Singapore Premier League • May 15, 2022
2022 Singapore Premier League Matchweek 9: Roundup
Balestier Khalsa’s Aarish Kumar holds off Albirex Niigata (S) forward Kodai Tanaka, 13 May 2022
SINGAPORE, 15 MAY 2022 – The AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) rolled on as champions Lion City Sailors edged Geylang International to extend their lead at the top to six points, while Albirex Niigata (S) overcame Balestier Khalsa to climb to second. Elsewhere, Hougang United’s struggles continued as they were held by Tanjong Pagar United. We recap all the action below…
White Swans continue ascendancy
Balestier 1-2 Albirex | Toa Payoh | 13 May
Shuhei Hoshino 50′ | Kan Kobayashi 32′, Tadanari Lee 86′
It had looked like Balestier had done enough to grab a point, with Hoshino’s header off Darren Teh’s free-kick after the break cancelling out Kobayashi’s crisp first-half finish. However, Albirex had other ideas as former Japanese international Lee benefitted from Masaya Idetsu’s inswinging corner to nod home a late winner and break the Tigers’ hearts.
- Balestier have now failed to defeat Albirex in their last 22 encounters in all competitions since October 2015.
- Albirex extended their unbeaten away streak to 19 SPL matches.
- Lee has scored in both career appearances against Balestier.
- Hoshino has now scored five times in his last six SPL appearances.
- Teh has now made three assists – his most in a season since he made two for Geylang International in 2018.
- Balestier’s Daniel Goh made his first appearance for the Tigers since September 2019 in a 3-3 draw with Warriors FC.
Balestier: Hairul Syirhan (GK), Darren Teh, Ensar Brunčević, Aarish Kumar (Aidil Johari 21’), Gareth Low (Asshukrie Wahid 75’), Ammirul Emmran, Ho Wai Loon (Akmal Azman 75’), Kuraba Kondo, Ryoya Taniguchi, Puvan Raj (Daniel Goh 46’), Shuhei Hoshino (C).
Unused subs: Rudy Khairullah (GK), Keshav Kumar, Naufal Azman, Ignatius Ang, Aqil Yazid.
Albirex: Takahiro Koga (GK), Jun Kobayashi (C), Reo Kunimoto (Keito Hariya 62’), Daichi Omori, Masaya Idetsu, Kumpei Kakuta, Kan Kobayashi, Zamani Zamri (Kanato Fukazawa 62’), Masahiro Sugita (Tsubasa Kawanashi 90’+3), Tadanari Lee, Kodai Tanaka (Fairoz Hasan 89’).
Unused subs: Hyrulnizam Juma’at (GK), Kai Yamamoto (GK), Tatsuya Sambongi, Hilman Norhisam, Junki Yoshimura.
Cheetahs salvage late point
Hougang 1-1 Tanjong Pagar | Hougang | 14 May
Pedro Bortoluzo 90’+4 | Reo Nishiguchi 90′
On a night where both goalkeepers stood out with outstanding saves, it seemed like Tanjong Pagar had stolen the points late on through Nishiguchi’s deft finish beyond Mukundan Maran. However, Bortoluzo popped up at the back post to convert Kristijan Krajček’s free-kick deep into injury time to force a draw.
- Tanjong Pagar extended their unbeaten streak against Hougang to five matches since November 2020.
- Hougang scored for a second time in injury time – the most of any team this season.
- Hougang have now conceded in their last 16 SPL matches since August 2021.
- Hougang have now won one out of their last six matches.
- Bortoluzo’s goal on 93 minutes and 52 seconds is the latest goal scored in the SPL this season.
- Nishiguchi has now scored four times in his last four appearances; he now has eight goals, one away from matching his 2021 season best of nine.
- Krajček made his 15th SPL assist.
- Tanjong Pagar’s Fashah Iskandar made his first SPL start since April 2021 in a 2-2 draw with Tampines Rovers.
Hougang: Mukundan Maran (GK), Muhaimin Suhaimi, Nazhiim Harman (Hafiz Sujad 79’), Lionel Tan, Faiz Salleh, Kaishu Yamazaki, Fabian Kwok (C), Kristijan Krajček, André Moritz, Shahril Ishak (Amy Recha 86’), Pedro Bortoluzo.
Unused subs: Aizil Yazid (GK), Shahfiq Ghani, Afiq Noor, Kishson Philip, Sahil Suhaimi, Amir Zalani, Farhan Zulkifli.
Tanjong Pagar: Fashah Iskandar (GK), Akram Azman (Khairul Amri 64’), Daniel Bennett, Raihan Rahman, Faritz Hameed (C), Shodai Nishikawa, Rusyaidi Salime, Blake Ricciuto, Mirko Šugić, Aqhari Abdullah, Reo Nishiguchi.
Unused subs: Veer Karan Sobti (GK), Faizal Raffi, Emmeric Ong, Fathullah Rahmat, Syukri Bashir, Khairul Nizam, Naufal Ilham, Hadiputradila Saswadimata.
Sailors scrape unconvincing win
Sailors 1-0 Geylang | Jalan Besar | 14 May
Diego Lopes 35′
Geylang put up a strong fight but were ultimately unable to produce another upset with Lopes scoring the only goal of the match. The Brazilian made a shrewd run to free himself in the crowded penalty area before meeting Maxime Lestienne’s inswinging corner with a firm header in the first half, with Hassan Sunny proving unbeatable at the other end.
- The Sailors won five straight SPL games for the second time.
- Geylang have now gone seven games without a win in a season for the first time since 2018.
- Lestienne is the first player to make at least one assist in three straight games this season; he is now the league’s top creator with six assists.
- Lopes is the third player to score a match-winning goal for the Sailors – the most of any team.
- Lopes’ goal is the first header conceded by Geylang this season; Sailors are the only team left not to concede any in 2022.
- Lopes netted his 10th SPL goal.
- Sailors’ Hassan Sunny kept three straight SPL clean sheets for the first time since April 2011 when he was with Tampines; he also kept his fourth shutout, the most by any goalkeeper this season.
- Geylang’s Hafiz Ahmad made his SPL debut – he was previously on the bench for a total of 33 games from the 2018, 2020 and 2022 seasons.
Sailors: Hassan Sunny (GK), Amirul Adli (Hafiz Nor 69’), Hariss Harun (C), Pedro Henrique, Iqram Rifqi, M. Anumanthan (Shahdan Sulaiman 57’), Diego Lopes, Anaqi Ismit (Gabriel Quak 46’), Song Uiyoung (Faris Ramli 69’), Maxime Lestienne (Adam Swandi 90’+4), Kim Shin-wook.
Unused subs: Izwan Mahbud (GK), Hami Syahin, Haiqal Pashia, Aniq Raushan.
Geylang: Hafiz Ahmad (GK), Faizal Roslan, Abdil Qaiyyim (C), Rio Sakuma, Ahmad Syahir (Ilhan Noor 85’), Huzaifah Aziz, Takahiro Tezuka, Hazzuwan Halim, Vincent Bezecourt, Khairul Hairie (Umar Akhbar 46’), Šime Žužul.
Unused subs: Zulfairuuz Rudy (GK), Danish Haziq, Furqan Raoff, Ariffin Noor.