Singapore Premier League • August 29, 2022
2022 Singapore Premier League Matchweek 22: Roundup
Masahiro Sugita of Albirex Niigata (S) tries to evade Fathullah Rahmat of Tanjong Pagar United, 27 August 2022 (Photo: Sia Kian Teck)
SINGAPORE, 29 AUGUST 2022 – The AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) title race remains finely poised, with leaders Lion City Sailors sweeping Hougang United aside in a record-breaking game and Albirex Niigata (S) remaining three points behind by edging Tanjong Pagar United. Meanwhile Eastern sides Tampines Rovers and Geylang International triumphed at home against Balestier Khalsa and Young Lions respectively to make up the top four. We recap all the action below…
Historic goal-laden night
Hougang 4-9 Sailors | Hougang | 26 August
Shawal Anuar 9′, Amy Recha 54′, 58′, Pedro Bortoluzo 90’+3 | Pedro Henrique 11′, Diego Lopes 13′, Faris Ramli 28′, 68′, Kim Shin-wook 33′, 44′, 67′, Maxime Lestienne 51′, Song Uiyoung 80′
Shawal magnificently hooked in Kristijan Krajček’s free-kick to put Hougang ahead, but Henrique prodded in a rebound before Lopes nodded home Hafiz Nor’s cross to swiftly turn things around. Faris swept in Lestienne’s cross before Kim netted a double to put the Sailors 5-1 up at the break, and the leaders kept going. After Lestienne lashed in a sixth, Hougang pulled two back through an Amy Recha brace but there was no respite; Kim completed his hat-trick before Faris got his second and super-sub Song joined in the party to make it 9-3. The record-breaking goal came through Bortuluzo, whose fine drive rounded off an incredible night.
- Thirteen goals are the most ever scored in one match in league history – the previous record was 12 goals on four separate occasions, most recently when Home United beat Brunei DPMM 9-3 in May 2017.
- The Sailors have now scored 26 goals in three outings under Luka.
- Hougang are the only local team to ever score four goals against the Sailors.
- Hougang lost by at least five goals for a fourth time this season – their two heaviest defeats in 2021 were by three-goal margins.
- Kim scored his fourth hat-trick of the season – no player has more. He now has 20 goals in his debut SPL season.
- All five of Shahdan Sulaiman’s assists this season have been from set-pieces (two free-kicks, three corners); four of those have been for Kim.
- Lestienne scored and assisted in the same match for an eighth time, a league-best.
- Lestienne has a total of 20 assists and 10 goals in 20 league appearances; he is the first player to hit double digits in each since Andrei Varankou tallied 21 goals and 10 assists for Brunei DPMM in 2019.
- Hafiz Nor now has five assists – his most in a season since getting six for Home in 2018.
- Song scored his 11th goal – his best ever return in one league season in his career.
- Faris scored his 45th SPL goal.
- Shawal scored his 45th SPL goal.
- Kristijan Krajček now has 10 SPL assists for the season.
- Lopes now has 10 SPL assists for the season and 15 overall in his career.
- Hougang have scored from six indirect free-kick situations, joint-most with Tanjong Pagar United this season.
Hougang: Aizil Yazid (GK), Muhaimin Suhaimi (Nazhiim Harman 84’), Anders Aplin, Lionel Tan, Nazrul Nazari, Fabian Kwok (C) (Afiq Noor 65’), Kristijan Krajček, Shawal Anuar, Sahil Suhaimi ((André Moritz 65’), Amy Recha (Farhan Zulkifli 84’), Pedro Bortoluzo.
Unused subs: Mukundan Maran (GK), Shahfiq Ghani, Faiz Salleh, Shahril Ishak, Amir Zalani.
Sailors: Hassan Sunny (GK), Hafiz Nor (Amirul Adli 73’), Hariss Harun (C), Pedro Henrique, Nur Adam Abdullah, Adam Swandi (M. Anumanthan 58’), Shahdan Sulaiman (Song Uiyoung 58’), Faris Ramli (Saifullah Akbar 69’), Diego Lopes, Maxime Lestienne, Kim Shin-wook (Gabriel Quak 69’).
Unused subs: Izwan Mahbud (GK), Iqram Rifqi, Hami Syahin, Haiqal Pashia.
Eagles soar to fourth
Geylang 3-0 Young Lions | Our Tampines Hub | 27 August
Joshua Pereira 32′, Šime Žužul 46′, 61′
After Pereira looped a header in off Ilhan Noor’s cross, Žužul came to the fore as he finished off Huzaifah Aziz’s through ball before producing a brilliant solo effort to complete a brace and wrap up the points for Geylang.
- Geylang have now lost just once in their last 11 matches.
- Young Lions have now conceded in each of their last 57 SPL matches.
- Pereira scored just his third SPL goal – his previous goals were for Young Lions in 2018 and 2019.
- Žužul has now equalled his nine-game scoring streak from 2021; he is now up to 16 for the season – exceeding his previous best-scoring tally (15) from last season. It is also the most in one season by a Geylang player since Jozef Kapláň also tallied 16 in 2012.
- Geylang’s Zaiful Nizam kept his eighth clean sheet of the season – a league-leading tally ahead of Sailors’ Hassan Sunny, who has seven.
- Geylang’s Muhd Noor Ariff made his first appearance since March 2020 in Geylang’s 2-1 win over Hougang.
Geylang: Zaiful Nizam (GK) (C), Tajeli Salamat (Muhd Noor Ariff 85’), Abdil Qaiyyim (Ahmad Syahir 74’), Rio Sakuma, Faizal Roslan (Kieran Teo 90’+2), Ilhan Noor, Joshua Pereira, Huzaifah Aziz, Takahiro Tezuka, Vincent Bezecourt (Hazzuwan Halim 74’), Šime Žužul.
Unused subs: Zulfairuuz Rudy (GK), Fareez Farhan, Khairul Hairie, Qayyum Raishyan, Azri Suhaili.
Young Lions: Ridhwan Fikri (GK) (C), Raoul Suhaimi (Harith Kanadi 83’), Jordan Emaviwe, Harhys Stewart, Daniel Crichton, Joel Chew (Ryu Hardy 73’), Jared Gallagher (Shah Shahiran 46’), Elijah Lim, Glenn Kweh, Abdul Rasaq (Danish Qayyum 70’), Nor Hakim (Khairin Nadim 46’).
Unused subs: Dylan Pereira (GK), Syabil Hisham, Syahrul Sazali, Irfan Iskandar.
White Swans keep pace
Tanjong Pagar 1-2 Albirex | Jurong East | 27 August
Blake Ricciuto 86′ | Kumpei Kakuta 56′, Ilhan Fandi 73′
After an even first half, Tadanari Lee teed up Kakuta to break the deadlock before setting up Ilhan to dink one over Zharfan Rohaizad to put Albirex two up. Ricciuto hooked in Raihan Rahman’s deep free-kick, but it was too little, too late for Tanjong Pagar.
- Albirex are unbeaten in their last eight matches since a 2-1 defeat to Tanjong Pagar in July 2022.
- Tanjong Pagar have now lost their last five games – this is the first time they have lost five straight matches in a season since 2012.
- Ilhan has now scored 13 times in 12 games for Albirex; with 15 goals for the season, he is the first local player to hit that mark since Faris Ramli netted 16 in 2019 for Hougang United.
- Ilhan is the fifth player to score a winning goal for Albirex this season; no other team has more.
- Lee has assisted in each of this last three matches.
Tanjong Pagar: Zharfan Rohaizad (GK), Daniel Bennett, Raihan Rahman, Faritz Hameed (C), Aqhari Abdullah, Blake Ricciuto, Fathullah Rahmat (Akram Azman 73’), Shodai Nishikawa, Mirko Šugić, Reo Nishiguchi, Syukri Bashir (Khairul Nizam 60’).
Unused subs: Fashah Iskandar (GK), Shahrin Saberin, Faizal Raffi, Emmeric Ong, Rusyaidi Salime, Naufal Ilham, Ryan Syaffiq.
Albirex: Takahiro Koga (GK), Jun Kobayashi (C), Reo Kunimoto, Keito Hariya, Daichi Omori, Masaya Idetsu, Kumpei Kakuta, Masahiro Sugita (Kanato Fukazawa 82’), Tadanari Lee (Kan Kobayashi 75’), Ilhan Fandi, Kodai Tanaka.
Unused subs: Hyrulnizam Juma’at (GK), Tatsuya Sambongi, Mahiro Takahashi, Nicky Melvin Singh, Fairoz Hasan, Shota Ochiai, Zamani Zamri.
No winning farewell for Akbar Nawas
Tampines 2-1 Balestier | Our Tampines Hub | 28 August
Boris Kopitović 45′, pen. 90′ | Shuhei Hoshino 48′
After Kopitović squeezed one in from a tight angle, Hoshino reacted the quickest to a Ryoya Taniguchi’s deflected shot to level for the Tigers. However, there was late drama with Kopitović dusting himself off to tuck away a match-deciding penalty.
- Balestier are yet to beat Tampines at OTH in eight meetings, losing seven of them.
- Tampines have now won four out of their last five matches.
- Kopitović has now scored 26 goals this season – 10 more than last season’s tally of 16. He has matched the club-record haul of 26 in a league season for Tampines, achieved by Mirko Grabovac and Aleksandar Duric in 2005 and 2011 respectively.
- Kopitović scored a match-winning goal for a fourth time this season – no other player has more.
- Taniguchi made his seventh assist for Hoshino this season – the most between any two players in the league.
- Hoshino now has 14 goals this season; he is one away from matching Žužul’s tally of 15 for Balestier last season and two away from becoming the first player to break the 15-goal mark in a season for Balestier since Miroslav Krištić scored 16 in 2015.
- Balestier’s Khalili Khalif made his first appearance since March 2020 in Balestier’s 2-2 draw with Hougang.
Tampines: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Irfan Najeeb, Ryaan Sanizal, Shuya Yamashita, Amirul Haikal (Irwan Shah 76’), Kyoga Nakamura, Iman Hakim (Zehrudin Mehmedović 68’), Syed Firdaus Hassan (Firdaus Kasman 90’+1), Taufik Suparno, Yasir Hanapi (C), Boris Kopitović.
Unused subs: Danial Iliya (GK), Shameer Aziq, Ethan Pinto, Ali Manaf, Andrew Aw, Amir Mirza.
Balestier: Rudy Khairullah (GK), Khalili Khalif (Aidil Johari 33’), Madhu Mohana, Ensar Brunčević, Darren Teh, Akmal Azman (Aarish Kumar 85’), Gareth Low (Asshukrie Wahid 85’), Ho Wai Loon (Ammirul Emmran 85’), Ryoya Taniguchi, Kuraba Kondo (Daniel Goh 68’), Shuhei Hoshino (C).
Unused subs: Hairul Syirhan (GK), Puvan Raj, Ignatius Ang, Ryan Praveen.