponding fixture in November 2020.
- Tanjong Pagar have already matched last season’s tally of five points after eight rounds played.
- Tampines have conceded two goals in each of their last three outings.
- Tampines have now scored in their last 42 SPL matches.
- Bošnjak scored his first SPL goal.
- Bennett scored his first goal since September 2018 when he netted in Tampines’ 2-1 away defeat to Brunei DPMM – at 43 years and 97 days, he is the second-oldest player to score in SPL history after Aleksandar Duric in May 2014 at 43 years and 284 days.
- Luiz scored against Tampines for a third straight encounter.
- Mehmedović has five assists for the season – his best return since signing for Tampines in 2019.
Tanjong Pagar: Fashah Iskandar (GK), Shahrin Saberin, Delwinder Singh, Faritz Hameed (C), Rusyaidi Salime, Blake Ricciuto, Shodai Nishikawa, Naufal Ilham (Ammirul Emmran 73’), Anaqi Ismit (Luiz Junior 46’), Khairul Amri (Suhairi Sabri 63’), Reo Nishiguchi.
Unused subs: Hariz Farid (GK), Emmeric Ong, Raihan Rahman, Elfy Danish.
Tampines: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Irfan Najeeb, Madhu Mohana, Daniel Bennett, Amirul Haikal (Irwan Shah 46’), Kyoga Nakamura, Zehrudin Mehmedović, Iman Hakim (Taufik Suparno 68’), Yasir Hanapi (C), Armin Bošnjak, Boris Kopitović.
Unused subs: Zulfairuuz Rudy (GK), Ryaan Sanizal, Baihakki Khaizan, Marc Ryan Tan, Fazrul Nawaz.
Tsuboi pulls out the tricks again for champions
Balestier 1-4 Albirex | Toa Payoh | 25 April
Šime Žužul 57’ | Kiyoshiro Tsuboi pen. 27’, 47’, 87’ Kuraba Kondo 53’
It took a while for Albirex to break down Balestier but they eventually swept to a convincing win after the deadlock was broke via Tsuboi’s penalty. The 21-year-old struck again after the break with a superb volley on the turn, before super-sub Kondo escaped two defenders to put the White Swans three up. Žužul did pull one back for the Tigers shortly after, but there was no stopping the champions from yet another victory as Tsuboi steered home Ryoya Taniguchi’s teasing cross to complete a second hat-trick in as many matches.
Club news: Albirex – Tsuboi’s 2nd Consecutive Hattrick Sinks Tigers
- Albirex remain the only unbeaten side this season.
- Albirex have struck 10 goals in their last two matches after accumulating 11 in their first six.
- Balestier have suffered two straight 4-1 losses.
- Balestier have now failed to defeat Albirex in their last 19 encounters in all competitions.
- Tsuboi is the first player to score hat-tricks in successive games since Tsubasa Sano did for the White Swans in 2017.
- Kondo has scored for a third straight outing – all four of his goals so far have come as a substitute.
- Albirex got their first penalty of the season – they were the only team apart from the Young Lions without one prior to this.
Balestier: Zaiful Nizam (GK)(C), Fadli Kamis, Amer Hakeem, Ensar Brunčević, Gareth Low, Aarish Kumar (Hariysh Krishnakumar 73’), Faizal Raffi (Gautam Selvamany 84’), Hazzuwan Halim, Kristijan Krajček, Puvan Raj (Shuhei Hoshino 55’), Šime Žužul.
Unused subs: Riki Kimura (GK), Martyn Mun (GK), Aqil Yazid, Aidil Johari.
Albirex: Takahiro Koga (GK), Kazuki Hashioka (C), Shuya Yamashita, Reo Kunimoto, Yu Tokiwa (Tsubasa Kawanishi 90’+1), Takahiro Tezuka, Kosuke Chiku, Ryoya Taniguchi, Ong Yu En (Yasuhiro Hanada 82’), Kiyoshiro Tsuboi, Nicky Melvin Singh (Kuraba Kondo 46’).
Unused subs: Hyrulnizam Juma’at (GK), Mahiro Takahashi, Fairoz Hasan, Kohga Tsuruhara.
Eagles rediscover winning formula
Young Lions 2-4 Geylang | Jalan Besar | 25 April
Hami Syahin pen. 14’, Syed Akmal 77’ | Faizal Roslan 10’, Amy Recha 53’, Matheus Moresche 58’, 90’+1
In a battle between two out-of-form sides, Geylang went ahead early through Faizal’s header off Harith Kanadi’s corner, but were pegged back almost immediately by Hami Syahin’s penalty. The Eagles then went ahead with two quick goals as Amy clinically finished off Barry Maguire’s through ball before Moresche showed his predatory instincts to finish off a loose ball. The home side did grab a lifeline through Syed, but Noor Ali’s men sealed a much-needed victory late on with Moresche scoring off a rebound to complete his brace.
Club news: Geylang – Eagles back on winning trail
- Geylang ended a six-match win-less streak – their worst run of form since September 2018.
- Young Lions remain the only side without a win this season.
- Young Lions have now conceded in each of their last 23 SPL matches.
- This is the first time Geylang have started all four foreigners this season.
- Young Lions got their first penalty of the season – they were the only team apart from Albirex without one prior to this.
- Faizal scored his first goal since June 2019 when he netted a 40-yard equaliser in Home United’s 4-4 draw with Warriors FC.
- With three goals, Amy has now surpassed last season’s tally of two.
- Moresche has netted three braces this season.
- Syed scored his first SPL goal.
- Maguire is the first Geylang player to make more than one assist in a game since September 2019 when Shawal Anuar made three in a 4-3 win over Warriors.
- Alif Iskandar made his first start for Young Lions, while Nazhiim Harman made his first appearance for the club since October 2018 when he started in a 3-1 away defeat to DPMM.
Young Lions: Dylan Pereira (GK), Ryhan Stewart, Syed Akmal, Alif Iskandar (Nazhiim Harman 64’), Zulqarnaen Suzliman (C), Harhys Stewart, Joel Chew (Danish Qayyum 84’), Amir Syafiz, Hami Syahin, Khairin Nadim, Ilhan Fandi (Glenn Kweh 60’).
Unused subs: Ridhwan Fikri (GK), Daniel Goh, Nor Hakim, Raoul Suhaimi.
Geylang: Wayne Chew (GK), Darren Teh, Faizal Roslan, Yuki Ichikawa (C), Harith Kanadi (Iqram Rifqi 90’+3), Elijah Lim (Izzdin Shafiq 57’), Firdaus Kasman, Barry Maguire, Amy Recha, Sylvano Comvalius (Fareez Farhan 46’), Matheus Moresche.
Unused subs: Zainol Gulam (GK), Ilhan Noor, Azri Suhaili, Kieran Teo.
Nakamura stunner lights up Jalan Besar
Young Lions 0-4 Tampines | Jalan Besar | 2 May
Zehrudin Mehmedović 3′, Irwan Shah 19′, Kyoga Nakamura 42′, Taufik Suparno 80′
Japanese star Nakamura hit a superb chip from 45 yards in the pick of the four goals by the visitors in this rearranged fixture, which was largely a one-sided affair. The Stags got off to a flyer through Mehmedović, who had the simple task of slotting into an empty goal after Marc Ryan Tan’s header came off the post. Irwan’s powerful header finished off Madhu’s pinpoint cross to double the lead before Nakamura’s outrageous effort lit up the match as the midfielder spotted Dylan Pereira off his line and floated an audacious effort over his head into the right corner. Ilhan Fandi had a penalty shout waved away and Jacob Mahler threatened with two attempts after coming on at half-time, but the Young Lions couldn’t find a consolation and instead conceded towards the end. Nakamura’s ball over the top was met by Taufik Suparno with an acrobatic first-time volley into the top left corner to round off the rout.
- Young Lions remain the only side without a win this season.
- Young Lions have now conceded in each of their last 24 SPL matches.
- Glenn Kweh made his first professional start.
- Tampines have now scored in each of their last 43 SPL matches.
- Taufik scored for the third time this season after coming on as a substitute; only Albirex Niigata (S)’s Kuraba Kondo has scored more (4).
- Taufik has returned his best goal tally for a season already, with four goals; his previous best was three (2019 and 2020).
- Irwan scored his fifth league goal for Tampines and his ninth career SPL goal.
Young Lions: Dylan Pereira (GK), Zulqarnaen Suzliman, Syed Akmal, Syahrul Sazali (C), Ryhan Stewart, Harhys Stewart, Hami Syahin, Danish Qayyum, Joel Chew (Khairin Nadim 83′), Glenn Kweh (Jacob Mahler 46′), Ilhan Fandi (Nor Hakim Redzuan 89′).
Unused subs: Nurshafiq Zaini (GK), Nazhiim Harmann, Amir Syafiz, Alif Iskandar.
Tampines: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Madhu Mohana, Baihakki Khaizan, Ryaan Sanizal (Andrew Aw 75′), Irwan Shah, Kyoga Nakamura, Zehrudin Mehmedović, Marc Ryan Tan (Taufik Suparno 64′), Iman Hakim (Boris Kopitović 61′), Yasir Hanapi (C), Armin Bošnjak.
Unused subs: Zulfairuuz Rudy (GK), Amirul Haikal, Daniel Bennett, Fazrul Nawaz.