Singapore Premier League • June 9, 2023

2023 Singapore Premier League Matchweek 15: Roundup

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Tampines Rover’s Faris Ramli in action against Lion City Sailors, 31 March 2023.

 

SINGAPORE, 9 JUNE 2023 – It was yet another exciting matchweek in the AIA Singapore Premier League with Albirex Niigata (S) easing past Geylang International to return to the top based on superior goal difference, while nearest rivals Tampines Rovers dropped precious points against the Lion City Sailors. Hougang United’s resurgence continued as they edged past Brunei DPMM to make it five straight wins, while Tanjong Pagar launched a stunning comeback to defeat Young Lions. We recap all the action below…

 

White Swans express rolls on

Albirex 3-0 Geylang | Jurong East | 6 June  

Shuto Komaki 21’, Seia Kunori 56’, Keito Komatsu 80’

After slamming home Kunori’s low right-wing cross, Komaki returned the favour in the second half as he teed up the former for a lethal finish. Super-sub Komatsu then cut inside his man before slamming past a rooted Hafiz Ahmad in the Geylang goal to seal an easy victory.

Facts

  • Geylang have now lost four out of their last five matches.
  • Komatsu’s goal meant Albirex now has ten goals scored by substitutes – a league-leading tally.
  • All six of Komatsu’s goals this season have come off via substitute appearances.
  • Albirex’s Hassan Sunny kept his seventh clean sheet of the season – the most in the league, one more than Tampines’ Syazwan Buhari.
  • Koki Kawachi’s late sending off for Albirex meant Balestier Khalsa are the only team without a red card this season.
  • Geylang’s Danish Irfan made his first SPL appearance since October 2021 in Young Lions’ 3-1 win over Hougang.

Albirex: Hassan Sunny (GK), Koki Kawachi, Shunsaku Kishimoto, Asahi Yokokawa (C), Sho Fuwa, Shodai Yokoyama (Keito Hariya 88’), Kaisei Ogawa, Shuto Komaki (Keito Komatsu 69’), Junki Yoshimura (Riku Fukashiro 46’), Tadanari Lee (Ryo Takahashi 77’), Seia Kunori.

Unused subs: Kai Yamamoto (GK), Masaya Watanabe, Nicky Melvin Singh, Zamani Zamri, Jarrel Ong.

Geylang: Hafiz Ahmad (GK), Fadli Kamis, Amirul Adli, Akmal Azman (Naufal Azman 67’), Rio Sakuma, Ahmad Syahir (Danish Irfan 76’), Joshua Pereira (C) (Gareth Low 84’), Takahiro Tezuka, Vincent Bezecourt, Yushi Yamaya (Sham Syed Mohamed 84’), Iqbal Hussain.

Unused subs: Ridhwan Fikri (GK), Faisal Shahril, Nazhiim Harman, Azri Suhaili, Josh Tan.

Red Card – Koki Kawachi (Albirex) 86’

 

Albirex Niigata (S) players celebrating a goal against Balestier Khalsa, 26 May 2023.

 

Jaguars show fighting spirit

Young Lions 3-4 Tanjong Pagar | Jalan Besar | 6 June

Elijah Lim 27’, 39’, Jared Gallagher 29’ | Blake Ricciuto 34’, Jun Kobayashi O.G. 56’, Faizal Roslan 72’, Shakir Hamzah 89’

https://youtu.be/Cj5Cuiny8dk

A see-saw game saw Young Lions take a two-goal lead through a blistering Lim volley and an opportunistic Gallagher finish, before Tanjong Pagar pulled one back with Ricciuto bundling home a set-piece routine. Young Lions then went 3-1 up with Lim netting his second through a stunning swerving shot, but Tanjong Pagar rallied after the break with Faizal forcing Kobayashi to net an own goal before scoring a gorgeous equaliser from range. Shakir then lashed in a wicked shot from 35 yards out to seal a stunning Jaguars comeback.

Facts

  • Tanjong Pagar came from two goals down to win for just the second time since returning to the SPL in 2020 – the previous time came back in August 2021 in a 4-2 win over Geylang.
  • Young Lions have now conceded in each of their last 76 matches dating back to September 2019.
  • Young Lions have now lost their last four and are winless in their last eight matches.
  • Lim netted his first-ever career brace – this is already his best-ever scoring season with two.
  • Gallagher scored his second career SPL goal.
  • Shakir netted his fourth goal of the season – he equalled his best scoring season back in 2019 when he was with Malaysia Super League side Kedah FA.

Young Lions: Aizil Yazid (GK), Ilhan Noor (Elijah Lim 5’), Aqil Yazid, Jun Kobayashi, Raoul Suhaimi (Harith Kanadi 80’), Jared Gallagher, Kan Kobayashi, Harhys Stewart (C), Fairuz Fazli, Andrew Aw (Syafi’ie Redzuan 87’), Syahadat Masnawi (Ryu Hardy 87’).

Unused subs: Rauf Erwan (GK), Umayr Sujuandy (GK), Ryan Praveen.

Tanjong Pagar: Kenji Rusydi (GK), Faizal Roslan, Febryan Putra (Akram Azman 46’), Shakir Hamzah, Naufal Ilham (Naqiuddin Eunos 46’), Zulfadhmi Suzliman (Khairul Hairie 87’), Fathullah Rahmat (Raihan Rahman 46’), Blake Ricciuto, Mirko Šugić, Khairul Amri (C) (Syukri Bashir 66’), Marin Mudražija.

Unused subs: Fashah Iskandar (GK), Shahrin Saberin, Azim Akbar, Zahil Abdul Rahman.

 

Young Lion’s Jared Gallagher in action against Hougang United, 3 June 2023.

 

Cheetahs continue ascendancy

DPMM 2-3 Hougang | Jalan Besar | 7 June

Hakeme Yazid 84’, pen. 90’+2 | Amy Recha 33’, 39’, 53’

It was the Amy show as his clinical hat-trick proved to be the difference maker. After finishing off Zulfahmi Arifin’s precise through ball, he then netted a tap-in before converting an empathic volley off Kristijan Krajček’s deep cross to take home the match ball. Hakeme netted a late double through an long-range free-kick and a penalty, but it was too little too late for DPMM.

Facts

  • Hougang won four straight matches for the first time in their history.
  • Hougang are now sixth and just two points off fourth-placed Balestier – they were still languishing in bottom spot after the end of Matchweek 10.
  • Amy netted his first-ever SPL hat-trick.
  • DPMM lost their last three matches and won just one out of their last eight.
  • 14 out of 21 DPMM’s goals this season have been scored by either Hakeme or Andrei Varankou.
  • Hakeme is now up to seven goals in 2023 – he scored just once in his debut season in 2019.

DPMM: Kristijan Naumovski (GK), Helmi Zambin (Awangku Fakharrazi 72’), Yura Indera Putera, Hanif Hamir, Najib Tarif (C), Hanif Farhan, Farshad Noor (Razimie Ramlli 72’), Syafiq Hilmi (Hendra Azam 78’), Andrei Varankov (Eddy Shahrol Izzat 58’), Hakeme Yazid, Abdul Azizi Rahman (Abdul Mu’iz Sisa 46’).

Unused subs: Haimie Nyaring (GK), Nazirrudin Ismail.

Hougang: Zaiful Nizam (GK), Anders Aplin (Nazrul Nazari 13’), Naoki Kuriyama, Kazuma Takayama, Jordan Vestering (Iryan Fandi 82’), Zulfahmi Arifin (C), Irwan Shah, Gabriel Quak (Fairoz Hasan 82’), Kristijan Krajček, Sahil Suhaimi (Amir Zalani 71’), Amy Recha (Hazzuwan Halim 71’).

Unused subs: Zainol Gulam (GK), Umar Akhbar, Ajay Robson, Idraki Adnan.

 

Hougang United’s Sahil Suhaimi celebrating his goal against Young Lions, 3 June 2023.

 

Points dropped for title challengers

Sailors 1-1 Tampines | Bishan | 7 June

Maxime Lestienne pen. 84’ | Faris Ramli 58’

It was a mixed night for Faris, who thought he scored the matchwinner against his former employers through a rasping drive from the edge of the area. With Tampines having to play with one man less after Yasir Hanapi’s second-half red card, Faris then unfortunately bundled over Maxime in the box – with the latter slamming home from the spot to earn the Sailors a share of the spoils.

Facts

  • The Sailors lost their 100 percent home record, but remains the only side to remain unbeaten at home this season.
  • The Sailors extended their unbeaten run to seven matches – the longest ongoing undefeated streak by any team.
  • The Sailors have yet to win more than two matches in a row this season.
  • Tampines have scored just one goal in each of their last three matches.
  • Lestienne has a goal involvement (either a goal or an assist) in 12 out of his 13 appearances in 2023Q – he is now on 13 goals, a league-leading tally (one ahead of Balestier’s Ryoya Taniguchi)
  • Faris ended a six-game goal drought – his last goal prior to this also came against the Sailors in a 4-3 win. Six goals meant he has already surpassed his 2022 tally of five with the Sailors.
  • Sailors’ Zharfan Rohaizad made his 100th SPL appearance.

Sailors: Zharfan Rohaizad (GK), Hafiz Nor, Manuel Herrera López (Lionel Tan 78’), Hariss Harun (C), Nur Adam Abdullah, M. Anumanthan (Rusyaidi Salime 87’), Adam Swandi, Shawal Anuar, Maxime Lestienne, Diego Lopes, Abdul Rasaq Akeem (Haiqal Pashia 76’).

Unused subs: Rudy Khairullah (GK), Danish Qayyum, Zulqarnaen Suzliman, Christopher van Huizen, Bill Mamadou, Bernie Ibini-Isei.

Tampines: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Irfan Najeeb, Shuya Yamashita, Miloš Zlatković, Glenn Kweh (Ong Yu En 75’), Kyoga Nakamura, Shah Shahiran (Joel Chew 67’), Joel Chew (Saifullah Akbar 58’), Faris Ramli (Syed Firdaus Hassan 90’+2), Yasir Hanapi (C), Boris Kopitović.

Unused subs: Ridhuan Barudin (GK), Rezza Rezky, Firdaus Kasman, Jovan Ang, Ryaan Sanizal, Anton Goh.

Red Card – Yasir Hanapi (Tampines) 63’

 

Lion City Sailors’s Shawal Anuar in action against Balestier Khalsa, 1 June 2023.