Singapore Premier League • July 14, 2022
2022 Singapore Premier League Matchweek 15: Roundup
Aqhari Abdullah in action for Tanjong Pagar United, 8 July 2022
SINGAPORE, 14 JULY 2022 – The frontrunners dropped points in the AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL), with Albirex Niigata (S) defeated by Tanjong Pagar United but the Lion City Sailors were unable to take full advantage after being held by Hougang United. The Cheetahs then capped off a good week by defeating Tampines Rovers – who were held by Balestier Khalsa over the weekend – to climb to fourth. We recap all the action below…
Jaguars trip up Swans again
Albirex 1-2 Tanjong Pagar | Jurong East | 8 July
Ilhan Fandi 8′ | Reo Nishiguchi 90’+1, Khairul Nizam 90’+3
Albirex thought they have done enough to earn three points through Ilhan Fandi’s unerring first-half finish, but Tanjong Pagar had other ideas. In added time, Nishiguchi deftly hooked in Raihan Rahman’s corner from a tight angle for the equaliser, before setting up Nizam to round Takahiro Koga for the winner to cap off a stunning comeback.
- Tanjong Pagar are the first team to overturn a one-goal deficit and win with goals in added time since Tampines came from 2-1 down against Harimau Muda B to win 3-2 in March 2014.
- Both of Albirex’s defeats this season have come against Tanjong Pagar – in fact, the White Swans’ three losses in their last 22 league games have come against the Jaguars.
- Albirex lost after leading at half-time and scoring first for the first time in 28 and 36 games respectively – the last time this happened was a 4-1 defeat to Tampines in November 2020 when they led 1-0 at half-time.
- Tanjong Pagar have already exceeded last season’s tally of 22 points from 21 matches – they have 25 points from 15 games so far in 2022.
- Nishiguchi has now scored in each of his last five appearances against Albirex, tallying six goals.
- Ilhan now has four goals in five appearances for Albirex.
Albirex: Takahiro Koga (GK), Jun Kobayashi (C), Reo Kunimoto, Keito Hariya, Daichi Omori, Masaya Idetsu, Kumpei Kakuta, Kan Kobayashi, Masahiro Sugita (Yoshiki Matsuura 86’), Ilhan Fandi (Zamani Zamri 72’), Kodai Tanaka.
Unused subs: Hyrulnizam Juma’at (GK), Tatsuya Sambongi, Mahiro Takahashi, Tsubasa Kawanishi, Fairoz Hasan, Shota Ochiai, Kanato Fukazawa.
Tanjong Pagar: Zharfan Rohaizad (GK), Raihan Rahman, Emmeric Ong (Akram Azman 57’), Faritz Hameed (C), Shodai Nishikawa (Faizal Raffi 82’), Fathullah Rahmat, Blake Ricciuto, Aqhari Abdullah, Mirko Šugić, Reo Nishiguchi, Syukri Bashir (Khairul Nizam 82’).
Unused subs: Fashah Iskandar (GK), Shahrin Saberin, Faizal Raffi, Daniel Bennett, Naufal Ilham, Khairul Amri.
Three in a row for resurgent Eagles
Young Lions 0-2 Geylang | Jalan Besar | 8 July
Šime Žužul pen. 71′, Tajeli Salamat 89′
After seeing a goal disallowed in the first half, Geylang kept plugging away and broke the deadlock through Žužul’s penalty conversion after Vincent Bezecourt was brought down in the box. Loan signing Tajeli then sealed the three points by squeezing one in at the near post after a lung-bursting run down the right.
- Geylang won three straight games for the first time since September 2019 and two straight away matches for the first time since August 2019.
- Geylang kept three straight clean sheets for the first time since September 2017.
- That was Geylang’s fifth clean sheet of the season – they have the second-most shutouts, one behind Sailors with six.
- Young Lions conceded for a 48th straight SPL match.
- Young Lions have lost their last four matches and are win-less in their last seven.
- Žužul also scored a 71st-minute penalty in Geylang’s 4-1 defeat against Young Lions at this venue in April 2022.
- Tajeli scored his first goal since November 2020 in Sailors’ 3-2 defeat to Albirex.
Young Lions: Dylan Pereira (GK), Harhys Stewart, Syed Akmal, Syahrul Sazali (Abdul Rasaq 83’), Danish Qayyum (Harith Kanadi 81’), Arshad Shamim, Shah Shahiran (C), Joel Chew (Nor Hakim 81’), Jared Gallagher, Jordan Emaviwe, Zikos Chua (Glenn Kweh 61’).
Unused subs: Ridhwan Fikri (GK), Syabil Hisham, Abdul Rasaq, Moritz Faizal Radewaldt.
Geylang: Zaiful Nizam (GK) (C), Ilhan Noor (Ahmad Syahir 54’), Rio Sakuma, Faizal Roslan, Tajeli Salamat, Joshua Pereira, Takahiro Tezuka, Huzaifah Aziz, Hazzuwan Halim (Umar Akhbar 85’), Vincent Bezecourt, Šime Žužul (Abdil Qaiyyim 90’+4).
Unused subs: Hafiz Ahmad (GK), Khairul Hairie, Danish Siregar, Azri Suhaili, Furqan Raoff, Ariffin Noor.
Stags rescue valuable point
Balestier 2-2 Tampines | Toa Payoh | 9 July
Ignatius Ang 7′, Shuhei Hoshino 39′ | Boris Kopitović 52′, Taufik Suparno 63′
Balestier were well in the driving seat at half-time after Ang swivelling to thrash home a right-footed belter before Hoshino lashed one in from outside the area. However, Tampines rallied after the break, with Kopitović collecting Zehrudin Mehmedović’s through pass to pull one back before teeing up Taufik to rescue a point for the away side.
- Both encounters at Toa Payoh this season have ended in 2-2 draws – Balestier came back from a two-goal deficit at half-time to draw in February, before Tampines did so on this occasion.
- Tampines have won just one of their six away matches this season.
- Ang scored his first SPL goal since July 2019 when he netted for Warriors FC in a 3-3 draw with Balestier.
- Hoshino has scored eight goals this season – more than the combined total (seven) he scored for the Tigers in 2020 and 2021.
- Taufik has scored in his last three away starts against Balestier – that was also his 20th career SPL goal.
- Kopitović has now scored nine goals in nine appearances against Balestier since his arrival in 2020.
- Kopitović equalled his 16-goal tally from last season in eight fewer matches (13 vs 21).
Balestier: Rudy Khairullah (GK), Aidil Johari, Madhu Mohana, Amer Hakeem (Delwinder Singh 75’), Darren Teh (Daniel Goh 90’+1), Ammirul Emmran, Ignatius Ang (Ensar Brunčević 63’), Ho Wai Loon, Ryoya Taniguchi, Kuraba Kondo, Shuhei Hoshino (C).
Unused subs: Hairul Syirhan (GK), Aarish Kumar, Naufal Azman, Asshukrie Wahid, Puvan Raj, Ryan Praveen.
Tampines: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Irfan Najeeb, Shuya Yamashita, Ryaan Sanizal, Andrew Aw (Shameer Aziq 61’), Kyoga Nakamura, Zehrudin Mehmedović, Taufik Suparno, Yasir Hanapi (C) (Firdaus Kasman 80’), Irwan Shah (Christopher van Huizen 61’), Boris Kopitović.
Unused subs: Danial Iliya (GK), Iman Hakim, Amirul Haikal, Marc Ryan Tan, Syed Firdaus Hassan, Adam Reefdy.
Resolute Cheetahs hold Sailors
Sailors 1-1 Hougang | Jalan Besar | 9 July
Song Uiyoung 71′ | Kristijan Krajček 66′
The contest lit up after a tight first half, with Krajček benefitting from Shawal Anuar’s cut-back to put the finishing touch to a great team move. That stung Sailors into a response and substitutes Haiqal Pashia and Song combined to devastating effect, as the latter slickly converted to save a point for the defending champions.
- The Sailors kept up their record of scoring at least a goal in every home league match since their 2020 inception.
- Three of the last six times that Sailors have dropped points at home have come against Hougang – the other three are against Albirex.
- Song scored his first goal against Hougang since netting for Home United in a 2-1 away win back in September 2018.
Sailors: Hassan Sunny (GK), Hafiz Nor (Haiqal Pashia 67’), Amirul Adli (Saifullah Akbar 85’), Pedro Henrique, Nur Adam Abdullah, Hariss Harun (C), Shahdan Sulaiman, Gabriel Quak (Zulqarnaen Suzliman 55’), Diego Lopes, Maxime Lestienne, Kim Shin-wook (Song Uiyoung 67’).
Unused subs: Izwan Mahbud (GK), M. Anumanthan, Iqram Rifqi, Adam Swandi, Bill Mamadou.
Hougang: Mukundan Maran (GK), Nazrul Nazari (C), Anders Aplin, Lionel Tan, Jordan Vestering (Hafiz Sujad 83’), Zulfahmi Arifin (Shahfiq Ghani 83’), Kaishu Yamazaki, Shawal Anuar (Farhan Zulkifli 83’), Sahil Suhaimi (Amy Recha 75’), Kristijan Krajček, Pedro Bortoluzo.
Unused subs: Aizil Yazid (GK), Fabian Kwok, Idraki Adnan, Muhaimin Suhaimi, Amir Zalani.
Cheetahs continue ascendancy
Hougang 4-2 Tampines | Hougang | 13 July
Pedro Bortoluzo pen. 11′, 37′, 67′, Shawal Anuar 90′ | Kyoga Nakamura 28′, Boris Kopitovic 57′
Tampines came from behind twice to draw level here with Nakamura first prodding in Zehrudin Mehmedović’s cross to cancel out Bortoluzo’s penalty opener, before Kopitović curled home a free-kick to restore parity following Bortuluzo’s clinical second. However, Hougang forged on to claim the points, with Bortoluzo nodding home Zulfahmi Arifin’s free-kick to complete his hat-trick before Shawal sealed the deal from close range on the stroke of full time.
- There have been at least five goals scored in each of the last five encounters.
- Hougang have now won their last three home matches against the Stags.
- Fourteen of Hougang’s 20 points this season have come at home.
- Tampines have now won just one out of their last eight games in all competitions.
- The most recent three hat-tricks by a Hougang player have all come against Tampines – before Bortoluzo, Tomoyuki Doi did it twice against the Stags in 2021.
- Bortoluzo is the first Brazilian to ever score a hat-trick for Hougang.
- Shawal scored his 40th career SPL goal.
- Kopitović scored his fourth free-kick of the season – no one has more.
- Kopitović has reached his best-ever goal tally in a SPL season – 17.
Hougang: Mukundan Maran (GK), Nazrul Nazari (C), Anders Aplin, Lionel Tan, Jordan Vestering (Hafiz Sujad 90’+2), Zulfahmi Arifin (Fabian Kwok 87’), Kaishu Yamazaki, Amy Recha (Muhaimin Suhaimi 90’+2), Sahil Suhaimi (Shawal Anuar 66’), Kristijan Krajček, Pedro Bortoluzo (Shahril Ishak 87’).
Unused subs: Aizil Yazid (GK), Shahfiq Ghani, Idraki Adnan, Farhan Zulkifli.
Tampines: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Irfan Najeeb, Adam Reedfy (Taufik Suparno 73’), Ryaan Sanizal, Amirul Haikal (Andrew Aw 64’), Kyoga Nakamura, Zehrudin Mehmedović, Firdaus Kasman (Syed Firdaus Hassan 87’), Yasir Hanapi (C) (Shameer Aziq 87’), Christopher van Huizen (Irwan Shah 73’), Boris Kopitović.
Unused subs: Danial Iliya (GK), Iman Hakim, Marc Ryan Tan, Ethan Pinto.