Singapore Premier League • July 26, 2022
2022 Singapore Premier League Matchweek 17: Roundup
Diego Lopes of Lion City Sailors and Irfan Najeeb of Tampines Rovers, 23 July 2022
SINGAPORE, 26 JULY 2022 – It was yet another dramatic week in the AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) as Albirex Niigata (S) thumped the Young Lions to temporarily close the gap, before champions Lion City Sailors claimed a dramatic late win over Tampines Rovers to restore their five-point lead. Meanwhile Tanjong Pagar United and Geylang International continued their fine recent form with wins over Balestier Khalsa and Hougang United as the race for Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup qualification heats up. We recap all the action below…
Rejuvenated Eagles continue ascendancy
Hougang 1-2 Geylang | Hougang | 22 July
Pedro Bortoluzo 34′ | Vincent Bezecourt 76′, Šime Žužul 88′
Bortulozo produced a deft finish off Kristijan Krajček’s low cross to put Hougang ahead, but Bezecourt’s introduction after half-time made all the difference for Geylang. First, the Frenchman curled home from the edge of the box to restore parity before teeing up Žužul to tap in and complete a memorable comeback win.
- Geylang defeated Hougang for the first time in six encounters since November 2020.
- Geylang claimed their first win at Hougang since March 2020 in a similar scoreline; Joshua Pereira is the current Eagles player that was involved in both victories.
- Geylang have gone unbeaten in six league matches in a single season for the first time since 2016.
- Geylang are now just two points off fourth-placed Tampines.
- Krajček assisted Bortoluzo for a third time this season.
- Bortoluzo has now scored in three straight SPL matches.
- All three of Bezecourt’s goals this season have come from outside the box.
Hougang: Mukundan Maran (GK), Nazrul Nazari, Anders Aplin, Lionel Tan, Jordan Vestering (Hafiz Sujad 79’), Fabian Kwok (C) (Afiq Noor 65’), Kaishu Yamazaki (Sahil Suhaimi 87’), Shawal Anuar, Amy Recha (Farhan Zulkifli 79’), Kristijan Krajček, Pedro Bortoluzo.
Unused subs: Aizil Yazid (GK), Shahfiq Ghani, Shahril Ishak, Muhaimin Suhaimi, Nazhiim Harman.
Geylang: Zaiful Nizam (GK) (C), Tajeli Salamat, Faizal Roslan, Rio Sakuma, Ahmad Syahir, Joshua Pereira, Huzaifah Aziz (Abdil Qaiyyim 69’), Hazzuwan Halim, Takahiro Tezuka, Khairul Hairie (Vincent Bezecourt 46’), Šime Žužul.
Unused subs: Zulfairuuz Rudy (GK), Ilhan Noor, Umar Akhbar, Danish Siregar, Badrul Amin, Kieran Teo, Furqan Raoff.
White Swans soar
Young Lions 0-5 Albirex | Jalan Besar | 23 July
Ilhan Fandi 24′, Masahiro Sugita 29′, Kodai Tanaka 64′, 73′, Syahrul Sazali O.G 85′
Ilhan returned to haunt his former employers as he nodded Albirex ahead after Masaya Idetsu’s free-kick came back off the post, before Sugita fired home a crisp volley off Tanaka’s right-wing cross. Tanaka then got in on the act with two close-range finishes, before Syahrul inadvertently turned into his own net while trying to clear to complete a resounding win for the White Swans.
- Albirex have now won their last 19 encounters against Young Lions.
- Young Lions have now conceded in their last 50 SPL matches, stretching back to September 2019.
- Young Lions lost for a sixth straight match, conceding five in three of those.
- Ilhan scored his 10th goal of the season; this is the first time he has reached double digits since he made his professional debut in 2019.
- Tanaka has scored nine times in his last seven league appearances.
- Idetsu made his 10th assist of the season – just two behind current chart-topper Maxime Lestienne.
- Young Lions’ Ryu Hardy made his professional debut.
Young Lions: Ridhwan Fikri (GK), Raoul Suhaimi (Arshad Shamim 46’), Jordan Emaviwe, Syahrul Sazali (C), Harhys Stewart (Ryu Hardy 77’), Nor Hakim (Khairin Nadim 46’), Jared Gallagher (Shah Shahiran 63’), Elijah Lim, Zikos Chua (Joel Chew 63’), Glenn Kweh, Danish Qayyum.
Unused subs: Rauf Erwan (GK), Amir Syafiz, Danial Crichton, Moritz Faizal Radewaldt.
Albirex: Takahiro Koga (GK), Tatsuya Sambongi, Reo Kunimoto, Keito Hariya, Masaya Idetsu, Kumpei Kakuta, Kan Kobayashi (C) (Shota Ochiai 86’), Masahiro Sugita, Ilhan Fandi (Mahiro Takahashi 55’), Zamani Zamri (Tsubasa Kawanishi 60’), Kodai Tanaka.
Unused subs: Hyrulnizam Juma’at (GK), Nicky Melvin Singh, Fairoz Hasan, Yoshiki Matsuura, Kanato Fukazawa, Satsuki Mori.
Jaguars juggernaut rolls on
Balestier 0-2 Tanjong Pagar | Toa Payoh | 23 July
Reo Nishiguchi 28′, 79′
Nishiguchi continued his prolific form as he tapped home Khairul Amri’s squared ball across the area, before benefitting from Akram Azman’s long clearance to finish beyond Hairul Syirhan to help Tanjong Pagar claim their eighth win of the season.
- Tanjong Pagar have won all three encounters against Balestier in 2022, with Nishiguchi on target on each occasion.
- Tanjong Pagar have now bettered their point tally from the last two seasons combined (27), with a total of 29 points from 17 matches so far in 2022.
- Balestier have now won just once in their last 10 league matches.
- Tanjong Pagar’s Zharfan Rohaizad kept his fourth clean sheet of the season; this is the first time he has kept more than three shutouts in his career.
Balestier: Hairul Syirhan (GK), Aiman Zavyan (Naufal Azman 46’), Madhu Mohana, Amer Hakeem, Ensar Brunčević, Ho Wai Loon (Ammirul Emmran 46’), Aidil Johari (Delwinder Singh 46’), Ryoya Taniguchi, Kuraba Kondo, Daniel Goh (Ignatius Ang 40’), Shuhei Hoshino (C).
Unused subs: Rudy Khairullah (GK), Asshukrie Wahid, Akmal Azman, Gareth Low, Aqil Yazid.
Tanjong Pagar: Zharfan Rohaizad (GK) (C), Raihan Rahman, Daniel Bennett, Akram Azman, Shodai Nishikawa, Rusyaidi Salime (Faizal Raffi 65’), Fathullah Rahmat (Syukri Bashir 79’), Blake Ricciuto, Aqhari Abdullah, Khairul Amri (Khairul Nizam 72’), Reo Nishiguchi.
Unused subs: Fashah Iskandar (GK), Shahrin Saberin, Emmeric Ong, Naufal Ilham.
Sailors claim dramatic late win
Sailors 2-1 Tampines | Jalan Besar | 24 July
Song Uiyoung 30′, Pedro Henrique 90’+4 | Taufik Suparno 77′
It had looked like the Sailors were heading for a third straight draw after super-sub Taufik slipped the ball past Hassan Sunny to cancel out Song’s first-half header off Shahdan Sulaiman’s free-kick. However, the champions dug deep as Henrique burst forward to belt home a stunning stoppage-time winner off Maxime Lestienne’s low cross.
- The Sailors have won all three encounters against Tampines this season.
- The Sailors have never gone more than two games without a win since their 2020 inception.
- Tampines have won twice in their last seven league matches.
- Taufik scored his seventh of the season; this is the first time he has scored than six in a season since his debut in 2014.
- Henrique’s match-winner is the latest goal in Sailors’ history.
- Henrique is the Sailors’ 12th different scorer this season – no club has more.
- Lestienne made his 12th assist of the season – one more than last season’s chart-topper Armin Bošnjak.
- The Sailors remain the only team that Tampines’ league-leading scorer Boris Kopitović has not scored against in 2022.
Sailors: Hassan Sunny (GK), Amirul Adli (Kim Shin-wook 82’), Hariss Harun (C), Pedro Henrique, Iqram Rifqi (Nur Adam Abdullah 70’), Shahdan Sulaiman, Saifullah Akbar (Hafiz Nor 59’), Haiqal Pashia (M. Anumanthan 59’), Diego Lopes, Faris Ramli (Maxime Lestienne 82’), Song Uiyoung.
Unused subs: Izwan Mahbud (GK), Gabriel Quak, Adam Swandi, Bill Mamadou.
Tampines: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Adam Reefdy (Andrew Aw 57’), Irfan Najeeb (Shameer Aziq 73’), Ryaan Sanizal, Shuya Yamashita, Christopher van Huizen (Irwan Shah 63’), Kyoga Nakamura, Firdaus Kasman (Syed Firdaus Hassan 63’), Zehrudin Mehmedović (Taufik Suparno 73’), Yasir Hanapi (C), Boris Kopitović.
Unused subs: Danial Iliya (GK), Iman Hakim, Marc Ryan Tan, Ethan Pinto.