Singapore Premier League • April 7, 2022
2022 Singapore Premier League Matchweek 6: Roundup
Balestier Khalsa’s Kuraba Kondo (L) shields the ball, 5 April 2022
SINGAPORE, 7 APRIL 2022 – The AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) continues to deliver thrills and spills with Tanjong Pagar United remaining unbeaten after a miraculous comeback draw against Tampines Rovers, while title-chasing Albirex Niigata (S) were held to a third successive draw by Geylang International. Elsewhere, Hougang United’s struggles continue after a loss to Balestier Khalsa while Lion City Sailors held off Young Lions to go top. We recap all the action below…
Cheetahs continue to flounder
Balestier 2-1 Hougang | Toa Payoh | 5 April
Shuhei Hoshino 24′, Ensar Brunčević 52′ | Sahil Suhaimi 81′
Balestier returned to winning ways, led by captain Hoshino, who slammed home an emphatic left-footed finish after being teed up by Japanese compatriot Ryoya Taniguchi. The Tigers doubled their lead through Brunčević’s near-post header off Kuraba Kondo’s corner, before Hougang pulled one back with Sahil nodding in off the post via a sublime outside-foot cross by fellow substitute Shahfiq Ghani. But that was too little, too late as the hosts slumped to second-bottom.
- Balestier have now lost once out of their last eight matches at home.
- Hougang have now won once in their last nine games since August 2021.
- Hougang’s tally of five points from their opening six matches is their lowest since 2018, when they tallied three.
- Hoshino scored his 30th SPL goal – he has scored in all four of Balestier’s home games so far this season, exceeding his 2021 tally of three.
- Brunčević scored his second of the season – he is now just one short of his season-best tally of three in 2020.
- Sahil scored in two straight games for the first time since July 2019 when he was playing for Warriors FC; that was his first headed goal since June 2016 in Geylang’s 2-1 away win against Home United.
- Taniguchi made his fourth assist of the season, with three of those for Hoshino – he is ranked joint-second for assists along with Albirex’s Kan Kobayashi.
Balestier: Rudy Khairullah (GK), Darren Teh, Ensar Brunčević, Delwinder Singh, Ho Wai Loon (Akmal Azman 81’), Ammirul Emmran, Gareth Low (Asshukrie Wahid 85’), Aidil Johari, Ryoya Taniguchi, Kuraba Kondo, Shuhei Hoshino (C).
Unused subs: Riki Kimura (GK), Keshav Kumar, Aarish Kumar, Naufal Azman, Puvan Raj, Ignatius Ang, Aqil Yazid.
Hougang: Ridhuan Barudin (GK), Fabian Kwok (C) (Shahfiq Ghani 76’), Anders Aplin, Nazrul Nazari, Amy Recha (Shahril Ishak 76’), Kaishu Yamazaki, Kristijan Krajček, Farhan Zulkifli (Nazhiim Harman 66’), Zulfahmi Arifin, André Moritz, Shawal Anuar (Sahil Suhaimi 40’).
Unused subs: Mukundan Maran (GK), Aizil Yazid (GK), Faiz Salleh, Kishson Philip, Amir Zalani.
White Swans drop points again
Geylang 2-2 Albirex | Our Tampines Hub | 5 April
Šime Žužul 31′, Hazzuwan Halim 43′ | Abdil Qaiyyim O.G 7′, Masahiro Sugita 34′
Albirex led twice, but were pegged back on both occasions. After Tatsuya Sambongi’s early effort went in off Abdil, Žužul went on a rampaging run that took him past three defenders before finishing from the edge of the box. Sugita then put the White Swans back ahead with a blistering left-footed drive from range, but Hazzuwan drew the Eagles level again by nodding in Fadli Kamis’ knock-on. Despite having to play the final 30 minutes with a man less due to Faizal Roslan’s sending off, Noor Ali’s men held on for a creditable point.
- Geylang avoided defeat against Albirex for the first time in seven meetings in all competitions.
- This is the first draw between both sides in 19 encounters in all competitions since a 2-2 draw in the 2016 RHB Singapore Cup quarter-finals.
- Albirex let slip a lead to be held to a draw in a third successive game – the last time they were held to three straight draws was in the final three games of the 2021 season.
- Geylang received a red card for a second successive game – they only had one dismissal in the 2021 season.
- Kan Kobayashi made his fourth assist of the season – joint-second most in the league.
- Geylang’s Abdil Qaiyyim and Fadli Kamis made their first assists since November 2020 and March 2020 respectively.
- Geylang’s Zulfadhmi Suzliman and Yeo Hai Ngee made his first appearances since December 2020 in Balestier’s 5-2 defeat to Sailors and 2-1 win over Hougang respectively.
Geylang: Zaiful Nizam (GK) (C), Fadli Kamis, Abdil Qaiyyim (Ilhan Noor 84’), Rio Sakuma, Faizal Roslan, Huzaifah Aziz, Takahiro Tezuka, Hazzuwan Halim (Zulfadhmi Suzliman 56’), Vincent Bezecourt, Khairul Hairie (Yeo Hai Ngee 74’), Šime Žužul.
Unused subs: Zulfairuuz Rudy (GK), Fareez Farhan, Qayyum Raishyan, Kieran Teo, Azri Suhaili, Furqan Raoff.
Albirex: Takahiro Koga (GK), Tatsuya Sambongi, Jun Kobayashi (C), Keito Hariya, Omori Daichi, Kan Kobayashi, Kumpei Kakuta (Kanato Fukazawa 89’), Masahiro Sugita, Nicky Melvin Singh (Reo Kunimoto 65’), Tadanari Lee, Kodai Tanaka.
Unused subs: Hyrulnizam Juma’at (GK), Kai Yamamoto (GK), Mahiro Takahashi, Fairoz Hasan, Yoshiki Matsuura, Satsuki Mori, Junki Yoshimura.
Red Card: Faizal Roslan 60’ (Geylang)
Indomitable Jaguars stay unbeaten
Tampines 3-3 Tanjong Pagar | Our Tampines Hub | 6 April
Faritz Hameed O.G 13′, Boris Kopitović 19′, Christopher van Huizen 64′ | Reo Nishiguchi pen. 68′, 75′, Mirko Šugić 90’+3
Leading by two early goals with Kopitović forcing an own goal from Faritz before rounding Zharfan Rohaizad to net from a tight angle, Tampines looked set for another three points when Van Huizen lashed in a sizzling effort from outside the box to put them three up. However, Tanjong Pagar had other ideas and Nishiguchi’s penalty sparked an improbable comeback. The Japanese forward notched his second with a deft header off Raihan Rahman’s corner and deep into injury time, Šugić nodded home Aqhari Abdullah’s stunning cross to cue raucous celebrations from the Tanjong Pagar bench.
- Tanjong Pagar have come from behind to draw in four out of the last five encounters.
- Tanjong Pagar are now undefeated in their last nine SPL matches – an ongoing best run of form since a 11-match run in May 2000.
- Tanjong Pagar were also the last team to come back from a three-goal deficit to draw – in a 4-4 draw with Albirex in October 2021.
- This is the first time Tampines have not kept a clean sheet in their opening five games since the 2016 season.
- Kopitović has scored six in his last three outings – he is the current league top scorer with seven.
- Van Huizen scored in two straight games for the first time – he equalled his 2020 season-best tally of two goals.
- Nishiguchi scored his second-ever SPL brace and his 20th SPL goal – he has netted in six out of his last eight outings.
- Tanjong Pagar’s Daniel Bennett played in a record 24th SPL season after coming on as a second-half substitute, while Tampines’ Adam Reefdy made his first professional start.
Tampines: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Christopher van Huizen (Andrew Aw 82’), Shuya Yamashita, Adam Reefdy (Ryaan Sanizal 69’), Amirul Haikal (Irwan Shah 69’), Firdaus Kasman (Syed Firdaus Hassan 87’), Kyoga Nakamura, Zehrudin Mehmedović, Taufik Suparno (Marc Ryan Tan 82’), Yasir Hanapi (C), Boris Kopitović.
Unused subs: Danial Iliya (GK), Iman Hakim, Shameer Aziq, Ethan Pinto.
Tanjong Pagar: Zharfan Rohaizad (GK), Emmeric Ong (Daniel Bennett 58’), Raihan Rahman, Faritz Hameed (C), Shodai Nishikawa, Faizal Raffi (Rusyaidi Salime 72’), Blake Ricciuto, Mirko Šugić, Aqhari Abdullah, Naufal Ilham (Khairul Amri 58’), Reo Nishiguchi.
Unused subs: Veer Karan Sobti (GK), Fashah Iskandar (GK), Fathullah Rahmat, Syukri Bashir, Ryan Syaffiq, Hadiputradila Saswadimata.
Sailors scrape win to go top
Young Lions 0-1 Sailors | Jalan Besar | 6 April
Gabriel Quak 15′
A tight affair was settled by a moment of brilliance from Quak as his daisy-cutter from 20 yards nestled into the bottom right corner after Song Uiyoung’s initial shot was deflected into his path. The Sailors then had to survive a late Young Lions onslaught to go top of the table.
- The Sailors have now won all six encounters since their 2020 inception.
- The Sailors have now kept three clean sheets in their last four matches, after just one in their last 13 outings in all competitions.
- Young Lions have now conceded in their last 40 SPL matches.
- Young Lions lost their opening four games for the first time since 2020.
- Sailors’ Gabriel Quak has now scored six in his last six outings against Young Lions.
- Sailors’ Hassan Sunny kept successive clean sheets for the first time since November 2020.
Young Lions: Ridhwan Fikri (GK), Syabil Hisham, Jacob Mahler (C), Jordan Emaviwe, Ryhan Stewart, Shah Shahiran, Amir Syafiz (Jared Gallagher 85’), Syahrul Sazali (Danish Qayyum 76’), Joel Chew (Zikos Chua 72’), Glenn Kweh (Zamani Zamri 85’), Khairin Nadim (Daniel Goh 72’).
Unused subs: Umar Sujuandy (GK), Raoul Suhaimi, Rezza Rezky, Arshad Shamim.
Sailors: Hassan Sunny (GK), Tajeli Salamat (Amirul Adli 77’), Hariss Harun (C), Pedro Henrique, Nur Adam Abdullah, Shahdan Sulaiman, Diego Lopes, Gabriel Quak (Faris Ramli 58’), Song Uiyoung (Adam Swandi 43’), Hafiz Nor (M. Anumanthan 77’), Kim Shin-wook.
Unused subs: Izwan Mahbud (GK), Iqram Rifqi, Hami Syahin, Maxime Lestienne, Anaqi Ismit.