Singapore Premier League • July 18, 2022
2022 Singapore Premier League Matchweek 16: Roundup
Shawal Anuar of Hougang United takes the ball away from Blake Ricciuto of Tanjong Pagar United, 17 July 2022
SINGAPORE, 18 JULY 2022 – The AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) title race is beginning to heat up after leaders Lion City Sailors dropped points for a second straight week, and Albirex Niigata (S) capitalised by dispatching Balestier Khalsa to close the gap to five points with a game in hand. Tanjong Pagar United stayed in third after holding Hougang United, while Tampines Rovers climbed up to fourth after demolishing Young Lions. We recap all the action below…
Sailors stifled again
Geylang 1-1 Sailors | Our Tampines Hub | 16 July
Šime Žužul pen. 43′ | Shahdan Sulaiman 45’+3
Once again, Geylang proved to be a tough nut for the Sailors to crack. After having a goal disallowed, the Eagles took the lead through Žužul’s penalty conversion before being pegged back by Shahdan’s long-range strike that took a deflection before going in. However, they held on for a deserved point against the champions.
- Sailors failed to win at OTH against Geylang for the second time this season – following a 1-0 defeat earlier in March.
- Sailors failed to win two straight league games for the first time since August 2021.
- Sailors scored two across their last two games after plundering 11 in their previous two outings.
- Geylang are now unbeaten in their last five SPL matches.
- Half out of Žužul’s eight league strikes this season have come via penalties.
- Six out of Shahdan’s last seven league goals have come from outside the box.
Geylang: Zaiful Nizam (GK) (C), Faizal Roslan, Abdil Qaiyyim, Rio Sakuma, Ahmad Syahir ((Ilhan Noor 82’), Joshua Pereira, Huzaifah Aziz, Hazzuwan Halim, Takahiro Tezuka, Khairul Hairie (Umar Akhbar 59’), Šime Žužul.
Unused subs: Zulfairuuz Rudy (GK), Danish Siregar, Badrul Amin, Kieran Teo, Danish Haziq, Furqan Raoff.
Sailors: Hassan Sunny (GK), Zulqarnaen Suzliman (Haiqal Pashia 64’), Hariss Harun (C), Pedro Henrique, Nur Adam Abdullah (Faris Ramli 90’+2), Shahdan Sulaiman, Diego Lopes, Hafiz Nor (Amirul Adli 76’), Song Uiyoung, Maxime Lestienne (Gabriel Quak 76’), Kim Shin-wook (M. Anumanthan 64’).
Unused subs: Izwan Mahbud (GK), Iqram Rifqi, Adam Swandi, Saifullah Akbar.
Ilhan steals show with treble
Albirex 4-1 Balestier | Jurong East | 16 July
Ilhan Fandi 11′, 22′, 65′, Kodai Tanaka 13′ | Shuhei Hoshino 43′
A spectacular overhead kick from Ilhan lit up the game and opened the floodgates for Albirex. Tanaka then produced a trademark header off Masaya Idetsu’s free-kick before Ilhan nodded in Jun Kobayashi’s flick-on, as the hosts opened up a three-goal lead within the first 22 minutes. Old boy Hoshino pulled one back for the Tigers through a deflected shot, but the night belonged to Ilhan as he ghosted in to nod home Idetsu’s deep cross to complete a memorable hat-trick and sealed the points.
- Balestier are now win-less against Albirex in the last 23 encounters in all competitions since October 2015.
- Balestier have now lost seven out of their last nine league matches.
- Balestier have now conceded 43 goals in 16 games – the league’s worst defence this season, having let in three more than Young Lions’ 40.
- Ilhan netted his first career hat-trick – he now has seven goals in his first six Albirex appearances and scored 20 career league goals at the age of 19 years and 250 days.
- Ilhan is the fifth player to score a hat-trick this season – he is the highest-ever scoring Singaporean in Albirex history, surpassing Adam Swandi’s three goals from 2018.
- Nine of Tanaka’s 15 goals this season have come via headers.
- Hoshino scored his 35th SPL goal.
- Idetsu’s two assists took him to nine for the season, two behind leader Maxime Lestienne (Sailors).
- Balestier’s Yann Weishaupt made his professional debut.
Albirex: Takahiro Koga (GK), Jun Kobayashi (C), Reo Kunimoto, Keito Hariya, Daichi Omori, Masaya Idetsu, Kumpei Kakuta (Mahiro Takahashi 88’), Kan Kobayashi, Masahiro Sugita (Tatsuya Sambongi 88’), Ilhan Fandi (Zamani Zamri 65’), Kodai Tanaka.
Unused subs: Hyrulnizam Juma’at (GK), Tsubasa Kawanishi, Nicky Melvin Singh, Fairoz Hasan, Yoshiki Matsuura, Kanato Fukazawa.
Balestier: Rudy Khairullah (GK), Aidil Johari, Madhu Mohana, Amer Hakeem (Keshav Kumar 85’), Darren Teh (Daniel Goh 74’), Ammirul Emmran (Aarish Kumar 88’), Ho Wai Loon (Asshukrie Wahid 88’), Akmal Azman, Ryoya Taniguchi, Yann Weishaupt (Delwinder Singh 74’), Shuhei Hoshino (C).
Unused subs: Hairul Syirhan (GK), Naufal Azman, Gareth Low, Ignatius Ang.
Five-stars Stags return to winning ways
Tampines 5-2 Young Lions | Our Tampines Hub | 17 July
Boris Kopitović 11’, Taufik Suparno 16’, 78’, Zehrudin Mehmedović 44’, Yasir Hanapi 58’ | Abdul Rasaq 36’, Zikos Chua 70’
The goals flowed here and it started with Kopitović sweeping in a clinical finish and Taufik slamming home a rebound to put Tampines two up, before Arshad teed up Rasaq to half the deficit. Mehmedović restored the Stags’ two-goal advantage after some nifty footwork and Yasir added a fourth with a shot from outside the area, before Young Lions pulled another one back through Chua’s header off Raoul Suhaimi’s cross. However, the home side went on to seal the win with Taufik tapping in Kopitović’s square pass.
- Tampines are now undefeated in the last 10 encounters since August 2018.
- Tampines won for the first time in four SPL matches, while Young Lions have lost their last five matches.
- Young Lions conceded for a 49th straight SPL match.
- Kopitović scored and assisted in the same match for a fifth time – the joint-most with Sailors’ Lestienne.
- Kopitović now has 10 career SPL assists.
- Mehmedović has equalled last season’s assist tally of eight.
- Taufik scored his second brace of the season and netted four in his last four outings against Young Lions – he has equalled his best-ever goal tally of six from 2021.
- Rasaq scored his first SPL goal since August 2019; his second ever career goal and first from open play.
- Raoul made his first career assist.
- Arshad made his first assist for Young Lions and his first assist since October 2020.
- Tampines’ Ethan Pinto made his SPL debut.
Tampines: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Andrew Aw (Christopher van Huizen 62’), Irfan Najeeb, Ryaan Sanizal, Amirul Haikal (Shuya Yamashita 46’), Kyoga Nakamura, Zehrudin Mehmedović (Ethan Pinto 62’), Taufik Suparno (Iman Hakim 79’), Yasir Hanapi (C) (Marc Ryan Tan 84’), Irwan Shah, Boris Kopitović.
Unused subs: Danial Iliya (GK), Shameer Aziq, Syed Firdaus Hassan, Adam Reefdy.
Young Lions: Dylan Pereira (GK), Jordan Emaviwe, Syabil Hisham (Raoul Suhaimi 46’), Syed Akmal (C), Danish Qayyum (Harhys Stewart 46’), Arshad Shamim, Jared Gallagher, Elijah Lim (Amir Syafiz 84’), Abdul Rasaq (Glenn Kweh 66’), Nor Hakim (Khairin Nadim 65’), Zikos Chua.
Unused subs: Ridhwan Fikri (GK), Danial Crichton, Irfan Iskandar, Ryu Hardy.
Tanjong Pagar 2-2 Hougang | Jurong East | 17 July
Raihan Rahman 6’, Reo Nishiguchi 38’ | Shawal Anuar 8’, Pedro Bortoluzo pen. 57’
Hougang had to come from behind twice here after Raihan had put the hosts ahead through a direct corner kick before Nishiguchi restored the lead by tapping in Blake Ricciuto’s header. First, Shawal took down Sahil Suhaimi’s lofted ball before bundling home and then Bortoluzo converted from the spot to help the Cheetahs claim a share of the spoils.
- Five out of the last six encounters have ended in draws, including all three in 2022 so far.
- Tanjong Pagar are unbeaten against Hougang in six matches since November 2020.
- Hougang are unbeaten in four matches since returning from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup.
- Tanjong Pagar have both scored six times and conceded six times in the opening 10 minutes this season – both league-leading tallies.
- Tanjong Pagar have scored five times from indirect free-kick situations – the most in the league.
- This is the first time in five matches this season where Tanjong Pagar have not taken all three points after leading at half-time.
- Tanjong Pagar conceded their first penalty goal of the season.
- Raihan is the first player to score directly from a corner since Ho Wai Loon for Warriors FC in April 2018 – also against Hougang.
- Raihan scored his first goal since July 2019 when he netted in Balestier’s 4-2 defeat to Tampines.
- Shawal scored in successive games for the first time since September 2019 when he scored in three straight matches for Geylang.
Tanjong Pagar: Zharfan Rohaizad (GK), Raihan Rahman, Emmeric Ong (Daniel Bennett 65’), Faritz Hameed (C), Akram Azman (Khairul Amri 65’), Rusyaidi Salime (Faizal Raffi 75’), Blake Ricciuto, Aqhari Abdullah, Mirko Šugić, Shodai Nishikawa, Reo Nishiguchi.
Unused subs: Fashah Iskandar (GK), Shahrin Saberin, Syukri Bashir, Khairul Nizam, Naufal Ilham.
Hougang: Mukundan Maran (GK), Nazrul Nazari (C), Anders Aplin, Lionel Tan, Jordan Vestering (Hafiz Sujad 73’), Zulfahmi Arifin (Shahfiq Ghani 43’, Fabian Kwok 87’), Kaishu Yamazaki, Shawal Anuar, Sahil Suhaimi (Amy Recha 73’), Kristijan Krajček, Pedro Bortoluzo.
Unused subs: Aizil Yazid (GK), Shahril Ishak, Muhaimin Suhaimi, Nazhiim Harman, Farhan Zulkifli.