Singapore Premier League • September 12, 2022
2022 Singapore Premier League Matchweek 24: Roundup
Tampines Rovers team-mates Shuya Yamashita (L) and Syazwan Buhari celebrate after beating Lion City Sailors, 10 September 2022
SINGAPORE, 12 SEPTEMBER 2022 – Albirex Niigata (S) soared to the top of the AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) after taking full advantage of the Lion City Sailors’ slip-up against Tampines Rovers. With four games to go, the defending champions will now play the role of chasers. Meanwhile, Tanjong Pagar United and Hougang United picked up victories over Balestier Khalsa and Geylang International to boost their respective chances of finishing in the top four. We recap all the action below…
Jaguars back on the prowl
Tanjong Pagar 3-1 Balestier | Jurong East | 9 September
Mirko Šugić 28, Blake Ricciuto 61′, Khairul Amri 71′ | Ryoya Taniguchi 82′
Despite Reo Nishiguchi’s absence through suspension, Tanjong Pagar cruised to victory. Šugić headed home Faritz Hameed’s deep cross, before Ricciuto repeated the trick off Raihan Rahman’s free-kick to double the lead. Faritz then supplied Amri to apply the finishing touch on a great team move for a third, and while Taniguchi pulled one back through a header off Gareth Low’s corner, it was too little, too late for Balestier.
- Tanjong Pagar won for the first time in seven matches.
- Tanjong Pagar have won all four encounters against Balestier in 2022.
- Balestier have now conceded 20 headers this season – the most in the league.
- Amri scored his 125th SPL goal.
- Faritz has now made three assists in his last two outings.
- Tanjong Pagar’s Shakir Hamzah made his first SPL appearance since October 2021.
- Tanjong Pagar’s Veer Karan Sobti made his professional debut.
- Tanjong Pagar scored from an indirect free-kick situation for an eighth time, the most in the league.
- Raihan made his fourth assist from an indirect free-kick situation, the most of any player in the league. All six of his assists have come from set-pieces, with the other two being from corner-kicks.
Tanjong Pagar: Veer Karan Sobti (GK), Daniel Bennett, Raihan Rahman, Faritz Hameed (C), Aqhari Abdullah (Naufal Ilham 76’), Blake Ricciuto, Rusyaidi Salime (Shakir Hamzah 83’), Akram Azman (Faizal Raffi 67’), Shodai Nishikawa, Mirko Šugić, Syukri Bashir (Khairul Amri 67’).
Unused subs: Ameer Fiqr (GK), Shahrin Saberin, Emmeric Ong, Fathullah Rahmat, Ryan Syaffiq.
Balestier: Rudy Khairullah (GK), Madhu Mohana, Ignatius Ang, Aidil Johari, Darren Teh, Ammirul Emmran, Gareth Low, Daniel Goh (Syukri Noorhaizam 67’), Ryoya Taniguchi, Kuraba Kondo, Shuhei Hoshino (C).
Unused subs: Hairul Syirhan (GK), Aarish Kumar, Hariysh Krishnakumar, Puvan Raj, Akmal Azman, Ryan Praveen, Iftiqar Parizan, N. Sakthivelchezhian.
Stags rise to stun champions
Tampines 2-1 Sailors | Our Tampines Hub | 10 September
Boris Kopitović 55′, Zehrudin Mehmedović 59′ (FK) | Maxime Lestienne 56′
Kopitović’s tap-in off Taufik Suparno’s square pass was quickly cancelled out by Lestienne’s wonder goal from range, but Tampines retook the lead through a stunning Mehmedović free-kick that went in off the bar – that proved to be the match-winner in a pulsating clash.
- Tampines have now won their last four matches; the last time they picked up four league wins in a row was June 2018.
- Sailors suffered successive league defeats for the first time since their 2020 inception.
- Tampines beat the Sailors for the first time in eight encounters – their previous victory was back in March 2020 in a 4-0 win at the same venue, with Kopitović and Mehmedović also on target on that occasion.
- Kopitović struck his 29th goal of the season – one ahead of Albirex’s Kodai Tanaka.
- Mehmedović has now equalled his best-ever season tally of seven, first achieved in 2019.
- Lestienne has now scored in each of his last six league appearances.
- Lestienne is the ninth different substitute to score for the Sailors this season, the most of any team in the league.
Tampines: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Irfan Najeeb (Andrew Aw 80’), Ryaan Sanizal, Shuya Yamashita, Amirul Haikal (Irwan Shah 80’), Kyoga Nakamura, Zehrudin Mehmedović (Ong Yu En 66’), Syed Firdaus Hassan, Taufik Suparno (Firdaus Kasman 68’), Yasir Hanapi (C), Boris Kopitović.
Unused subs: Danial Iliya (GK), Iman Hakim, Shameer Aziq, Jovan Ang, Amir Mirza.
Sailors: Izwan Mahbud (GK), M. Anumanthan, Amirul Adli (C), Nur Adam Abdullah, Saifullah Akbar, Shahdan Sulaiman, Adam Swandi, Iqram Rifqi (Haiqal Pashia 28’), Faris Ramli (Diego Lopes 66’), Song Uiyoung, Gabriel Quak (Maxime Lestienne 46’).
Unused subs: Adib Nur Hakim (GK), Hassan Sunny (GK), Hami Syahin, Naqiuddin Eunos, Bill Mamadou.
White Swans grind out crucial win
Albirex 2-1 Young Lions | Jurong East | 10 September
Tadanari Lee 20′, 69′ | Syed Akmal 12′
Young Lions threatened an upset when they took an early lead with Syed getting the final touch in a melee in the area, but Albirex swiftly drew level with Lee at the right place at the right time to convert Kodai Tanaka’s knock-down. The former Southampton man repeated the trick in the second half as he ghosted into the box to convert Keito Hariya’s long ball for a crucial match-winner that sent his side to the top.
- Albirex have now won the last 21 league meetings between the two sides.
- Young Lions have now lost their last seven matches and conceded in each of their last 59 outings.
- Young Lions took the lead for only the sixth time this season – they have lost four of those, including this match.
- Albirex have conceded first in a match on seven occasions this season and gone on to win five of those, including this match – the most in the league.
- Lee scored his first-ever SPL brace – he now has eight goals and nine assists in 18 league appearances this season.
- Syed scored his first goal since April 2021 in Young Lions’ 4-2 loss to Geylang.
Albirex: Takahiro Koga (GK), Tatsuya Sambongi, Jun Kobayashi (C), Keito Hariya, Masaya Idetsu, Kumpei Kakuta, Kan Kobayashi, Masahiro Sugita, Tadanari Lee (Mahiro Takahashi 86’), Ilhan Fandi (Nicky Melvin Singh 90’+2), Kodai Tanaka.
Unused subs: Hyrulnizam Juma’at (GK), Reo Kunimoto, Tsubasa Kawanishi, Shota Ochiai, Zamani Zamri, Satsuki Mori, Junki Yoshimura.
Young Lions: Dylan Pereira (GK), Jordan Emaviwe, Syed Akmal, Harhys Stewart, Syahrul Sazali (Arshad Shamim 72’), Danish Qayyum, Shah Shahiran (C) (Syabil Hisham 89’), Jared Gallagher, Elijah Lim, Joel Chew (Syed Adel 76’), Glenn Kweh.
Unused subs: Ridhwan Fikri (GK), Moritz Faizal Radewadt.
Cheetahs produce stunning comeback
Geylang 2-4 Hougang | Our Tampines Hub | 11 September
Umar Akhbar 7′, Faizal Roslan 36′ | Pedro Bortoluzo 42′, André Moritz 63′, Shawal Anuar 84′, Kristijan Krajček 90’+5
Umar thrashed in the opener after good work from Ilhan Noor on the right before Faizal diverted home Vincent Bezecourt’s shot to put Geylang two up in what seemed like a dream start. However, Hougang rallied with Bortoluzo knocking in Sahil’s corner before Moritz benefitted from a similar dead-ball situation to sweep home the equaliser. Bortoluzo then forced a tremendous point-blank save off Krajček’s cross from Zaiful Nizam, only for Shawal to convert the rebound as the Cheetahs took the lead, before Krajček smashed in an indirect free-kick to complete a memorable comeback.
- Geylang lost for just the second time in their last 13 league matches.
- Hougang also came back from a 2-1 deficit to win 4-2 the last time they visited OTH, albeit to face Tampines earlier in July.
- Hougang are the first team to recover from going two goals behind to win after Tampines Rovers did the same in a 4-3 victory against Tanjong Pagar United in August this year.
- Umar scored his first ever professional goal.
- Faizal scored his first goal since April 2021 in Geylang’s 4-2 win over Young Lions.
- Shawal has now scored in each of his last four appearances, accumulating five; that was his 11th goal of the season – a new career-best.
- Krajček has now equalled his best-ever league tally of six, first achieved in 2021 with Balestier.
- Hougang scored from corner-kick situations for a seventh time, second-most of any team in the league; Geylang conceded from such situations a sixth time, joint-most in the league.
- Hougang have scored five times after the 90th minute, the most in the league; Geylang have conceded four times during the same period, joint-most in the league.
Geylang: Zaiful Nizam (GK) (C), Ilhan Noor (Khairul Hairie 74’), Rio Sakuma, Abdil Qaiyyim (Tajeli Salamat 65’), Faizal Roslan, Ahmad Syahir, Joshua Pereira, Takahiro Tezuka, Umar Akhbar (Fareez Farhan 65’), Vincent Bezecourt, Hazzuwan Halim (Ariffin Noor 80’).
Unused subs: Zulfairuuz Rudy (GK), Hafiz Ahmad (GK), Muhd Noor Ariff, Qayyum Raishyan, Azri Suhaili.
Hougang: Mukundan Maran (GK), Muhaimin Suhaimi, Fabian Kwok (C) (Afiq Noor 76’), Nazhiim Harman, Farhan Zulkifli (Lionel Tan 89’), Zulfahmi Arifin, Kristijan Krajček, Shawal Anuar (Amir Zalani 89’), Sahil Suhaimi (Faiz Salleh 89’), Amy Recha (André Moritz 58’), Pedro Bortoluzo.
Unused subs: Zainol Gulam (GK), Shahril Ishak.