Singapore Premier League • October 3, 2022
2022 Singapore Premier League Matchweek 25: Roundup
Hougang United defender Nazhiim Harman leaps to head the ball, 2 October 2022
SINGAPORE, 3 OCTOBER 2022 – Albirex Niigata (S) pulled four points clear at the top of the AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) with three games to go despite being held by Hougang United, as nearest challengers Lion City Sailors fell to a shock defeat to Balestier Khalsa. Meanwhile, Tanjong Pagar United took advantage of Geylang International’s stalemate with Tampines Rovers as they thrashed the Young Lions to go fourth in the table. We recap all the action below…
Stalemate in the East
Tampines 0-0 Geylang | Our Tampines Hub | 1 October
In a fiercely-contested Eastern Derby, both sides had their chances but were unable to put them away. Tampines could have stolen the win in injury time, but Boris Kopitović saw his header denied at point-blank range by Geylang goalkeeper Zaiful Nizam.
- This is just the second goal-less draw of the season after Geylang’s stalemate against Hougang on 22 May.
- This is the first Eastern Derby since July 2010 that has ended goalless.
- Geylang’s Zaiful Nizam kept his ninth clean sheet of the season – a league-leading tally ahead of Sailors’ Hassan Sunny, who has seven. It is the most by a goalkeeper for the club in a season since Syazwan Buhari also had nine shutouts in 2016.
- Joel Chew made his first Tampines appearance since March 2020 in a 2-0 win over Tanjong Pagar.
Tampines: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Irfan Najeeb, Ryaan Sanizal, Shuya Yamashita, Amirul Haikal, Kyoga Nakamura (C), Zehrudin Mehmedović (Joel Chew 62’), Syed Firdaus Hassan (Irwan Shah 83’), Ong Yu En (Christopher van Huizen 62’), Taufik Suparno (Firdaus Kasman 69’), Boris Kopitović.
Unused subs: Danial Iliya (GK), Iman Hakim, Shameer Aziq, Ethan Pinto, Andrew Aw.
Geylang: Zaiful Nizam (GK) (C), Tajeli Salamat, Rio Sakuma, Faizal Roslan, Ilhan Noor (Ariffin Noor 46’), Joshua Pereira, Takahiro Tezuka, Umar Akhbar, Fareez Farhan (Ahmad Syahir 46’), Vincent Bezecourt, Šime Žužul.
Unused subs: Zulfairuuz Rudy (GK), Muhd Noor Ariff, Khairul Hairie, Qayyum Raishyan, Danish Siregar, Kieran Teo, Azri Suhaili.
Jaguars run riot
Tanjong Pagar 8-1 Young Lions | Jurong East | 1 October
Reo Nishiguchi pen. 3′, pen. 8′, pen. 53′, 78′, 81′, Khairul Amri 45’+1, Blake Ricciuto 50′, Khairul Nizam 70′ | Abdul Rasaq pen. 66′
There was no way back for the Young Lions after Nishiguchi dispatched two early penalties, as Amri then scored through a deflected shot before Ricciuto nodded in Raihan Rahman’s corner to put Tanjong Pagar 4-0 ahead. Nishiguchi then completed his hat-trick with yet another penalty, before Young Lions pulled one back through Rasaq’s spot-kick. However, the Jaguars ended the night on a high with Nizam heading home Shodai Nishikawa’s cross before Nishiguchi produced another couple of clinical finishes to complete an emphatic win.
- Tanjong Pagar scored eight times in a league match for the first time in their history; their previous best was seven in a 7-0 victory against Marine Castle United on 21 July 2000. Davor Dželalija notched a hat-trick then at Hougang Stadium, with Boubacar Seck netting a brace to go along with goals from Steven Tan and Daniel Bennett.
- Tanjong Pagar are now unbeaten in their last three matches.
- Young Lions have now lost their last eight matches and conceded in each of their last 60 outings.
- Nishiguchi is the first player to score five in a league match since Andrei Varankou did for Brunei DPMM in a 7-1 win over Balestier in April 2019. He is only the fourth player to do so in league history after Varankou, Tsubasa Sano (Albirex, 2017) and Egmar Goncalves (Home United, 2004).
- Young Lions’ Fairuz Fazli and Irfan Iskandar made their first professional starts.
- Rasaq scored his fifth career goal.
Tanjong Pagar: Zharfan Rohaizad (GK), Akram Azman (Shakir Hamzah 46’), Raihan Rahman, Faritz Hameed (C), Aqhari Abdullah (Ryan Syaffiq 73’), Blake Ricciuto, Rusyaidi Salime (Syukri Bashir 79’), Mirko Šugić (Fathullah Rahmat 73’), Shodai Nishikawa, Khairul Amri (Khairul Nizam 62’), Reo Nishiguchi.
Unused subs: Fashah Iskandar (GK), Shahrin Saberin, Faizal Raffi, Emmeric Ong.
Young Lions: Dylan Pereira (GK), Raoul Suhaimi, Harhys Stewart, Danial Crichton, Syed Akmal (C) (Jordan Emaviwe 56’), Fairuz Fazli (Harith Kanadi 56’), Amir Syafiz, Jared Gallagher (Ryu Hardy 84’), Khairin Nadim, Danish Qayyum (Abdul Rasaq 56’), Irfan Iskandar (Shah Shahiran 46’).
Unused subs: Ridhwan Fikri (GK), Jordan Emaviwe, Syabil Hisham, Syed Adel.
Tigers take down champions
Balestier 5-3 Sailors | Toa Payoh | 2 October
Ryoya Taniguchi 44′, 48′, 75′, Daniel Goh 50′, Shuhei Hoshino 58′ | Song Uiyoung 29′, 31′ Hariss Harun 63′
Song volleyed home Nur Adam Abdullah’s lofted pass before nodding in Maxime Lestienne’s cross for a clinical brace to put the Sailors in the driving seat, but Balestier came roaring back with Taniguchi first popping at the far post to tap home Hoshino’s cross before belting home a thunderbolt from the edge of the box for the leveller. Goh and Hoshino then benefited from rebounds to put Balestier 4-2 up, before Hariss pulled one back through a header off Faris Ramli’s corner. However, the night belonged to the Tigers with Taniguchi lashing home another to complete his hat-trick.
- The Sailors conceded five goals and lost three straight matches for the first time in their history.
- This is the first time that the Sailors have lost a league match after leading at half-time in their history – they had won 29 times and drew thrice in such situations prior to this.
- This is the fourth occasion that the Sailors have scored first in a league match and ended up losing this season; they had never done so before this season, winning 20 times and drawing thrice in such situations.
- This is Balestier’s first ever win over the Sailors.
- Taniguchi scored his first ever SPL hat-trick – he is the ninth player to net a treble this season.
- Having set up Hoshino eight times this season, Taniguchi finally received an assist from the former in this match.
- Song has now netted a total of seven goals in his last six appearances.
- Sailors’ Hariss Harun received his first ever red card in his Singapore league career.
- Both of Goh’s goals this season came against the Sailors.
Balestier: Hairul Syirhan (GK), Darren Teh, Madhu Mohana, Ignatius Ang, Gareth Low, Daniel Goh, Ho Wai Loon (Akmal Amzan 87’), Ammirul Emmran, Ryoya Taniguchi, Kuraba Kondo, Shuhei Hoshino (C).
Unused subs: Suffian Abdullah (GK), Delwinder Singh, Aarish Kumar, Hariysh Krishnakumar, Asshukrie Wahid, Aidil Johari, Ryan Praveen, Aqil Yazid.
Sailors: Hassan Sunny (GK), Hafiz Nor (Naqiuddin Eunos 71’), Amirul Adli, Hariss Harun (C), Nur Adam Abdullah, M. Anumanthan (Saifullah Akbar 71’), Adam Swandi, Haiqal Pashia (Bill Mamadou 61’), Shahdan Sulaiman (Faris Ramli 52’), Maxime Lestienne, Song Uiyoung.
Unused subs: Izwan Mahbud (GK), Hami Syahin, Aniq Raushan, Glenn Ong.
Red Card: Hariss Harun (Sailors) 87’
White Swans salvage important point
Albirex 1-1 Hougang | Jurong East | 2 October
André Moritz 29′ | Tadanari Lee 73′
Moritz swept home Kristijan Krajček’s low cross to put Hougang ahead, before Albirex rallied and grabbed a share of the spoils through former Southampton man Lee – who skipped past a couple of challenges before firing home a crisp shot beyond Mukundan Maran.
- Albirex are now unbeaten in their last 11 matches despite keeping just one clean sheet in that period.
- Albirex have picked up 17 points from matches where they have conceded first, the most of any team in the league.
- Hougang are the only team this season to take points off Albirex on three occasions.
- Lee has now scored 10 goals and made nine assists in 19 league appearances this season.
- Hougang’s Ajay Robson made his first professional appearance.
Albirex: Takahiro Koga (GK), Jun Kobayashi (C), Keito Hariya, Daichi Omori, Masaya Idetsu, Kumpei Kakuta, Kan Kobayashi, Masahiro Sugita (Nicky Melvin Singh 90’+5), Tadanari Lee, Ilhan Fandi (Kanato Fukazawa 90’+3), Kodai Tanaka.
Unused subs: Hyrulnizam Juma’at (GK), Kai Yamamoto (GK), Tatsuya Sambongi, Mahiro Takahashi, Reo Kunimoto, Fairoz Hasan, Zamani Zamri.
Hougang: Mukundan Maran (GK), Muhaimin Suhaimi (Ajay Robson 66’), Anders Aplin, Nazhiim Harman, Nazrul Nazari (C), Zulfahmi Arifin (Fabian Kwok 68’), André Moritz, Kristijan Krajček, Shawal Anuar (Afiq Noor 68’), Sahil Suhaimi (Amy Recha 60’), Pedro Bortoluzo.
Unused subs: Aizil Yazid (GK), Shahfiq Ghani, Faiz Salleh, Farhan Zulkifli.
*Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that Hariss Harun received his first ever career red card; it was incorrect, as he had been sent off during his LionsXII days. It is instead his first ever red card in Singapore league history.