News Singapore Premier League • May 11, 2021

2021 Singapore Premier League Round 9: Roundup


Shawal Anuar creates the match-winning goal for Hougang United against Balestier Khalsa, 9 May 2021


SINGAPORE, 11 MAY 2021 – With Tampines Rovers and Albirex Niigata (S) both dropping points, the chasing pack of Lion City Sailors and Hougang United took full advantage with narrow victories to stay in the AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) title race. We recap all the action below…


Nature forces match abandonment
Tanjong Pagar United vs Young Lions | Jurong East | 8 May

The game between the bottom two sides was abandoned after just over 60 minutes were played due to inclement weather. In accordance with league rules, it will be replayed in full at a later date to be announced. Read more here.


White Swans rue dropped points
Tampines 2-2 Albirex | Our Tampines Hub | 8 May
Boris Kopitović 53’, pen. 90’+5 | Kiyoshiro Tsuboi 34’, 49’

It looked like the White Swans were on the way to a fourth straight victory after the in-form Tsuboi nodded home Fikri Junaidi’s cross before converting an easy tap-in off Kazuki Hashioka’s low ball. However, Tampines had other ideas. Kopitović somehow eked out space in the box to fire home a left-footed effort before converting from the spot deep into injury time after Zehrudin Mehmedović was adjudged to be fouled to claim a dramatic share of the spoils.


Club news: Albirex Late Penalty Denies White Swan’s Victory



  • Albirex have now failed to win in their last four visits to Our Tampines Hub to face Tampines.
  • Tampines have now scored in 44 straight SPL matches.
  • Albirex have given up a two-goal lead to concede points on two occasions this season.
  • This is the first time that Tampines have scored and Albirex have conceded in injury time this season.
  • Tsuboi has scored eight goals in his last three outings.
  • Kopitović has already equalled his 2020 tally of nine goals – he is the first player to score a brace against Albirex this season and is also the last player to net two against the White Swans.
  • Hashioka has assisted Tsuboi three times – the most between a duo so far.
  • Fikri collected an assist on his Albirex debut.
  • Irwan Shah assisted Kopitović’s first goal – both of Irwan’s assists this season have been to him.


Tampines: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Irwan Shah, Madhu Mohana, Daniel Bennett, Ryaan Sanizal (Baihakki Khaizan 67’), Amirul Haikal (Armin Bošnjak 46’), Kyoga Nakamura, Zehrudin Mehmedović, Iman Hakim (Taufik Suparno 72’), Yasir Hanapi (C), Boris Kopitović.
Unused subs: Zulfairuuz Rudy (GK), Marc Ryan Tan, Fazrul Nawaz, Amir Mirza.
Albirex: Takahiro Koga (GK), Kazuki Hashioka (C), Shuya Yamashita, Reo Kunimoto, Yu Tokiwa, Takahiro Tezuka, Kosuke Chiku, Ryoya Taniguchi (Fumiya Suzuki 83’), Ong Yu En (Ryosuke Nagasawa 46’), Kiyoshiro Tsuboi, Fikri Junaidi (Kuraba Kondo 46’).
Unused subs: Hyrulnizam Juma’at (GK), Mahiro Takahashi, Yasuhiro Hanada, Nicky Melvin Singh.
Red card: Daniel Bennett (Tampines)


Cheetahs back on winning trail
Hougang 4-3 Balestier | Hougang | 9 May
Kaishu Yamazaki 9’, Lionel Tan 29’, Idraki Adnan 36’, Hafiz Sujad 88’| Šime Žužul 3’, Faizal Raffi 45’, Kristijan Krajček 72’

Going down to an early Žužul strike, Hougang rallied with Yamazaki scoring from outside the area before turning provider with a corner for captain Tan to head home. The impressive Idraki then showed great work in a tight space to extend the Cheetahs’ lead, but Faizal benefitted from a crafty set-piece routine to pull one back for the Tigers just before the break. The visitors then equalised through a superb individual effort by Krajček, but Clement Teo’s men came through with the three points late on when Hafiz thrashed home from close range after great work by substitute Shawal Anuar.



  • Hougang scored four times from nine attempts, while Balestier netted three from 23 attempts.
  • This is the second time Hougang have conceded the first goal and won this season – following up on the 4-1 victory over Geylang in March.
  • Hougang have already bettered their 2020 campaign – they are now on 17 points, with five wins and 22 goals scored; last year they only accumulated 15 points, with four wins and 19 goals scored.
  • Hougang have scored from the most corners (4), have the most goals from outside the box in open play (6), as well as the most goals scored (5) after the 80th minute.
  • Yamazaki’s goal was the first time Balestier conceded from outside the box this season – they were the only team not to have done so prior to the match.
  • Zaiful Nizam assisted Krajček’s goal – the first assist by a goalkeeper across all domestic competitions since Haimie Nyaring made one for Brunei DPMM in November 2019 in the Singapore Cup.
  • Krajček has now equalled his season-best tally of five goals in 2019.
  • Both of Tan’s goals this season have been assisted by Yamazaki.
  • Hafiz scored with his right foot for the first time since May 2019 in Hougang’s 3-2 defeat to Warriors FC.


Hougang: Ridhuan Barudin (GK), Muhaimin Suhaimi, Maksat Dzhakybaliev, Lionel Tan (C), Nazrul Nazari, Idraki Adnan (Shahfiq Ghani 71’), Kaishu Yamazaki, Hafiz Sujad, Kishson Philip (Shawal Anuar 46’), Naufal Azman (Shahril Ishak 81’), Tomoyuki Doi.
Unused subs: Mukundan Maran (GK), Anders Aplin, Faiz Salleh, Jarrel Ong.
Balestier: Zaiful Nizam (GK)(C), Aqil Yazid (Fadli Kamis 46’), Amer Hakeem, Ensar Brunčević, Gareth Low, Hazzuwan Halim, Faizal Raffi (Gautam Selvamany 82’), Kristijan Krajček, Puvan Raj (Ahmad Syahir 46’), Šime Žužul, Shuhei Hoshino.
Unused subs: Riki Kimura (GK), Hariysh Krishnakumar, Aravindhan Ramanathan, Aidil Johari.


Sailors come through tough test
Sailors 2-1 Geylang | Jalan Besar | 9 May
Stipe Plazibat 22’, Saifullah Akbar 57’ | Matheus Moresche 27’

Eager to exact revenge for an 8-0 drubbing in the last encounter, Geylang put up a gritty display with the in-form Moresche capitalising on a Hassan Sunny error to equalise after Plazibat had put the more-fancied Sailors in front with a superbly-struck volley from outside the area. However, their efforts would prove to be in vain as Saifullah rifled home a 25-yard stunner in the second half to give the Sailors all three points in Robin Chitrakar’s first match in interim charge.


Club news: Sailors Saifullah relieved after Sailors edge Geylang | Geylang – Eagles push Sailors hard



  • Geylang have now lost the last 13 encounters since a 4-1 win over the Sailors’ predecessor Home United in October 2016.
  • Geylang’s tally of seven points from nine matches is their worst start to a season since 2012 when they accumulated just six points from the same number of games.
  • The Sailors have gone six matches unbeaten in a season and won four straight games for the first time since their inception in 2020.
  • Plazibat has now scored 10 goals against Geylang since 2016.
  • Saifullah scored his first-ever SPL goal from outside the area – he has already equalled his season-best tally of three goals in 2019 with Young Lions.
  • Chitrakar oversaw his first league win as head coach since July 2012 when he led Young Lions to a 2-1 win over Warriors FC at the same stadium. Aqhari Abdullah is the only player to play under him for both matches – he scored a free-kick winner in that game.
  • Moresche is the first Geylang player to score in three straight matches since Shawal Anuar did in September 2019.
  • Geylang’s Sanders Saurajen and Ilhan Noor made their professional debuts – the latter is the first son to play for his father since Amer Hakeem did for Nazri Nasir at Young Lions in 2020.


Sailors: Hassan Sunny (GK)(C), Aniq Raushan (Aqhari Abdullah 69’), Amirul Adli, Jorge Fellipe, Naqiuddin Eunos, Shahdan Sulaiman, Diego Lopes, Saifullah Akbar, Gabriel Quak (Adam Swandi 90’), Stipe Plazibat, Haiqal Pashia (Faris Ramli 53’)
Unused subs: Rudy Khairullah (GK), Hafiz Nor, Song Uiyoung, Glenn Ong.
Geylang: Sanders Saurajen (GK), Ilhan Noor, Barry Maguire, Yuki Ichikawa (C), Darren Teh, Izzdin Shafiq, Firdaus Kasman, Elijah Lim (Christopher van Huizen 60’), Amy Recha, Matheus Moresche, Fareez Farhan (Azri Suhaili 77’).
Unused subs: Zainol Gulam (GK), Kenta Tan, Furqan Raoff, Kieran Teo.


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