Singapore Premier League • August 7, 2023
2023 Singapore Premier League Matchweek 24: Roundup
Albirex Niigata (S)’s Seia Kunori celebrating a goal against Geylang International, 3 August 2023.
SINGAPORE, 7 AUGUST 2023 – Albirex Niigata (S) are now just one win away from retaining the AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) after smashing Geylang International, while Lion City Sailors tore Tampines Rovers to go four points clear in the race to finish second. Elsewhere Hougang United edged Brunei DPMM to make it four straight wins while Tanjong Pagar United defeated Young Lions to go seventh. We recap all the action here…
White Swans almost there
Geylang 1-6 Albirex | Our Tampines Hub | 3 August
Yushi Yamaya 83’ | Seia Kunori 40’, 59’, 79’, 90’+1, Shuto Komaki 49’, Riku Fukashiro 78’
Kunori’s clinical shot just before half time opened the floodgates for Albirex, as Komaki’s deflected shot flew in before the former smashed home a great outside-foot shot to make it 3-0 by the hour mark. Fukashiro then arrived at the back post to stab in Asahi Yokokawa’s low cross before Kunori curled home another sizzling effort to complete his hat-trick. Geylang pulled one back through Yamaya’s header off Arshad Shamim’s cross, but the White Swans added a sixth in injury time with Kunori scoring his fourth off Shakthi Vinayagavijayan’s cross.
- Albirex have won both away games against Geylang this season by identical 6-1 scorelines.
- Albirex are unbeaten in their last 11 matches.
- Six goals in his last two matches meant Kunori is now the league’s third-highest scorer with 18 goals.
- Fukashiro’s goal meant Albirex have 15 goals scored by substitutes this season – no club have more.
- Geylang’s Izz Anaqi made his professional debut.
Geylang: Rudy Khairullah (GK), Fadli Kamis (Naufal Azman 46’), Akmal Azman, Rio Sakuma, Joshua Pereira (C), Ahmad Syahir (Shahfiq Ghani 76’), Gareth Low (Izz Anaqi 90’), Takahiro Tezuka, Arshad Shamim (Faisal Shahril 90’), Yushi Yamaya, Iqbal Hussain.
Unused subs: Hafiz Ahmad (GK), Danish Irfan, Nizwan Izzairie, Syady Sufwan, Syazwan Abdul Latiff.
Albirex: Hassan Sunny (GK), Sho Fuwa, Shunsaku Kishimoto, Koki Kawachi, Asahi Yokokawa (C), Kaisei Ogawa, Shodai Yokoyama (Shakthi Vinayagavijayan 88’), Junki Yoshimura (Riku Fukashiro 46’), Shuto Komaki (Masaya Watanabe 76’), Seia Kunori, Tadanari Lee (Keito Komatsu 59’).
Unused subs: Hyrulnizam Juma’at (GK), Ryo Takahashi, Keito Hariya, Zamani Zamri, Hilman Norhisam.
Albirex Niigata (S)’s Hassan Sunny in action against Tampines Rovers, 28 July 2023.
Cheetahs’ renaissance continues
Hougang 1-0 DPMM | Jalan Besar | 3 August
Đorđe Maksimović 73′
A tight affair was decided 17 minutes from time through a great team move that saw Zulfahmi Arifin releasing Gabriel Quak, who in turn squared it across goal for Maksimović to smash home first-time as Hougang continued their impressive winning run.
- Hougang have won their last four matches.
- DPMM have lost their last three games.
- Hougang kept just their third clean sheet of the season.
- Maksimović have now scored four goals in his last three outings.
Hougang: Zaiful Nizam (GK), Nazrul Nazari (C), Anders Aplin, Naoki Kuriyama, Kazuma Takayama, Zulfahmi Arifin (C), Irwan Shah, Louka Vaissierre-Tan (Gabriel Quak 46’), Kristijan Krajček, Amy Recha (Sahil Suhaimi 74’), Đorđe Maksimović.
Unused subs: Zainol Gulam (GK), Jordan Vestering, Fairoz Hasan, Hazzuwan Halim, Ajay Robson, Idraki Adnan, Amir Zalani.
DPMM: Kristijan Naumovski (GK), Awangku Fakharrazi (Eddy Shahrol Izzat 78’), Abdul Mu’iz Sisa, Hanif Hamir, Ángel Martínez, Najib Tarif, Hanif Farhan (Syafiq Hilmi 87’), Farshad Noor (Razimie Ramlli 90’+1), Azwan Ali Rahman (C), Hakeme Yazid, Abdul Azizi Rahman (Naziruddin Ismail 78’).
Unused subs: Haimie Nyaring (GK), Azwan Saleh, Hirzi Zulfaqar.
Hougang United’s players celebrating a goal against Young Lions, 29 July 2023.
Sailors in the driving seat for second
Tampines 2-5 Sailors | Our Tampines Hub | 4 August
Miloš Zlatković 58′, Boris Kopitović pen. 74′ | Maxime Lestienne 10′, 19′, 36′, Richairo Živković 77′, 80′
Lestienne struck a stunning first-half hat-trick to set the Sailors on the way – his first two were brilliant strikes from distance, while his third was a slightly easier one as he tapped home from unmissable range after his initial shot came off the post. Tampines rallied after the break with Zlatković nodding in Yasir Hanapi’s corner before Kopitović converted a penalty to trail just 3-2. However, Živković then struck a quick-fire brace as he benefitted from a couple of Adam Swandi’s assists to seal the win for the Sailors.
- Tampines are the only team to score in every game this season.
- Tampines have now lost their last three matches – their worst run of form since a four-match losing run between May to August 2021.
- Lestienne scored his second hat-trick of the season and just his third-ever career hat-trick in his career – he is now on 23 goals, two ahead of Balestier’s Ryoya Taniguchi at the top of the SPL scoring charts.
- Seven out of 16 Kopitović’s goals this season have come via penalties.
Tampines: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Ryaan Sanizal (Adam Reefdy 66’), Shuya Yamashita, Miloš Zlatković, Glenn Kweh, Shah Shahiran, Joel Chew (Saifullah Akbar 66’), Kyoga Nakamura, Yasir Hanapi (C), Faris Ramli, Taufik Suparno (Boris Kopitović 46’).
Unused subs: Ridhuan Barudin (GK), Syed Firdaus Hassan, Rezza Rezky, Firdaus Kasman, Kegan Phang, Anton Goh.
Sailors: Zharfan Rohaizad (GK), Christopher van Huizen (Zulqarnaen Suzliman 74’), Lionel Tan, Bailey Wright, Nur Adam Abdullah (Hafiz Nor 89’), M. Anumanthan, Hariss Harun (C), Diego Lopes (Hami Syahin 89’), Maxime Lestienne, Richairo Živković, Abdul Rasaq Akeem (Adam Swandi 64’).
Unused subs: Adib Nur Hakim (GK), Rusyaidi Salime, Haiqal Pashia, Bill Mamadou.
Lion City Sailors’ Adam Swandi in action against Balestier Khalsa, 31 July 2023.
Jaguars rediscover winning feeling
Tanjong Pagar 3-2 Young Lions |Jurong East | 5 August
Marin Mudražija 7’, Syukri Bashir pen. 42’, Pedro Dias 68’ | Syafi’ie Redzuan 51’, Amiruldin Asraf 84’
Mudražija got the ball rolling early on as he slotted home the rebound after Syukri’s penalty was saved, before the latter converted his second try of the home from the spot after a Jared Gallagher handball to double Tanjong Pagar’s lead. Syafi’ie stabbed in from close range to pull one back for Young Lions, before Dias nodded in substitute Ahmad Dzulfaqar’s corner put the Jaguars 3-1 up. Amiruldin headed home Fairuz Fazli’s deep cross late on, but it was too late too late for the visitors.
- Tanjong Pagar snapped a seven-game winless streak.
- Young Lions have now lost 13 straight matches and conceded in 85 straight SPL outings.
- Syafi’ie’s goal meant a total of 15 different players have scored for the Young Lions this season – no club have more.
- Amiruldin has now equalled his best-ever scoring season – two goals with Home United in 2017.
- Ahmad picked up an assist on his SPL debut.
Tanjong Pagar: Fashah Iskandar (GK), Syed Akmal, Azim Akbar (Faizal Roslan 57’), Pedro Dias, Raihan Rahman, Akram Azman (C), Mirko Šugić (Saiful Azhar 82’), Naqiuddin Eunos, Daniel Elfian (Ahmad Dzulfaqar 46’), Syukri Bashir (Khairul Amri 57’), Marin Mudražija.
Unused subs: Kenji Rusydi (GK), Shahrin Saberin, Khairul Hairie, Zulfadhmi Suzliman, Farid Jafiri.
Young Lions: Aizil Yazid (GK), Fairuz Fazli, Jun Kobayashi, Kieran Teo, Aqil Yazid, Jared Gallagher, Harhys Stewart (C), Farhan Zulkifli (Ilhan Noor 26’), Syafi’ie Redzuan (Syahadat Masnawi 69’), Elijah Lim (Zikos Chua 46’), Amiruldin Asraf.
Unused subs: Umayr Sujuandy (GK), Ryan Praveen, Iman Hakim, Ikram Mikhail, Loo Kai Sheng, Danish Haqimi.
Tanjong Pagar United’s players celebrating a goal against Lion City Sailors, 20 July 2023.