Singapore Premier League • October 17, 2022
2022 Singapore Premier League Matchweek 27: Roundup
Tampines Rovers players celebrate, 15 October 2022
SINGAPORE, 17 OCTOBER 2022 – Goals flew in left, right and centre in the penultimate Matchweek of the Singapore Premier League (SPL) as Geylang International dispatched Balestier Khalsa to take the driving seat in the race for fourth, while Hougang United swept aside the Young Lions to remain in the hunt for continental qualification. Newly-crowned champions Albirex Niigata (S) fell to a rare defeat against Tampines Rovers while the Lion City Sailors ended a four-match losing streak by overcoming Tanjong Pagar United. We recap all the action below…
Sailors regain winning feeling
Tanjong Pagar 1-3 Sailors | Jurong East | 14 October
Shodai Nishikawa 73′ | Diego Lopes 17′, Gabriel Quak 74′, 89′
It had looked like the Sailors’ win-less run could be extended to five games after Nishikawa sneaked into the box to nod home Khairul Nizam’s knock-on and cancel out Lopes’ classy volley off Faris Ramli’s cross. However, super-sub Quak came to the dethroned champions’ rescue – first with an instinctive finish off Maxime Lestienne’s ball over the top before benefitting from an exquisite cross from the latter to complete a clinical brace.
- Tanjong Pagar have yet to beat the Sailors in nine meetings.
- Lopes has scored in all four games against Tanjong Pagar this season. In fact, seven out of his 10 goals this season have come against the Jaguars.
- Lopes has struck double digits for the first time in his professional career.
- Lopes’ goal was the Sailors’ 12th from outside the box in open play, the most by any team.
- Quak is up to 11 goals for the season – he has now reached double digits for the past two campaigns, having never done so in any season prior.
- Quak has scored five times as a substitute, more than any other player.
- Lestienne now has 23 assists – a league-leading tally, seven clear of Hougang’s Kristijan Krajček and Albirex’s Masaya Idetsu.
- Lestienne has set up seven different players – joint-most with Hougang’s Krajček and one behind team-mate Lopes, who has assisted eight different players.
- Nishikawa scored his 10th SPL goal.
Tanjong Pagar: Zharfan Rohaizad (GK), Aqhari Abdullah, Faritz Hameed (C), Shakir Hamzah (Shahrin Saberin 80’), Daniel Bennett, Akram Azman (Khairul Nizam 59’), Fathullah Rahmat (Faizal Raffi 65’), Mirko Šugić, Shodai Nishikawa, Khairul Amri, Reo Nishiguchi.
Unused subs: Fashah Iskandar (GK), Emmeric Ong, Syukri Bashir, Naufal Ilham, Ryan Syaffiq, Azim Akbar.
Sailors: Izwan Mahbud (GK), Hafiz Nor (Iqram Rifqi 90’+1), Bill Mamadou, Amirul Adli (C), Saifullah Akbar (Hami Syahin 87’), M. Anumanthan, Shahdan Sulaiman (Naqiuddin Eunos 62’), Faris Ramli (Haiqal Pashia 87’), Diego Lopes, Maxime Lestienne, Kim Shin-wook (Gabriel Quak 62’).
Unused subs: Adib Nur Hakim (GK), Hassan Sunny (GK), Glenn Ong.
Eagles soar to fourth
Balestier 2-4 Geylang | Toa Payoh | 14 October
Ryoya Taniguchi 40′, Daniel Goh 90’+3 | Šime Žužul 21, Ilhan Noor 45′, Tajeli Salamat 49′, 90′
Taniguchi squeezed one in at the near post to cancel out Žužul’s close-range finish, but Geylang kept going and retook the lead through Ilhan’s header off Hazzuwan Halim’s cross. Tajeli then came to the fore – firing home an unerring finish before showing great skill in the area to net his second to all but seal the Eagles’ victory. Goh then capitalised on a Zulfairuuz Rudy goalkeeping error to net a late consolation for Balestier.
- Geylang have lost just two out of their last 16 matches.
- Žužul has scored in each of his last three outings against Balestier, tallying four goals.
- With 17 goals, Žužul has scored the most goals in a single season for Geylang since 2003 (Brendon Santalab 19, Aleksandar Duric 27).
- Tajeli scored his first-ever career brace. He is now up to three goals in 2022 – surpassing his previous best of two in 2020 with the Sailors.
- Taniguchi scored in four straight SPL games for the first time – his 10-goal haul is his best-ever season tally.
- Goh scored in three straight games for the first time in his career.
- Geylang’s Zulfairuuz Rudy made his first SPL career start since September 2021 in Tampines’ loss to Hougang.
Balestier: Rudy Khairullah (GK), Darren Teh, Madhu Mohana, Delwinder Singh, Gareth Low, Daniel Goh, Ignatius Ang (Asshukrie Wahid 90’+2), Ammirul Emmran, Ryoya Taniguchi, Kuraba Kondo, Shuhei Hoshino (C).
Unused subs: Hairul Syirhan (GK), Aarish Kumar, Hariysh Krishnakumar, Puvan Raj, Syukri Noorhaizam, Akmal Azman, Aidil Johari, Iftiqar Parizan.
Geylang: Zulfairuuz Rudy (GK), Tajeli Salamat (Ariffin Noor 90’+2), Rio Sakuma (C), Faizal Roslan, Ilhan Noor, Joshua Pereira (Umar Akhbar 73’), Huzaifah Aziz, Takahiro Tezuka, Hazzuwan Halim (Khairul Hairie 86’), Vincent Bezecourt (Fareez Farhan 86’), Šime Žužul.
Unused subs: Hafiz Ahmad (GK), Muhd Noor Ariff, Qayyum Raishyan, Kieran Teo.
Young Lions 3-5 Hougang | Jalan Besar | 15 October
Glenn Kweh 16′, Danish Qayyum 72′, Jordan Emaviwe 89′ | Fabian Kwok 2′, Pedro Bortoluzo 31′, 60′, 79′, Amy Recha 90′
Kwok’s tap-in was cancelled out by a Kweh stunner from a tight angle, but Hougang went back ahead with Bortoluzo brilliantly converting two headers off corners from Zulfahmi Arifin and Kristijan Krajček. Danish halved the deficit by firing inside Zainol Gulam’s near post, before Bortoluzo completed his hat-trick with a rocket from a shot from 25 yards out. Emaviwe then converted Arshad Shamim’s low cross to pull another one back for Young Lions, but Amy then finished off Shahril Ishak’s backheel to seal the three points for the Cheetahs.
- Young Lions have now let in a total of 101 goals in 27 matches.
- Young Lions have now conceded in each of their last 62 outings.
- Emaviwe became the 34th different player to score and assist in the same match this season.
- Hougang’s Zainol Gulam made his first SPL appearance since May 2021 in Geylang’s 5-2 loss to Hougang.
- Four goalkeepers have now made appearances for Hougang this season – Ridhuan Barudin, Aizil Yazid, Mukundan Maran and now Zainol – the most of any team in the league.
- Kwok scored his first goal since October 2021 – also against Young Lions, in a 3-1 win.
- Kwok became the 15th different player to score for Hougang this season, a joint-most in the league with the Sailors.
- Bortoluzo scored his second hat-trick of the season – he has scored 20 goals for Hougang this year, including four in the AFC Cup.
- Krajček has two goals and 11 assists in his last seven appearances – he is now the league’s second-highest assist-maker along with Albirex’s Idetsu on 16.
- Hougang’s Ajay Robson made his first professional start.
Young Lions: Ridhwan Fikri (GK), Danial Crichton, Syed Akmal, Syahrul Sazali, Fairuz Fazli (Arshad Shamim 38’), Amir Syafiz, Ryu Hardy, Elijah Lim, Jordan Emaviwe, Glenn Kweh (Irfan Iskandar 81’), Khairin Nadim (Danish Qayyum 68’).
Unused subs: Dylan Pereira (GK), Abdul Rasaq, Moritz Faizal Radewaldt, Syed Adel.
Hougang: Zainol Gulam (GK), Muhaimin Suhaimi, Anders Aplin, Fabian Kwok (C), Nazrul Nazari, Zulfahmi Arifin (Shahfiq Ghani 87’), Ajay Robson (Sahil Suhaimi 85’), André Moritz (Shahril Ishak 85’), Kristijan Krajček, Shawal Anuar (Amy Recha 68’), Pedro Bortoluzo (Amir Zalani 87’).
Unused subs: Mukundan Maran (GK), Aizil Yazid (GK), Faiz Salleh, Farhan Zulkifli.
Top Scorer race goes on
Tampines 5-3 Albirex | Our Tampines Hub | 15 October
Boris Kopitović 10′, 68′, Taufik Suparno 45’+1, Yasir Hanapi 67′, Kyoga Nakamura 89′ | Ilhan Fandi 1′, Kodai Tanaka 54′, Ryaan Sanizal O.G. 85′
Ilhan seized on Tanaka’s knock-on to put Albirex ahead within the first minute, but Kopitović levelled matters with a stunning bicycle kick before Taufik clinically finished off Ong Yu En’s defence-splitting pass to put Tampines in front. Tanaka then swept home Ilhan’s backheel to restore parity, but the Stags retook the lead through Yasir’s close-range header before Kopitović slalomed through to convert a brilliant individual goal to make it 4-2. Tanaka then forced a Ryaan own goal to make things interesting, but Gavin Lee’s side sealed victory through Nakamura’s 25-yard howitzer.
- With 33 goals, Kopitović is now one ahead of Albirex’s Tanaka in the Top Scorer race with one Matchweek to go.
- Only two players have scored more goals in one season in Singapore league history – Aleksandar Duric (37 in 2007) and Mirko Grabovac (39 in 2001 and 34 in 2002), both for Singapore Armed Forces FC.
- Kopitović scored and assisted in one match for a ninth time this season, the most of any player.
- Kopitovic’s first goal was the first time Tampines had scored within the opening 10 minutes of a match this season; prior to this, they were the only team not to have done so.
- Yasir scored his 35th SPL goal.
- Nakamura scored his 15th SPL goal.
- Nakamura scored his third goal from outside the box in open play; only Geylang’s Vincent Bezecourt has scored more this season, with four.
- Albirex suffered their first loss in 13 matches.
- Albirex’s previous three defeats before this all came against Tanjong Pagar. Tampines were also the last side apart from the Jaguars to beat them in the league back in November 2020.
- Tampines are now unbeaten in seven matches – their longest unbeaten streak in a season since 2020.
- Tampines recovered from going behind to win a match this season for a fifth time, joint-most with Albirex.
- Ilhan’s goal on 32 seconds is the fastest SPL goal this season.
- Ilhan’s 17th goal of the season makes him the top-scoring Singaporean in a single campaign since Fazrul Nawaz nettefd 18 times for Warriors FC in 2015.
- Ilhan is the top-scoring Singaporean teenager (below 20 years old) in a single season in league history, surpassing Ahmad Latiff’s 14 for Geylang United in 1999. He is the second-best teenager behind Agu Casmir’s (as an 18-year-old) 25 for Woodlands Wellington in 2002.
- 12 of Taufik’s 28 SPL career goals have been scored in 2022.
- Irfan Najeeb made his first career assist.
- Albirex’s Shakthi Vinayagavijayan made his professional debut.
Tampines: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Irfan Najeeb, Ryaan Sanizal, Shuya Yamashita, Amirul Haikal (Irwan Shah 84’), Kyoga Nakamura, Syed Firdaus Hassan (Firdaus Kasman 75’), Ong Yu En (Zehrudin Mehmedović 62’), Yasir Hanapi (C), Taufik Suparno (Joel Chew 75’), Boris Kopitović.
Unused subs: Danial Iliya (GK), Iman Hakim, Shameer Aziq, Rezza Rezky, Andrew Aw.
Albirex: Takahiro Koga (GK), Jun Kobayashi (C), Keito Hariya, Reo Kunimoto, Masaya Idetsu, Kumpei Kakuta, Mahiro Takahashi (Tadanari Lee 72’), Masahiro Sugita (Kanato Fukazawa 72’), Zamani Zamri (Nicky Melvin Singh 46’), Ilhan Fandi (Shakthi Vinayagavijayan 80’), Kodai Tanaka.
Unused subs: Hyrulnizam Juma’at (GK), Kai Yamamoto (GK), Tatsuya Sambongi, Tsubasa Kawanishi, Kenji Austin.