Singapore Premier League • July 10, 2023
2023 Singapore Premier League Matchweek 19: Roundup
Lion City Sailors players celebrating a goal against Young Lions, 7 July 2023.
SINGAPORE, 10 JULY 2023 – The AIA Singapore Premier League is well and truly heating up after leaders Albirex Niigata (S) was held to a draw by Brunei DPMM. The Lion City Sailors are now just two points off the top after a clean victory over Young Lions, while Tampines Rovers are another point adrift after edging Hougang United. Elsewhere, Balestier Khalsa defeated Tanjong Pagar United to maintain their stranglehold on fourth spot. We recap all the action below…
Stags still in the title race
Hougang 0-1 Tampines | Jalan Besar | 6 July
Boris Kopitović 45’+1
After two draws, Tampines claimed a much-needed win courtesy of Kopitović’s calm low finish off Joel Chew’s well-weighted pass to finish off a flowing team move on the stroke of half time. Hougang then spurned several chances in the second half as they fell to an unlucky defeat.
- Tampines have now won 1-0 on four separate occasions this season – no club have done it more.
- Tampines remains the only side unbeaten away from home this season after nine matches on the road.
- Tampines are now unbeaten in eight matches since losing 3-2 to Balestier in May.
- Hougang fell to a fourth straight defeat.
- Kopitović have now scored nine goals in his last nine appearances.
- Chew made his seventh assist of the season – he is the league’s current leading local assister.
- Tampines kept their ninth shutout and their custodian Syazwan Buhari kept his eighth clean sheet of the season – both league-leading tallies along with Albirex and their goalkeeper Hassan Sunny.
Hougang: Zainol Gulam (GK), Nazrul Nazari (C), Irwan Shah, Kazuma Takayama, Jordan Vestering, Ajay Robson (Umar Akhbar 90’+1), Kristijan Krajček, Gabriel Quak, Hazzuwan Halim, Amy Recha (Sahil Suhaimi 78’), Djordje Maksimovic.
Unused subs: Keith Chung (GK), Fairoz Hasan, Amir Zalani, Rauf Sanizal, Louka Vaissierre-Tan, Iryan Fandi, Nasrul Pujiyono.
Tampines: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Irfan Najeeb, Shuya Yamashita, Shah Shahiran, Glenn Kweh, Kyoga Nakamura, Joel Chew (Saifullah Akbar 66’), Yasir Hanapi (C) (Ryaan Sanizal 90’+3), Faris Ramli (Rezza Rezky 90’+5), Taufik Suparno (Syed Firdaus Hassan 66’), Boris Kopitović.
Unused subs: Ridhuan Barudin (GK), Firdaus Kasman, Kegan Phang, Adam Reefdy, Anton Goh.
Tampines Rovers’ Boris Kopitovic in action against Geylang International, 2 July 2023.
Tigers continue to prowl
Tanjong Pagar 2-3 Balestier | Jurong East | 6 July
Blake Ricciuto 45’+1, Marin Mudražija pen. 49’ | Ryoya Taniguchi pen. 27, Madhu Mohana 69’, Daniel Goh 75’
A see-saw match saw Balestier broke the deadlock through Taniguchi’s penalty, before Tanjong Pagar turned it around with Ricciuto’s crisp volley from outside the area and Mudražija’s conversion from the spot. The Tigers then rallied with Madhu nodding in Taniguchi’s knock-on for an equaliser, before Goh showed absolute composure to lash one in from a tight angle to put them back ahead. Goh was then sent off for a second yellow, but Peter de Roo’s side held on for the win.
- Tanjong Pagar have lost all three encounters against Balestier this season.
- Balestier have now conceded in 33 straight SPL matches.
- Balestier are the first team not to utilise any substitutes this season.
- Madhu scored in successive SPL games for the first time and this is already his best-scoring SPL season with three goals.
- Goh’s tally of six goals meant he surpassed his 2022 career best of five.
Tanjong Pagar: Fashah Iskandar (GK), Naqiuddin Eunos, Shakir Hamzah (C), Raihan Rahman, Faizal Roslan (Tajeli Salamat 46’), Akram Azman (C), Azim Akbar (Zulfadhmi Suzliman 59’) Blake Ricciuto, Mirko Šugić, Marin Mudražija, Syukri Bashir.
Unused subs: Kenji Rusydi (GK), Shahrin Saberin, Khairul Hairie, Pedro Dias, Saiful Azhar, Daniel Elfian, Ahmad Danial.
Balestier: Hairul Syirhan (GK), Fudhil I’yadh, Madhu Mohana, Jordan Emaviwe, Darren Teh, Alen Kozar (C), Ryoya Taniguchi, Daniel Goh, Ignatius Ang, Masahiro Sugita, Shuhei Hoshino.
Unused subs: Suffian Abdullah (GK), Syabil Hisham, Emmeric Ong, Amer Hakeem, Syukri Noorhaizam, Aidil Johari, Kian Jared Ghaddesy, Garv Sahoo, Irfan Mika’il.
Red Card – Daniel Goh (Balestier) 78’
Balestier Khalsa’ s Daniel Goh in action against Hougang United, 2 July 2023.
Sailors closing in
Young Lions 0-4 Sailors | Jalan Besar | 7 July
Maxime Lestienne 59’, 68’, 88’, Shawal Anuar 86’
After keeping the Sailors at bay for almost an hour, Young Lions’ resistance was broken through an opportunistic Lestienne finish. The Belgian winger then netted a rasping drive for a second, before teeing up Shawal to slam home from unmissable range to make it 3-0. Lestienne then finished the night off by capitalising on a defensive error to complete his first-ever SPL hat-trick.
- Young Lions have now lost their last eight SPL matches and conceded in their last 80 league outings.
- Lestienne’s haul of 18 goals this season means this is his best-ever career tally in a season, better than his previous 17 with Club Brugge in the 2012/13 season.
- This was also only Lestienne’s second-ever career hat-trick – his first came in September 2012 in Club Brugge’s 4-0 win over Cercle Brugge.
- Lestienne is now the all-time top scorer for the Sailors with 34 goals in all competitions.
- Lestienne scored and assisted in the same game for the sixth time this season – no player has done it more.
- Sailors’ Zharfan Rohaizad kept his fifth clean sheet of the season, surpassing his 2022 career best of four when he was with Tanjong Pagar.
- Young Lions’ Loo Kai Sheng made his professional debut.
Young Lions: Aizil Yazid (GK), Aqil Yazid (Harith Kanadi 73’), Jun Kobayashi, Kieran Teo, Fairuz Fazli, Kan Kobayashi, Harhys Stewart (C), Jared Gallagher, Syafi’ie Redzuan (Loo Kai Sheng 83’), Farhan Zulkifli (Haziq Kamarudin 83’), Syahadat Masnawi (Amri Syafiz 64’).
Unused subs: Prathip Ekamparam (GK), Umayr Sujuandy (GK), Ryan Praveen, Ikram Mikhail, Danish Haqimi.
Sailors: Zharfan Rohaizad (GK), Hafiz Nor (Rusyaidi Salime 84’), Lionel Tan, Hariss Harun (C), Nur Adam Abdullah, M. Anumanthan, Hami Syahin (Haiqal Pashia 84’), Adam Swandi (Zulqarnaen Suzliman 73’), Maxime Lestienne, Diego Lopes, Abdul Rasaq Akeem (Shawal Anuar 24’).
Unused subs: Adib Nur Hakim (GK), Danish Qayyum, Kieran Aryan, Nur Muhammad Asis, Aqil Khusni.
Lion City Sailors’ Maxime Lestienne in action against Tanjong Pagar United, 2 July 2023.
White Swans falter
DPMM 1-1 Albirex | Jalan Besar | 8 July
Abdul Azizi Rahman 31’ | Keito Komatsu 50’
DPMM surprised many by taking the lead in this with Azizi breaking free of Albirex’s offside trap to slot the ball beyond Kai Yamamoto in the first half. Super-sub Komatsu then came off the bench to divert home Shuto Komaki’s low cross, but it was only enough for Albirex to claim a point.
- DPMM are only the third team after Tampines and Sailors to have taken points off Albirex this season.
- All 15 of DPMM’s points this season have come at Jalan Besar Stadium.
- Seven out of eight Komatsu’s goals have come via substitute appearances – no player has done it more this season.
DPMM: Kristijan Naumovski (GK), Hanif Hamir (Awangku Fakharrazi 79’), Yura Indera Putera, Ángel Martínez, Najib Tarif, Hanif Farhan (Hendra Azam 85’), Farshad Noor, Andrei Varankov, Hakeme Yazid, Abdul Azizi Rahman (Helmi Zambin 58’), Azwan Ali Rahman (C) (Syafiq Hilmi 85’).
Unused subs: Haimie Nyaring (GK), Azwan Saleh, Razimie Rammli, Nazirrudin Ismail.
Albirex: Kai Yamamoto (GK), Ryo Takahashi (Masaya Watanabe 90’+1), Shunsaku Kishimoto (C), Keito Hariya, Sho Fuwa, Shodai Yokoyama, Junki Yoshimura (Keito Komatsu 46’), Kaisei Ogawa, Shuto Komaki, Riku Fukashiro, Tadanari Lee (Seia Kunori 84’).
Unused subs: Hyrulnizam Juma’at (GK), Koki Kawachi, Asahi Yokokawa, Zamani Zamri, Shakthi Vinayagavijayan, Hilman Norhisam.
Albirex Niigata (S)’s Shodai Yokoyama in action against Young Lions, 1 July 2023.