Singapore Premier League • May 23, 2023

2023 Singapore Premier League Matchweek 12: Roundup


Lion City Sailors celebrating their win against Albirex Niigata (S), 21 May 2023.


SINGAPORE, 22 MAY 2023 – It was yet another incredible week of AIA Singapore Premier League action with Lion City Sailors edging Albirex Niigata (S) to throw the title race wide open. Tampines Rovers took full advantage as they sneaked past Young Lions to go top, while Balestier Khalsa strengthened their hold on fourth place by defeating Brunei DPMM. Elsewhere Tanjong Pagar United ended a four-game losing streak with a win against Geylang International. We recap all the action below…


Stags climb to the top

Tampines 1-0 Young Lions | Our Tampines Hub | 20 May

Boris Kopitović 2’



A brilliant scooped pass from Joel Chew set up Kopitović to put Tampines into the lead early on and that was enough to give the home side all three points. Young Lions did threaten in the dying stages of the game, but could not force an equaliser.



  • Tampines have kept three clean sheets in their last four matches – they have kept a total of six shutouts, joint-most with Albirex.
  • Tampines’ Syazwan Buhari kept his fifth clean sheet of the season – just one behind league-leading Hassan Sunny from Albirex.
  • Kopitović has scored four in his last three outings.
  • Young Lions have now conceded in their last 73 SPL matches since September 2019.


Tampines: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Irfan Najeeb, Shuya Yamashita, Miloš Zlatković, Glenn Kweh (Ryaan Sanizal 70’), Kyoga Nakamura, Shah Shahiran, Joel Chew (Saifullah Akbar 70’), Faris Ramli (Taufik Suparno 82’), Yasir Hanapi (C) (Firdaus Kasman 90’+3), Boris Kopitović.
Unused subs: Ridhuan Barudin (GK), Syed Firdaus Hassan, Rezza Rezky, Kegan Phang, Ong Yu En.


Young Lions: Aizil Yazid (GK), Raoul Suhaimi (Aqil Yazid 68’), Jun Kobayashi, Kieran Teo, Ilhan Noor (Andrew Aw 58’), Jared Gallagher, Kan Kobayashi, Harhys Stewart (C), Elijah Lim (Harith Kanadi 68’), Fairuz Fazli (Syafi Nur Hilman 86’), Syahadat Masnawi (Ryu Hardy 46’).
Unused subs: Rauf Erwan (GK), Umayr Sujuandy (GK), Ryan Praveen, Syafi’ie Redzuan.



Boris Kopitovic slotting the ball past Young Lions’ goalkeeper Aizil Yazid, 20 May 2023.


Terrific Tigers continue ascendancy

Balestier 3-2 DPMM | Bishan | 20 May

Shuhei Hoshino 30’, Daniel Goh 48’, Masahiro Sugita 56’ | Hakeme Yazid 46’, 71’



Hoshino reacted the quickest after Ryoya Taniguchi’s shot was blocked to put Balestier ahead, but Hakeme went on a solo run before netting a brilliant equaliser just after the break. The away side’s joy did not last long though as Goh checked inside his man en route to netting inside Haimie Nyaring’s near post, before Sugita applied the finishing touch to Taniguchi’s squared pass across the area. Hakeme scored a second to pull one back, but it was too little too late for DPMM.



  • 12 goals have been scored across the two encounters between both teams this season.
  • Balestier won three straight league games for the first time since October 2015.
  • DPMM conceded three goals for a second successive match – they have let in three goals or more in five out of 11 matches this season.
  • Goh has already matched his 2022 career-best tally of five goals.
  • 12 out of 19 DPMM’s goals this season have been scored by either Hakeme or Andrei Varankou.


Balestier: Hairul Syirhan (GK), Fudhil I’yadh (Emmeric Ong 58’), Madhu Mohana, Amer Hakeem (Fabian Kwok 66’), Darren Teh, Alen Kozar, Ryoya Taniguchi, Ho Wai Loon (C), Daniel Goh (Ignatius Ang 86’), Masahiro Sugita, Shuhei Hoshino.
Unused subs: Suffian Abdullah (GK), Syazwani Hashari (GK), Syabil Hisham, Kian Jared Ghadessy, Irfan Mika’il, Iftiqar Parizan.


DPMM: Haimie Nyaring (GK), Helmi Zambin (Awangku Fakharrazi 66’), Yura Indera Putera, Ángel Martínez, Najib Tarif (C) (Abdul Mu’iz Sisa 86’), Hanif Farhan, Josip Balić, Syafiq Hilmi, Razimie Ramlli (Nazirrudin Ismail 66’), Andrei Varankou, Hakeme Yazid.
Unused subs: Akmal Tursunbaev (GK), Azwan Saleh, Eddy Shahrol Izzat, Hirzi Zulfaqar.


Daniel Goh celebrates after scoring against DPMM, 20 May 2023.


Incredible comeback from Sailors

Sailors 3-2 Albirex | Bishan | 21 May

Diego Lopes 49’, Shawal Anuar 53’, Abdul Rasaq Akeem 75’ | Nur Adam Abdullah O.G. 13’, Tadanari Lee 25’



The Sailors looked dead and buried after a first half in which Nur Adam Abdullah unfortunately netted an own goal while trying to clear Seia Kunori’s header that came off both posts, before Lee diverted in Kaisei Ogawa’s free-kick to put Albirex two goals up. However, they produced a stirring second-half show, with Shawal Anuar setting up Lopes to pull one back before popping up at the back post to convert Maxime Lestienne’s cross to level the score. Super-sub Rasaq then completed the comeback with a stunning first-time volley off another Lestienne cross to send the home fans wild.



  • The Sailors beat Albirex for the first time in the SPL after 11 attempts.
  • The Sailors overcame a two-goal deficit to win for the first time in their history.
  • The Sailors are still the only side with a 100 percent home record this season, with five wins out of five.
  • Albirex fell to just their second defeat of the season.
  • Albirex’s Hassan Sunny conceded as many goals in this game as he did in the first nine matches of the season.
  • Lestienne now has 10 goals and 11 assists in 11 matches this season – both league-leading tallies.
  • Rasaq scored his sixth of the season, exceeding his 2022 career-best tally of five goals in all competitions.
  • Shawal scored and assisted in the same game for the first time since August 2022 when he did so for Hougang in a 5-1 win over Young Lions.


Sailors: Zharfan Rohaizad (GK), Zulqarnaen Suzliman (Hafiz Nor 46’), Hariss Harun (C), M. Anumanthan, Nur Adam Abdullah, Adam Swandi, Hami Syahin (Lionel Tan 90’+3), Shawal Anuar, Maxime Lestienne, Diego Lopes, Bernie Ibini-Isei (Abdul Rasaq Akeem 46’).
Unused subs: Rudy Khairullah (GK), Arshad Shamim, Christopher van Huizen, Haiqal Pashia, Bill Mamadou, Nathan Mao.


Albirex: Hassan Sunny (GK) (Hyrulnizam Juma’at 86’), Koki Kawachi, Shunsaku Kishimoto, Asahi Yokokawa (C), Sho Fuwa, Shodai Yokoyama, Kaisei Ogawa (Riku Fukashiro 61’), Shuto Komaki, Junki Yoshimura (Masaya Watanabe 46’), Tadanari Lee, Seia Kunori (Keito Komatsu 77’).
Unused subs: Ryo Takahashi, Keito Hariya, Nicky Melvin Singh, Zamani Zamri, Hilman Norhisam.


Adam Swandi in action against Albirex Niigata (S), 21 May 2023.


Jaguars stun Eagles

Geylang 2-3 Tanjong Pagar | Our Tampines Hub | 21 May

Vincent Bezecourt 45’+4, Delwinder Singh 72’ | Khairul Amri 11’, Mirko Šugić 45’+1, Marin Mudražija 45’+3



Šugić went on a great solo run to tee up Amri for the opener, before going on to score a sizzling volley himself to double Tanjong Pagar’s lead. Mudražija then netted an opportunistic lob from just outside the box for the Jaguars’ third, before Geylang pulled one back through Bezecourt’s rocket long-range shot to end a breathless first half. Delwinder then came off the bench to smash in another stunner, but it was not enough for Geylang as they slipped to defeat in this one.



  • Tanjong Pagar won for the first time in five matches, while Geylang fell to a third straight defeat.
  • Amri is the oldest player to score this season at 38 years, 2 months and 6 days.
  • Šugić scored his first goal since October 2022 in Tanjong Pagar’s 4-3 loss to Tampines.
  • Delwinder scored just his fourth league goal of his professional career.


Geylang: Hafiz Ahmad (GK), Fadli Kamis, Amirul Adli, Akmal Azman (Delwinder Singh 46’), Ahmad Syahir (Sham Syed Mohamed 90’+5), Joshua Pereira (C), Takahiro Tezuka, Vincent Bezecourt, Yushi Yamaya, Naufal Azman (Gareth Low 25’), Iqbal Hussain.
Unused subs: Aniq Yusoff (GK), Faisal Shahril, Nazhiim Harman, Zack Whitehouse, Josh Tan, Syafiq Sani.


Tanjong Pagar: Kenji Rusydi (GK), Raihan Rahman, Shahrin Saberin, Faizal Roslan, Tajeli Salamat (Naqiuddin Eunos 39’), Zulfadhmi Suzliman (Zahil Abdul Rahman 90’+1), Blake Ricciuto, Mirko Šugić, Akram Azman (Khairul Hairie 77’), Khairul Amri (C) (Fathullah Rahmat 65’), Marin Mudražija (Khairul Amri 82’)
Unused subs: Fashah Iskandar (GK), Travis Ang (GK), Azim Akbar, Naufal Ilham, Saiful Azhar, Zahil Abdul Rahman.


Delwinder Singh pulls a goal back for Geylang International, 21 May 2023.



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