Singapore Premier League • June 30, 2022
2022 Singapore Premier League Matchweek 13: Roundup
Albirex Niigata (S) celebrate after beating Lion City Sailors, 24 June 2022
SINGAPORE, 30 JUNE 2022 – Albirex Niigata (S) reaffirmed their title credentials as they edged Lion City Sailors in a top-of-the-table clash, although the latter did bounce back with an emphatic win over Young Lions in the following midweek to restore their six-point lead at the top of the AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL). Elsewhere, Balestier Khalsa and Geylang International ended their recent torrid runs of form with narrow wins over the Young Lions and Tanjong Pagar United. We recap all the action below…
White Swans throw down gauntlet
Sailors 1-2 Albirex | Jalan Besar | 24 June
Kim Shin Wook 42′ | Masaya Idetsu 45′, Kodai Tanaka 54′
Kim nodded in Shahdan Sulaiman’s outswinging corner to put the Sailors ahead, but Albirex restored parity just before the break when Idetsu’s wicked free-kick sailed past everyone. Tanaka then belted home a stunning volley from a tight angle for what proved to be the eventual winner for the White Swans in a pulsating affair.
- Albirex remain the only team that the Sailors have failed to beat since their 2020 inception, with a record of four draws and three defeats.
- The Sailors lost for the first time in 15 home league matches.
- Albirex won five straight games for the first time since November 2020 and are undefeated in their last 11, while the Sailors saw their club-record run of seven straight wins and a nine-game unbeaten league streak ended.
- Kim scored his 10th SPL goal.
- All three of Shahdan’s assists this season have been for Kim – all through set pieces (two corners and one free-kick).
- Tanaka has now scored against every team this season; he is the first player to achieve this feat since Stipe Plazibat for the Sailors last year*.
- Tanaka is now tied with Tampines’ Boris Kopitović on 13 goals at the top of the scoring chart.
- Ilhan Fandi is the first Singaporean to play the full 90 minutes for Albirex since Ong Yu En did so in May 2021 in a 2-1 win over Young Lions.
Sailors: Hassan Sunny (GK), Hafiz Nor, Hariss Harun (C), Pedro Henrique, Nur Adam Abdullah (Iqram Rifqi 60’), Shahdan Sulaiman (Amirul Adli 78’), Diego Lopes, Haiqal Pashia (Faris Ramli 46’), Song Uiyoung (M. Anumanthan 60’), Maxime Lestienne (Gabriel Quak 84’), Kim Shin-wook.
Unused subs: Izwan Mahbud (GK), Hami Syahin, Adam Swandi, Saifullah Akbar.
Albirex: Takahiro Koga (GK), Jun Kobayashi (C), Keito Hariya, Daichi Omori, Masaya Idetsu, Kumpei Kakuta, Kan Kobayashi (Mahiro Takahashi 90’+4), Zamani Zamri (Reo Kunimoto 84’), Masahiro Sugita (Tatsuya Sambongi 77’), Ilhan Fandi, Kodai Tanaka (Kanato Fukazawa 79’).
Unused subs: Hyrulnizam Juma’at (GK), Tsubasa Kawanishi, Nicky Melvin Singh, Fairoz Hasan, Yoshiki Matsuura.
Tigers squeak past Young Lions
Young Lions 0-1 Balestier | Jalan Besar | 25 June
Ryoya Taniguchi 68′
Having had to play the majority of the game with a man less due to Danish Qayyum’s dismissal for a professional foul, the Young Lions battled hard and struck the woodwork twice but eventually went down to a narrow defeat. It was sweet joy for Balestier, who grabbed the sole goal through Taniguchi’s fine finish off Naufal Azman’s lofted pass to end a five-game losing streak.
- Balestier have won the last two encounters after failing to do so in the preceding four meetings.
- Balestier won for the first time in six matches, while Young Lions’ win-less streak extended to four games.
- Young Lions conceded for a 45th straight SPL match.
- Taniguchi has been involved in three match-winners this season (one goal and two assists) – the most of any player.
- Naufal made his first career assist.
- Balestier’s Hairul Syirhan kept his first clean sheet in 17 matches – his last shutout came in November 2020.
- Balestier’s Amer Hakeem made his first start since October 2021 in a 4-1 defeat to Sailors.
Young Lions: Ridhwan Fikri (GK), Harhys Stewart, Syed Akmal, Danish Qayyum, Harith Kanadi (Syabil Hisham 70’), Shah Shahiran (C), Joel Chew, Jared Gallagher, Glenn Kweh, Abdul Rasaq (Zikos Chua 90’), Nor Hakim (Arshad Shamim 38’).
Unused subs: Dylan Pereira (GK), Putra Anugerah (GK), Elijah Lim.
Balestier: Hairul Syirhan (GK), Darren Teh, Madhu Mohana (Delwinder Singh 90’), Ensar Brunčević, Amer Hakeem (Daniel Goh 64’), Aidil Johari (Naufal Azman 64’), Gareth Low (Akmal Azman 46’), Kuraba Kondo, Ryoya Taniguchi, Ignatius Ang (Ammirul Emmran 75’), Shuhei Hoshino (C).
Unused subs: Rudy Khairullah (GK), Aarish Kumar, Asshukrie Wahid, Ho Wai Loon.
Red Card: Danish Qayyum (Young Lions) 35’
Relief for Eagles
Geylang 1-0 Tanjong Pagar | Our Tampines Hub | 26 June
Vincent Bezecourt 5′
Geylang ended a 11-match winless run, with Bezecourt netting a cheeky lob from 25 yards out early on after closing down Faritz Hameed in possession. Tanjong Pagar’s Zharfan Rohaizad pulled off a series of fine saves in a Man-of-the-Match display, but the Eagles held on for the much-needed three points.
- Geylang won for the first time in 11 SPL matches.
- Seven out of Geylang’s 10 points so far have come at home, including the two wins to date.
- Tanjong Pagar’s win-less away streak extended to four matches.
- Bezecourt has scored the match-winner in both of Geylang’s victories this season – both from outside the box within the first 10 minutes.
- Geylang’s Umar Akhbar made his first start since September 2021 in a 3-0 defeat to Sailors.
Geylang: Zaiful Nizam (GK) (C), Faizal Roslan, Rio Sakuma, Joshua Pereira, Tajeli Salamat, Huzaifah Aziz, Takahiro Tezuka, Umar Akhbar (Hazzuwan Halim 82’), Ilhan Noor (Ahmad Syahir 65’), Vincent Bezecourt, Šime Žužul.
Unused subs: Zulfairuuz Rudy (GK), Hafiz Ahmad (GK), Danish Siregar, Furqan Raoff.
Tanjong Pagar: Zharfan Rohaizad (GK), Emmeric Ong (Syukri Bashir 89’), Raihan Rahman, Faritz Hameed (C), Akram Azman (Khairul Amri 46’), Fathullah Rahmat (Rusyaidi Salime 46’), Blake Ricciuto, Aqhari Abdullah, Mirko Šugić, Shodai Nishikawa, Reo Nishiguchi.
Unused subs: Fashah Iskandar (GK), Faizal Raffi, Daniel Bennett, Naufal Ilham, Hadiputradila Saswadimata.
Sailors cruise back to winning ways
Sailors 5-1 Young Lions | Jalan Besar | 29 June
Song Uiyoung 11′, Shahdan Sulaiman 14′, Hafiz Nor 45′, Kim Shin Wook pen. 56′, Maxime Lestienne 66′ | Glenn Kweh 78′
Song prodded in Lestienne’s inswinging corner before Shahdan curled home a trademark free-kick to put the Sailors two up early on. Hafiz then scored the third in fortuitous circumstances, before the reigning champions went 4-0 up with Kim converting from the spot. Lestienne then lashed home the Sailors’ fifth, before Kweh squeezed one past Hassan Sunny for a late Young Lions consolation.
- The Sailors have scored at least four goals in six of their last nine league matches.
- Young Lions conceded for a 46th straight SPL match and are now win-less in their last five league matches.
- Five of Shahdan’s last six SPL goals have come from outside the area.
- Lestienne scored and assisted in the same match for a fourth time – the most by any player this season.
- Kweh scored his first goal of the season, while Elijah Lim made his Young Lions debut.
Sailors: Hassan Sunny (GK), Hafiz Nor, Hariss Harun (C), Pedro Henrique, Iqram Rifqi, Shahdan Sulaiman (Gabriel Quak 70’), Diego Lopes (Adam Swandi 70’), Saifullah Akbar (Amirul Adli 56’), Song Uiyoung (M. Anumanthan 86’), Maxime Lestienne (Hami Syahin 70’), Kim Shin-wook.
Unused subs: Izwan Mahbud (GK), Haiqal Pashia, Faris Ramli, Bill Mamadou.
Young Lions: Ridhwan Fikri (GK), Syed Akmal, Harhys Stewart, Syahrul Sazali, Arshad Shamim (Syabil Hisham 87’), Jared Gallagher, Shah Shahiran (C), Harith Kanadi (Rezza Rezky 46’), Abdul Rasaq (Jordan Emaviwe 65’), Nor Hakim (Joel Chew 46’), Glenn Kweh (Elijah Lim 83’).
Unused subs: Dylan Pereira (GK), Putra Anugerah (GK).
*An earlier version incorrectly indicated Rafael Ramazotti in 2016; we apologise for the error.