Singapore Premier League • March 6, 2023
2023 Singapore Premier League Matchweek 2: Roundup
Joshua Pereira and Vincent Bezecourt celebrate, 5 March 2023
SINGAPORE, 6 MARCH 2023 – The second Matchweek of the 2023 AIA Singapore Premier League continued to deliver as Geylang International produced a come-from-behind win against Hougang United to continue their unbeaten start of the season and remain top of the pile, while title-chasing Lion City Sailors dispatched Brunei DPMM to pick up their second win in two matches.
Elsewhere, Balestier Khalsa and Tampines Rovers picked up their first wins of the season by defeating Young Lions and Tanjong Pagar United respectively. We recap all the action below…
Another late show by Sailors
Lion City Sailors 3-1 Brunei DPMM | Bishan Stadium | 3 March 2023
Maxime Lestienne 45’+3, Kodai Tanaka 75’, Abdul Rasaq 90’+5 | Hakeme Yazid 62′
After Lestienne clinically swept home Diego Lopes’s cut-back to put the Sailors ahead on the stroke of half time, DPMM drew level in the second half with Hakaeme taking full advantage of Zharfan Rohaizad’s error to drill one in from close range. However, the home side rallied late on with hot shot Tanaka nodding in from unmissable range after being set up by a Lopes header across the six-yard box before Rasaq was teed up by fellow substitute Shawal Anuar to seal the win deep into injury time.
- The Sailors won their first two games of the season for the first time since their 2020 inception.
- The Sailors have now conceded in each of their last 12 games in all competitions since a 7-0 win over Tanjong Pagar in August 2022.
- Tanaka has scored in each of his last nine appearances in all Singapore domestic competitions.
- Hakeme netted just his second-ever SPL goal – his first came in August 2019 in a 3-0 home win over Geylang.
- Adam Swandi made his 50th appearance in all competitions for the Sailors.
Sailors: Zharfan Rohaizad (GK), Christopher van Huizen (Arshad Shamim 90’+1), M. Anumanthan, Lionel Tan, Nur Adam Abdullah (Bill Mamadou 9′), Hariss Harun (C), Hami Syahin, Diego Lopes (Adam Swandi 90’+1), Hafiz Nor (Shawal Anuar 84′), Maxime Lestienne, Kodai Tanaka (Abdul Rasaq Akeem 90’+1).
Unused subs: Adib Hakim (GK), Rusyaidi Salime, Danish Qayyum, Jonan Tan.
DPMM: Akmal Tursunbaev (GK), Helmi Zambin (Awangku Fakharrazi 29’), Yura Indera Putera, Angel Martinez, Najib Tarif, Hendra Azam (Syafiq Hilmi 86’), Hanif Hamir, Hanif Farhan (Razimie Ramlli 86’), Azwan Ali Rahman (C), Andrei Varankov, Hakeme Yazid (Abdul Azizi Rahman 74’).
Unused subs: Haimie Nyaring (GK), Wafi Aminuddin, Abdul Mu’iz Sisa, Azwan Saleh, Nazirrudin Ismail.
Kodai Tanaka celebrates with Diego Lopes after scoring Sailors’ second goal, 3 March 2023
Faris on fire as Stags pick up first win
Tanjong Pagar United 0-2 Tampines Rovers | Jurong East Stadium | 4 March 2023
Faris Ramli 3’, Boris Kopitovic 37’
There was no looking back for Tampines after Faris darted into the box to finish off Kopitovic’s left-wing cross early on as the latter then pounced on Kenji Rusydi’s botched clearance to instinctively head home for the Stags’ second and final goal. A first win of the season was slightly marred by the late sending-off of Saifullah Akbar though as he was ruled by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) to have committed a serious off-the-ball offence.
- Tampines have now won their last four encounters against Tanjong Pagar in all competitions after failing to do so on four occasions prior to this run.
- Tampines are now unbeaten in their last 10 SPL matches since a 4-2 loss to Albirex in August 2022.
- Tanjong Pagar are win-less in their last five SPL matches since a 8-1 win over Young Lions in October 2022.
- Faris has now netted in each of his last three appearances across club and country – including the consolation in Singapore’s 4-1 loss to Malaysia in the AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup.
- Kopitovic has scored in each of his last four encounters against Tanjong Pagar in all competitions, tallying a total of five.
Tanjong Pagar: Kenji Rusydi (GK), Tajeli Salamat (Naufal Ilhan 83’), Shahrin Saberin, Shakir Hamzah (C) (Raihan Rahman 83′), Akram Azman (Naqiuddin Eunos 46’), Faizal Roslan, Azim Akbar (Syukri Bashir 68’), Mirko Sugic, Blake Ricciuto, Khairul Hairie (Fathullah Rahmat 46’), Marin Mudrazija.
Unused subs: Fashah Iskandar (GK), Zulfadhmi Suzliman, Khairul Amri, Pedro Dias.
Tampines: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Irfan Najeeb, Shuya Yamashita, Milos Zlatkovic, Glenn Kweh (Amirul Haikal 73′), Kyoga Nakamura, Shah Shahiran, Yasir Hanapi (C) (Ong Yu En 76’), Faris Ramli (Saifullah Akbar 81′), Joel Chew (Taufik Suparno 73’), Boris Kopitovic.
Unused subs: Sunny Tia (GK), Syed Firdaus Hassan, Rezza Rezky, Firdaus Kasman, Ryaan Sanizal.
Red Card: Saifullah Akbar 88′ (Tampines)
Boris Kopitovic against Tanjong Pagar, 3 March 2023
Tigers off the mark
Balestier Khalsa 3-1 Young Lions | Bishan Stadium | 4 March 2023
Shuhei Hoshino 4′, Ho Wai Loon 31′, 46′ | Jordan Emaviwe 90‘+10
Hoshino swept home the rebound after Ryoya Taniguchi’s free-kick was parried into his path to give Balestier an early lead, before captain Ho came to the fore – firstly racing onto Taniguchi’s visionary lofted ball over the top to finish beyond Wayne Chew before popping up in the box to net Daniel Goh’s low right-wing cross. Comfortably leading 3-0 for the majority for the second half, Peter de Roo’s side then conceded a late penalty which Emaviwe converted – which proved to be a consolation for the visitors.
- Ho netted his first-ever career double – he has already equalled his previous best season tally of two in 2018 when he was with Warriors FC.
- Hoshino has netted in each of his last four appearances in all competitions against Young Lions while Emaviwe has netted in each of his last three appearances in all competitions against Balestier.
- Emaviwe has five goals in his last six appearances in all competitions.
- Young Lions have now conceded in each of their last 66 SPL matches – extending back to September 2019.
- Balestier’s Max McCoy and Young Lions’s Haziq Kamarudin made their first career starts.
Balestier: Hairul Syirhan (GK), Darren Teh, Madhu Mohana, Amer Hakeem (Emmeric Ong 55’), Fudhil I’yadh (Iqram Rifqi 55’), Alen Kozar, Ryoya Taniguchi, Ho Wai Loon (C), Daniel Goh, Ignatius Ang (Max McCoy 77’), Shuhei Hoshino.
Unused subs: Mukundan Maran (GK), Suffian Abdullah (GK), Syabil Hisham, Puvan Raj, Aidil Johari, Kian Jared Ghadessy.
Young Lions: Wayne Chew (GK), Jun Kobayashi, Harhys Stewart (C), Harith Kanadi (Adam Reefdy 65’), Ilhan Noor (Danial Crichton 46’), Jared Gallagher, Kan Kobayashi, Elijah Lim, Andrew Aw (Fairuz Fazli 74’), Haziq Kamarudin (Jordan Emaviwe 65′), Amir Syafiz.
Unused subs: Aizil Yazid (GK), Ryan Praveen, Syahadat Masnawi, Iman Hakim, Aqil Yazid.
Ho Wai Loon celebrates with his teammates after scoring Balestier’s second goal against Young Lions, 4 March 2023
Gutsy Eagles continue fine start
Geylang International 2-1 Hougang United | Our Tampines Hub | 5 March 2023
Vincent Bezecourt 72′, 85′ | Sahil Suhaimi 16′
It had looked like Hougang was on the way to a second straight win when Sahil slotted home a rebound to put them ahead in the first half, but Geylang came roaring back after the break. Bezecourt first capitalised on a Cheetahs defensive lapse to tap home the equaliser, before lashing in a stinging shot that proved too hot for Hougang goalkeeper and former teammate Zaiful Nizam – sealing a memorable double and a second win in three matches for the Eagles.
- Seven points from their opening three games marks Geylang’s best-ever start to a SPL season.
- Geylang are unbeaten in their last seven SPL matches since a 4-2 loss to the same opponents in September 2022 – they have in fact lost just twice out of their last 20 league matches.
- This was Geylang’s first home win against Hougang since November 2020 when they picked up a 2-0 win.
- Hougang have conceded in each of their last 17 SPL matches since a 4-0 win over Young Lions in July 2022.
- Geylang’s Haikal Sukri made his professional debut.
Geylang: Hafiz Ahmad (GK), Amirul Adli, Rio Sakuma, Joshua Pereira (C), Huzaifah Aziz, Takahiro Tezuka, Vincent Bezecourt, Yushi Yamaya, Iqbal Hussain (Shahfiq Ghani 60’), Haikal Sukri (Azri Suhaili 38’, Muhd Noor Ariff 69’), Naufal Azman (Gareth Low 69′).
Unused subs: Ridhwan Fikri (GK), Faisal Shahril, Muthukumaran Navaretthinam, Syafiq Sani, Danish Haziq.
Hougang: Zaiful Nizam (GK), Nazrul Nazari, Naoki Kuriyama, Kazuma Takayama, Irwan Shah, Zulfahmi Arifin (C), Ajay Robson (Anders Aplin 79′), Kristijan Krajcek (Hazzuwan Halim 44′), Gabriel Quak, Brian Ferreira (Amy Recha 56’), Sahil Suhaimi.
Unused subs: Umar Akhbar, Amir Zalani, Rauf Sanizal, Hariysh Krishnakumar, Iryan Fandi.
Geylang players celebrate after Vincent Bezecourt scored his side second goal against Hougang, 5 March 2023