Singapore Premier League • May 9, 2022
2022 Singapore Premier League Matchweek 8: Roundup
Hougang United’s Amy Recha (left) battles Lion City Sailors’ Pedro Henrique, 6 May 2022
SINGAPORE, 9 MAY 2022 – The AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) resumed with champions and leaders Lion City Sailors edging Hougang United to mark a victorious return to domestic football, while Tampines Rovers continued to follow closely behind after a comeback win against Balestier Khalsa. Elsewhere title aspirants Albirex Niigata (S) defeated Tanjong Pagar United to end a four-match win-less run. We recap all the action below…
Kim hits treble as Sailors continue to lead
Hougang 3-4 Sailors | Hougang | 6 May
André Moritz 36′, 90’+3, Pedro Bortoluzo 87′ | Maxime Lestienne 16′, Kim Shin-wook 24′, 42′, 56′
The Sailors raced into a two-goal lead within the first half-hour, with Lestienne taking advantage of Mukundan Maran’s misjudgement to score from outside the area before Kim swivelled to thrash home from close range. Moritz pulled one back for Hougang with a smart finish from 18 yards out, but Kim then applied the finishing touch to two good team moves to complete his hat-trick and put the visitors 4-1 up. Hougang rallied with Bortuluzo tapping home a rebound and Moritz catching Izwan Mahbud out from range for his second, but it was too little too late for the Cheetahs.
- This is the first time the Sailors have conceded more than a goal in a single game in 24 league matches since a 2-2 draw with Albirex in April 2021.
- Hougang were also the last team to score three against the Sailors in March 2021.
- The Sailors have dished out Hougang’s first home defeat in both 2021 and 2022.
- Hougang have now conceded in 15 straight games.
- The Sailors are now unbeaten in their last six league matches.
- This is the first SPL game without a single booking this season.
- Kim is the first player with more than one hat-trick in a single season for the Sailors; he is now on two.
- Both of Bortuluzo’s SPL goals this season have come against the Sailors.
- Song made his first assists of the season.
- Hougang’s Mukundan Maran and Faiz Salleh both made their first starts since April 2021.
Hougang: Mukundan Maran (GK), Muhaimin Suhaimi (Shahril Ishak 71’), Kaishu Yamazaki, Lionel Tan (C), Faiz Salleh, Kristijan Krajček (Afiq Noor 80’), Shahfiq Ghani (Fabian Kwok 63’), Amy Recha, André Moritz, Farhan Zulkifli (Hafiz Sujad 46’), Pedro Bortoluzo.
Unused subs: Aizil Yazid (GK), Sahil Suhaimi, Ajay Robson.
Sailors: Izwan Mahbud (GK), Amirul Adli, Hariss Harun (C), Pedro Henrique, Iqram Rifqi (Gabriel Quak 65’), Shahdan Sulaiman, Diego Lopes (Hami Syahin 78’), Anaqi Ismit (Hafiz Nor 46’), Song Uiyoung, Maxime Lestienne (M. Anumanthan 85’), Kim Shin-wook (Faris Ramli 65’).
Unused subs: Hassan Sunny (GK), Amiruldin Asraf, Adam Swandi, Aniq Raushan.
White Swans back to winning ways
Tanjong Pagar 1-2 Albirex | Jurong East | 7 May
Reo Nishiguchi 22’ | Kodai Tanaka 33’, Masaya Idetsu 45+2’
Tanjong Pagar drew first blood with Nishiguchi going on a rampaging solo run that took him past four defenders before scoring. However, Albirex fought back with Tanaka sneaking beyond his marker to nod home Daichi Omori’s deep cross, before Idetsu marked his return from injury with a peach of a free-kick to claim the points.
- Albirex defeated Tanjong Pagar for the first time in four encounters.
- Tanjong Pagar suffered two straight losses for the first time since April 2021.
- Nishiguchi has now scored in each of his last four appearances against Albirex, tallying five in total.
- Tanaka scored his fifth headed goal of the season; he has now netted the most headers in a season since Andrei Varankou scored six for Brunei DPMM in 2019.
- Omori’s three assists this season have all been for Tanaka.
- Tanjong Pagar’s Akram Azman made his first SPL appearance since March 2020 in Young Lions’ 3-0 defeat to Geylang.
- Albirex’s Reo Kunimoto made his first start since October 2021.
Tanjong Pagar: Zharfan Rohaizad (GK), Emmeric Ong (Faizal Raffi 89’), Raihan Rahman, Faritz Hameed (C), Shodai Nishikawa, Fathullah Rahmat (Rusyaidi Salime 57’), Blake Ricciuto, Mirko Šugić, Aqhari Abdullah, Khairul Amri (Akram Azman 74’), Reo Nishiguchi.
Unused subs: Fashah Iskandar (GK), Daniel Bennett, Naufal Ilham, Ryan Syaffiq, Hadiputradila Saswadimata.
Albirex: Takahiro Koga (GK), Jun Kobayashi (C), Reo Kunimoto, Daichi Omori, Masaya Idetsu, Kumpei Kakuta, Kan Kobayashi, Zamani Zamri (Kanato Fukazawa 68’), Masahiro Sugita, Tadanari Lee (Keito Hariya 90’), Kodai Tanaka.
Unused subs: Hyrulnizam Juma’at (GK), Kai Yamamoto (GK), Tatsuya Sambongi, Mahiro Takahashi, Fairoz Hasan, Yoshiki Matsuura, Junki Yoshimura.
Stags produce another comeback show
Tampines 2-1 Balestier | Our Tampines Hub | 8 May
Zehrudin Mehmedović 32′, Boris Kopitović 58′ | Gareth Low 15′
Balestier took a shock early lead when Low swept in the loose ball after Darren Teh’s low cross had caused chaos. Tampines would launch another fightback though, with Kopitović teeing up Mehmedović for an exquisite volley, before producing an inventive free-kick that went under the Tigers wall and beyond Rudy Khairullah for the match-winner. Balestier then ended the night with 10 men, with Delwinder Singh sent for two yellow cards in quick succession.
- This is the third time this season that Tampines have won after conceding first – at least twice more than any other side. In 2021, they drew thrice and lost five times in eight matches after conceding first.
- Tampines have now gone six games unbeaten.
- Tampines have no clean sheets in their opening eight games of the season for the first time since a 11-match run in 2006.
- Low scored his first professional goal after 57 appearances; he is also the first local player to net for Balestier this season.
- Kopitović scored his third direct free-kick goal of the season; he is the first to net more than two since Shahdan Sulaiman got five in 2019 for Tampines. The Serbian is also the first to score direct free-kicks in two straight games since Shahfiq Ghani did for Hougang in 2018.
- Kopitović has now scored seven in as many outings against Balestier since his SPL arrival in 2020 and also netted in a sixth consecutive SPL match.
- Balestier’s Hari McCoy made his SPL debut.
- Tampines’ Shameer Aziq made his first SPL appearance since August 2019 in Warriors FC’s 3-1 defeat to Hougang.
Tampines: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Christopher van Huizen (Shameer Aziq 88’), Shuya Yamashita, Adam Reefdy (Irwan Shah 71’), Amirul Haikal, Kyoga Nakamura, Ong Yu En (Iman Hakim 46’), Zehrudin Mehmedović, Taufik Suparno (Ali Manaf 88’), Yasir Hanapi (C) (Andrew Aw 51’), Boris Kopitović.
Unused subs: Danial Iliya (GK), Syed Firdaus Hassan, Ethan Pinto, Caelan Cheong.
Balestier: Rudy Khairullah (GK), Darren Teh, Ensar Brunčević, Delwinder Singh, Ho Wai Loon (C), Ammirul Emmran, Gareth Low (Akmal Azman 73’), Aidil Johari, Ryoya Taniguchi, Hari McCoy (Naufal Azman 32’), Kuraba Kondo (Ignatius Ang 64’).
Unused subs: Hairul Syirhan (GK), Aarish Kumar, Daniel Goh, Asshukrie Wahid, Puvan Raj, Aqil Yazid.
Red Card: Delwinder Singh 90’+6 (Balestier)