Singapore Premier League • August 15, 2022
2022 Singapore Premier League Matchweek 20: Roundup
Tampines Rovers’ Christopher van Huizen shields the ball, 13 August 2022 (Credit: Sia Kian Teck)
SINGAPORE, 15 AUGUST 2022 – It was a good weekend in the AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) for the Lion City Sailors, who registered a record-breaking win over the Young Lions and then saw nearest challengers Albirex Niigata (S) drop points against Geylang International. Elsewhere, Tampines Rovers edged a seven-goal thriller against Tanjong Pagar United to boost their Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup qualification hopes while Balestier Khalsa notched their biggest ever win against Hougang United. We recap all the action below…
Terrific Tigers create history
Balestier 6-1 Hougang | Toa Payoh | 12 August
Shuhei Hoshino 5′, 67′, 85′, Delwinder Singh 21′, Ryoya Taniguchi 33′, Kuraba Kondo 73′ | Shahfiq Ghani 17′
Hoshino’s calm finish off Ignatius Ang’s long ball was cancelled out by a terrific Shahfiq free-kick, but Balestier retook the lead with Delwinder tapping in at the far post via Madhu Mohana’s long throw before Taniguchi took advantage of some uncertain Cheetahs defending to make it 3-1. Hoshino then tapped in a rebound before Kondo benefitted from Ang’s pass to nick another one past Aizil Yazid for the Tigers’ fifth. Hoshino capped off a memorable night as he hooked home another Madhu long throw to complete his hat-trick and a resounding victory.
- Balestier recorded their biggest winning margin and scored six goals in a match for the first time in league history (under their current name). When they were known as Balestier Central, they scored six goals on three occasions and eight goals on one occasion.
- This is the first time four different players scored in a single match for Balestier since a 5-1 win over the Young Lions in April 2015 (Fadhil Noh, Emir Lotinac, Miroslav Krištić, Tarik Čmajčanin).
- Hoshino netted his first ever SPL hat-trick; he is the seventh player to score a hat-trick this season.
- Delwinder scored his first SPL goal since May 2018 in Warriors FC’s 1-1 draw with Young Lions – this is only the third league goal of his career.
- Shahfiq scored his first goal since April 2021 in Hougang’s 5-1 win over Tampines – both were free-kicks.
- Madhu is the first player to make two assists directly from long throws since the league was rebranded to the SPL in 2018.
- Ang made his first assist(s) since 13 April 2019 in Warriors FC’s 2-1 defeat to Albirex.
Balestier: Hairul Syirhan (GK), Aidil Johari, Madhu Mohana, Amer Hakeem, Delwinder Singh, Ensar Brunčević, Ho Wai Loon, Ryoya Taniguchi, Kuraba Kondo, Ignatius Ang, Shuhei Hoshino (C).
Unused subs: Rudy Khairullah (GK), Aarish Kumar, Daniel Goh, Ammirul Emmran, Darren Teh, Asshukrie Wahid, Puvan Raj, Akmal Azman, Aqil Yazid.
Hougang: Aizil Yazid (GK), Muhaimin Suhaimi, Anders Aplin, Lionel Tan, Nazrul Nazari (C), Shahfiq Ghani, Kristijan Krajček, Shawal Anuar (Shahril Ishak 77’), Sahil Suhaimi (Farhan Zulkifli 77’), Amy Recha (Afiq Noor 64’), Pedro Bortoluzo.
Unused subs: Mukundan Maran (GK), Faiz Salleh, Nazhiim Harman, Amir Zalani, Jordan Vestering, Ajay Robson.
Sailors sail to record win
Young Lions 1-10 Sailors | Jalan Besar | 13 August
Abdul Rasaq 16′ | Maxime Lestienne 7′, 34′, Gabriel Quak 12′, 33′, Kim Shin-wook 15′, 50′, 61′, Song Uiyoung 74′, 81′, Hami Syahin 85′
Lestienne rounded Ridhwan Fikri to open the floodgates, before turning provider for Quak to double the Sailors’ lead. Kim made it 3-0 with a low shot, before Rasaq pulled one back for Young Lions with an opportunistic finish but the Sailors kept going. Quak finished off off Lestienne’s cross before returning the favour for the latter to make it 5-1 before half-time, then Lestienne continued his impressive display by twice setting up Kim to complete his hat-trick, before Song benefitted two times from super-sub Faris Ramli’s deliveries. The rout was completed by Hami, who controlled Adam Swandi’s ball over and slotted home to seal a stunning win in Luka Lalić’s first match in interim charge.
- This is the Sailors’ biggest-ever win since their 2020 inception, superseding an 8-0 win over Geylang in April 2021.
- The Sailors equalled the biggest winning margin in league history – nine goals. Only two other teams have done so: SAFFC, who thrashed Sembawang Rangers 9-0 in 2002 and Tampines, who beat Tanjong Pagar by the same scoreline in 2014.
- The Sailors are the second team in league history to score 10 goals in a match after Geylang United did in a 10-2 victory over Young Lions on 17 August 2003.
- Lestienne scored two and assisted four in this match; he is the second player to make four assists in one match this season after Masaya Idetsu.
- Lestienne scored and assisted for a seventh match this season – a league-best. He is now on 17 assists for the season, having played 18 times.
- Quak has scored eight times in his last eight outings against Young Lions.
- Song is the 17th player to score a brace this season. He is one goal away from equalling his best haul in one season (10, in 2018).
- Kim scored his third hat-trick of the season – the joint-most with Albirex’s Kodai Tanaka.
- With 16 goals, Kim has now scored the most goals in one season for the Sailors; Stipe Plazibat previously held the record with 14 in 2021.
- Kim has scored in three consecutive matches – his best scoring streak this season.
- Hami is the 15th player and eighth substitute to score for the Sailors this season – both the most in the league. This is his first Sailors goal.
- Rasaq scored more than one goal in a season for the first time in his career.
- Young Lion’s Ryu Hardy made his first professional start.
Young Lions: Ridhwan Fikri (GK) (C), Raoul Suhaimi (Glenn Kweh 64’), Syed Akmal, Harhys Stewart, Syahrul Sazali, Danish Qayyum, Joel Chew (Irfan Iskandar 86’), Jared Gallagher, Ryu Hardy (Arshad Shamim 46’), Abdul Rasaq (Moritz Faizal Radewaldt 70’), Zikos Chua.
Unused subs: Dylan Pereira (GK), Fairuz Fazli.
Sailors: Izwan Mahbud (GK), Naqiuddin Eunos (Hafiz Nor 82’), Amirul Adli (C), Pedro Henrique (Hariss Harun 72’), Nur Adam Abdullah, Adam Swandi, Diego Lopes (Shahdan Sulaiman 72’), Gabriel Quak, Song Uiyoung, Maxime Lestienne (Hami Syahin 67’), Kim Shin-wook (Faris Ramli 67’).
Unused subs: Hassan Sunny (GK), Amiruldin Asraf, Haiqal Pashia, Bill Mamadou.
Stags edge thriller
Tanjong Pagar 3-4 Tampines | Jurong East | 13 August
Shodai Nishikawa 3′, Reo Nishiguchi pen. 35′, pen. 66′ | Boris Kopitović 40′, Christopher van Huizen 42′, Yasir Hanapi 53′, Shuya Yamashita 78′
Nishikawa’s near-post finish and Nishiguchi’s penalty put Tanjong Pagar 2-0 up, but Tampines turned it around with Kopitović and Van Huizen capitalising on some poor defending to restore parity before Yasir squeezed one past Zharfan Rohaizad to put them ahead for the first time on the night. Nishiguchi levelled matters from the spot once again, but the Stags had the last laugh as Yamashita popped up in the box to nod home Yasir’s teasing cross and complete a remarkable comeback victory.
- Tanjong Pagar lost three straight games for the first time this season.
- This is the first time Tanjong Pagar have lost after either scoring first or drawing at half-time this season.
- Nishiguchi is now Tanjong Pagar’s record goalscorer in a season with 19 – surpassing Sutee Suksomkit’s 18-goal haul in 2002.
- Nishikawa equalled his best-ever goal tally in a season – three in 2021.
- Van Huizen scored his third league goal of the season; he has now scored more than twice in a league season for the first time in his career.
- Kopitović has scored seven goals in his last six outings; he now leads the top scorers chart with 23, one more than Albirex’s Tanaka.
- Both of Yamashita’s goals this season have been assisted by Yasir.
- This is the fourth occasion this season where Tampines have won a match after conceding the opening goal first – the most of any team.
- This is the first time in 15 matches where Tanjong Pagar have ended up losing after taking the lead first – they had won nine and drew five on the previous 14 occasions.
Tanjong Pagar: Zharfan Rohaizad (GK), Daniel Bennett (Shahrin Saberin 71’), Raihan Rahman, Faritz Hameed (C), Shodai Nishikawa, Rusyaidi Salime (Faizal Raffi 71’), Fathullah Rahmat (Aqhari Abdullah 59’), Blake Ricciuto, Mirko Šugić, Khairul Nizam (Syukri Bashir 75’), Reo Nishiguchi.
Unused subs: Veer Karan Sobti (GK), Fashah Iskandar (GK), Emmeric Ong, Naufal Ilham.
Tampines: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Christopher van Huizen, Irfan Najeeb, Shuya Yamashita, Irwan Shah (Amirul Haikal 65’), Kyoga Nakamura, Iman Hakim (Zehrudin Mehmedović 46’), Syed Firdaus Hassan (Ryaan Sanizal 84’), Ong Yu En (Taufik Suparno 73’), Yasir Hanapi (C), Boris Kopitović.
Unused subs: Danial Iliya (GK), Shameer Aziq, Taras Goh, Ethan Pinto, Amir Mirza.
White Swans lose ground
Albirex 2-2 Geylang | Jurong East | 14 August
Ilhan Fandi 58′, Tadanari Lee 90’+4 | Vincent Bezecourt 51′, Šime Žužul pen. 71′
Bezecourt fired in off the post to put Geylang ahead, before Ilhan combined well with substitute Lee to equalise for Albirex. Žužul then dusted himself off after being felled in the box to put the away side ahead from the spot, but the White Swans rescued a point deep into injury time with Lee hooking in Kumpei Kakuta’s long ball to break the Eagles’ hearts.
- Geylang escaped defeat for the first time in 16 visits to Jurong East to face Albirex in all competitions since a 0-0 league draw on 3 August 2013.
- Lee’s goal on 94 minutes and eight seconds is the latest goal scored in the SPL this season.
- Lee has now scored three goals in his last four appearances off the bench.
- Ilhan scored eight goals in his last seven games; he now has 10 goals for Albirex since joining in the mid-season transfer window.
- Žužul has now scored in each of his last seven SPL matches – the best scoring streak by any player this season; he has also been on target for all three of the Eagles’ encounters against Albirex this season.
- Žužul has scored all five of Geylang’s penalties this season – no other team has more penalty conversions. No player has scored more penalties in one season since the league’s rebrand in 2018.
- Žužul, who has five assists this season, assisted Bezecourt for a fourth time; with Bezecourt having provided three assists for Žužul this season, this makes them the most prolific combination (seven goals) between two players who have provided at least one assist for each other in the league.
- Bezecourt has four goals in his last four outings.
Albirex: Takahiro Koga (GK), Jun Kobayashi (C), Keito Hariya, Daichi Omori, Mahiro Takahashi, Masaya Idetsu, Kumpei Kakuta, Kan Kobayashi (Tadanari Lee 58’), Masahiro Sugita, Ilhan Fandi (Kanato Fukazawa 88’), Kodai Tanaka.
Unused subs: Hyrulnizam Juma’at (GK), Kai Yamamoto (GK), Tatsuya Sambongi, Reo Kunimoto, Tsubasa Kawanishi, Nicky Melvin Singh, Zamani Zamri.
Geylang: Zaiful Nizam (GK) (C), Tajeli Salamat, Abil Qaiyyim, Rio Sakuma, Faizal Roslan, Ilhan Noor, Joshua Pereira, Huzaifah Aziz (Umar Akhbar 83’), Takahiro Tezuka, Vincent Bezecourt, Šime Žužul.
Unused subs: Zulfairuuz Rudy (GK), Hazzuwan Halim, Khairul Hairie, Danish Siregar, Kieran Teo, Danish Haziq, Azri Suhaili, Furqan Raoff.
Red Card: Umar Akhbar (Geylang) 90’+3