Singapore Premier League • April 3, 2022
2022 Singapore Premier League Matchweek 5: Roundup
Young Lions’ Ilhan Fandi (L) battles Tanjong Pagar United’s Raihan Rahman, 2 April 2022
SINGAPORE, 3 APRIL 2022 – The AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) returned with a bang over the weekend as Tanjong Pagar United remained top after overcoming the Young Lions. The Lion City Sailors follow closely behind after thrashing Balestier Khalsa, while Albirex Niigata (S) lost ground after being held to a draw by Hougang United. In an explosive Eastern Derby, Tampines Rovers continued their renaissance by defeating Geylang International. We recap all the action below…
Cheetahs stand up to be counted
Hougang 1-1 Albirex | Hougang | 1 April
Sahil Suhaimi 77’ | Masahiro Sugita 44’
Albirex broke the deadlock just before the break through Sugita, who ghosted into the box to finish off Tadanari Lee’s square pass. However, Hougang rallied and grabbed a late leveller when Sahil rifled home a low finish after being teed up by Shawal Anuar to complete a lethal counter-attack. Some desperate rearguard action late on ensured the hosts collected a share of the spoils to recover from a dismal 7-1 defeat to Tampines a fortnight ago.
- Hougang ended a run of five straight competitive defeats against Albirex – this is the first time they have avoided defeat against the White Swans since September 2019.
- Hougang have now conceded at least a goal in each of their last 12 matches since a 1-0 win over Young Lions in August 2021.
- Sahil scored his first goal since October 2020 in Hougang’s 2-1 away win against Tampines Rovers.
- Lee assisted Sugita for a second time this season.
Hougang: Ridhuan Barudin (GK), Nazrul Nazari, Anders Aplin, Kaishu Yamazaki, Farhan Zulkifli (Sahil Suhaimi 52’), Fabian Kwok (C) (Nazhiim Harman 68’), Zulfahmi Arifin (Shahfiq Ghani 68’), Kristijan Krajček, André Moritz, Shawal Anuar, Amy Recha.
Unused subs: Mukundan Maran (GK), Aizil Yazid (GK), Faiz Salleh, Shahril Ishak, Kishson Philip, Amir Zalani.
Albirex: Takahiro Koga (GK), Yoshiki Matsuura, Jun Kobayashi (C), Keito Hariya, Daichi Omori, Kan Kobayashi, Kumpei Kakuta, Masahiro Sugita, Nicky Melvin Singh (Kanato Fukazawa 61’), Tadanari Lee, Kodai Tanaka.
Unused subs: Hyrulnizam Juma’at (GK), Kai Yamamoto (GK), Tatsuya Sambongi, Mahiro Takahashi, Reo Kunimoto, Fairoz Hasan, Satsuki Mori, Junki Yoshimura.
Kim hat-trick sinks Tigers
Sailors 4-0 Balestier | Jalan Besar | 1 April
Kim Shin-wook 7’, 30’, 55’, Song Uiyoung 27’
The Sailors put up their most convincing display of the season to blow Balestier away as star striker Kim notched a treble. Shahdan Sulaiman’s corner was headed in with minimal fuss to set them on the way before Song benefitted from an exquisite Maxime Lestienne cross to fire in his first goal of the season. Kim then produced a close-range finish off Gabriel Quak’s ball before converting another header off Diego Lopes’ pinpoint cross to complete his first-ever SPL hat-trick.
- The Sailors kept their second clean sheet in three matches – they kept just one in their previous 13 outings, including the AIA Community Shield.
- Balestier have now conceded at least two goals in each of their last eight matches since a 1-0 win over Tanjong Pagar in September 2021.
- Balestier have now conceded 20 goals in five matches this season – the most by any team.
- Balestier are now win-less in their last 14 away matches since a 2-1 away win at Hougang in December 2020.
- Kim has scored five goals in as many league outings for Sailors this season – he scored the third hat-trick of this season after Albirex’s Kodai Tanaka and Tampines’ Boris Kopitović.
- Song has now scored in 10 SPL seasons in a row.
- Balestier’s Asshukrie Wahid made his first start since September 2021 in Geylang’s 3-0 loss to the Sailors.
- Balestier’s Akmal Azman made his first SPL appearance since November 2020 in Young Lion’s 4-0 defeat to Sailors.
Sailors: Hassan Sunny (GK), Tajeli Salamat (Amirul Adli 69’), Hariss Harun (C), Pedro Henrique, Nur Adam Abdullah, Shahdan Sulaiman (Adam Swandi 69’), Diego Lopes, Gabriel Quak (Hafiz Nor 64’), Song Uiyoung (M. Anumanthan 64’), Maxime Lestienne (Haiqal Pashia 83’), Kim Shin-wook.
Unused subs: Izwan Mahbud (GK), Iqram Rifqi, Hami Syahin, Anaqi Ismit.
Balestier: Hairul Syirhan (GK), Asshukrie Wahid (Darren Teh 64’), Ensar Brunčević, Delwinder Singh, Gareth Low (Ignatius Ang 77’), Aidil Johari, Ryoya Taniguchi, Naufal Azman (Akmal Azman 69’), Ho Wai Loon (C), Kuraba Kondo, Shuhei Hoshino.
Unused subs: Riki Kimura (GK), Aarish Kumar, Ammirul Emmran, Puvan Raj, Larry Lim, Aqil Yazid.
The East is yellow
Geylang 2-3 Tampines | Our Tampines Hub | 2 April
Šime Žužul 9’, Khairul Hairie 30’ | Boris Kopitović pen. 14’, 87’, Christopher van Huizen 66’
Geylang took the early initiative in the Eastern Derby through Žužul’s clinical finish before Tampines struck back from the spot through Kopitović. A stunning hit from Khairul had the Eagles in front at the break, but the tide turned after Ahmad Syahir was dismissed for two quick yellow cards. The Stags took full advantage, as van Huizen netted a sizzling near-post finish before Kopitović curled a brilliant strike beyond Zaiful Nizam for a late match-winner.
- This is the first time in nine games that Tampines have won after trailing at half-time, having picked up only four points during that run before this game. The last time they did so was in November 2020 in a 4-1 away win against Albirex.
- Kopitović has scored five goals in his last two outings; he is now the league’s joint-top scorer along with Albirex’s Kodai Tanaka on six. This brace took him to 31 SPL goals overall.
- Kyoga Nakamura has now assisted Kopitović four times – he has a league-high five assists so far this season.
- Van Huizen has scored and emerged on the winning side in his last two Eastern Derby appearances – albeit for different teams.
- Žužul has now netted seven goals in his last five outings against Tampines.
- Khairul netted his first SPL goal.
- Tampines’ Syed Firdaus Hassan made his first start and appearance since August 2019 in Young Lions’ 4-2 defeat to Hougang.
Geylang: Zaiful Nizam (GK) (C), Fadli Kamis, Rio Sakuma, Faizal Roslan, Ahmad Syahir, Huzaifah Aziz, Takahiro Tezuka, Hazzuwan Halim (Ilhan Noor 88’), Vincent Bezecourt, Khairul Hairie (Fareez Farhan 65’), Šime Žužul.
Unused subs: Zulfairuuz Rudy (GK), Yeo Hai Ngee, Zulfadhmi Suzliman, Qayyum Raishyan, Kieran Teo, Azri Suhaili, Furqan Raoff.
Tampines: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Christopher van Huizen (Adam Reefdy 90’+1), Ryaan Sanizal, Shuya Yamashita, Irwan Shah (Amirul Haikal 66′), Syed Firdaus Hassan (Firdaus Kasman 46′), Kyoga Nakamura, Zehrudin Mehmedović (Andrew Aw 90’+1), Taufik Suparno (Marc Ryan Tan 84′), Yasir Hanapi (C), Boris Kopitović.
Unused subs: Danial Iliya (GK), Iman Hakim, Shameer Aziq, Amir Mirza.
Red Card: Ahmad Syahir 55’ (Geylang)
Jaguars juggernaut rolls on
Young Lions 2-3 Tanjong Pagar | Jalan Besar | 2 April
Zulqarnaen Suzliman 3’, Ilhan Fandi pen. 32’ | Khairul Amri 7’, Faritz Hameed 41’, Faizal Raffi 67’
In an frenetic first 10 minutes, Young Lions drew first blood with Zulqarnaen finishing off Syahrul Sazali’s through ball but a defensive mix-up led to Amri hitting back shortly after. The hosts went ahead again with Ilhan netting from 12 yards after Zulqarnaen was brought down in the area, but the Jaguars came roaring back with Faritz looping home a header. The second half was more subdued but the breakthrough came from substitute Faizal, who exchanged passes with Amri before clipping the ball over Ridhwan Fikri to seal the three points and top spot for another weekend.
- Tanjong Pagar are now undefeated in their last eight SPL matches – an ongoing best run of form since an 11-match streak in May 2000.
- Young Lions have now conceded at least a goal in each of their last 39 SPL matches since a 3-0 win over Home United in September 2019.
- Zulqarnaen scored more than one goal in a season for the first time in his SPL career; he has two now.
- Ilhan netted his first ever penalty goal.
- Faritz scored his first goal since August 2019 in Home United’s 3-1 defeat to Balestier.
- Faizal scored his first goal since May 2021 in Balestier’s 4-3 defeat to Hougang.
- Raihan made his first assist since July 2019 when he teed up Žužul to score in Balestier’s 3-3 draw with Warriors FC.
- Young Lions’ Syabil Hisham made his first start and appearance since April 2021 in a 7-0 defeat to Tampines.
Young Lions: Ridhwan Fikri (GK), Syabil Hisham, Jacob Mahler (C), Syahrul Sazali, Ryhan Stewart (Arshad Shamim 62’), Shah Shahiran, Amir Syafiz (Raoul Suhaimi 76’), Zulqarnaen Suzliman (Rezza Rezky 76’), Joel Chew, Ilhan Fandi (Glenn Kweh 66’), Khairin Nadim.
Unused subs: Umar Sujuandy (GK), Zikos Chua, Zamani Zamri, Syed Akmal, Jared Gallagher.
Tanjong Pagar: Zharfan Rohaizad (GK), Emmeric Ong, Raihan Rahman, Faritz Hameed (C), Shodai Nishikawa, Fathullah Rahmat (Faizal Raffi 46’), Blake Ricciuto, Mirko Šugić, Aqhari Abdullah (Naufal Ilham 86’), Reo Nishiguchi, Khairul Amri (Syukri Bashir 90’+3).
Unused subs: Veer Karan Sobti (GK), Fashah Iskandar (GK), Rusyaidi Salime, Daniel Bennett, Ryan Syaffiq, Hadiputradila Saswadimata.