Singapore Premier League • April 21, 2023
2023 Singapore Premier League Matchweek 9: Roundup
Riku Fukashiro celebrates with his teammates after scoring against Brunei DPMM, 15 April 2023.
SINGAPORE, 21 APRIL 2023 – Albirex Niigata (S) continue to lead the way after overcoming Brunei DPMM, while Tampines Rovers climbed to second and trail by a point after a draw against Hougang United and win over DPMM.
Lion City Sailors dropped to third after being held to a surprise draw by Young Lions while Balestier Khalsa defeated Tanjong Pagar United to go fifth. We recap all the action below…
Sailors rue dropped points
Young Lions 1-1 Sailors | Jalan Besar Stadium | 15 April
Jordan Emaviwe pen. 90’+9 | Maxime Lestienne 6′
The Sailors started in the best possible fashion when Diego Lopes teed up Lestienne for his sixth goal of the season early on and looked good for their sixth win in eight matches. However, they paid the price for missing a number of gilt-edged chances as Young Lions levelled things deep into injury time. After being adjudged to be impeded by Lionel Tan, Emaviwe stepped up to earn his side a share of the spoils.
- Lion City Sailors’ away record has been dismal so far, picking up only 4 points out of a possible 12.
- Lestienne has 14 goal involvements (six goals and eight assists) this season – the highest in the league.
- Young Lions have now conceded in 72 straight SPL outings since September 2019.
- Young Lions are unbeaten in two successive games for the first time since July 2021 – a 1-1 draw with Tanjong Pagar and 3-2 win over Balestier.
- Six out of Emaviwe’s seven SPL goals have come in the 84th minute or later.
Young Lions: Aizil Yazid (GK), Jun Kobayashi, Jacob Mahler (C), Kieran Teo (Ryan Praveen 89′), Adam Reefdy (Keshav Kumar 84’), Jared Gallagher, Kan Kobayashi, Harhys Stewart, Fairuz Fazli (Haziq Kamarudin 84’), Jordan Emaviwe, Syahadat Masnawi (Ilhan Noor 72′).
Unused subs: Wayne Chew (GK), Ryu Hardy, Syafi’ie Redzuan, Iman Hakim, Aqil Yazid.
Sailors: Zharfan Rohaizad (GK), Zulqarnaen Suzliman, Manuel Herrera Lopez, Lionel Tan, Christopher van Huizen (Nur Adam 66′), M. Anumanthan, Hami Syahin (Adam Swandi 89’), Hafiz Nor (C) (Shawal Anuar 62’), Maxime Lestienne, Diego Lopes, Abdul Rasaq Akeem (Bernie Ibini-Isei 66’).
Unused subs: Rudy Khairullah (GK), Rusyaidi Salime, Arshad Shamim, Bill Mamadou, Haiqal Pashia.
Jordan Emaviwe celebrates after scoring against Sailors, 15 April 2023.
The White Swans express roll on
Albirex Niigata (S) vs Brunei DPMM | Jurong East Stadium | 15 April
Riku Fukashiro 54′, Keito Komatsu 81′
DPMM did well to keep Albirex at bay and almost took the lead after the break when Andrei Voronkov struck the woodwork. However, normal service would resume with Fukashiro lashing in a stunner with the outside of his boot from the edge of the box before fellow substitute Komatsu applied the finishing touch to a great team move to seal their seventh victory in eight games.
- This is Albirex’s best start to a season since 2018 when they won their first 17 league games.
- Albirex have scored six goals through substitutes – the most of any team.
- Albirex’s Hassan Sunny has now kept five clean sheets this season – a league-leading tally, two more than Tampines’ Syazwan Buhari and Sailors’ Zharfan Rohaizad.
- Riku Fukashiro has now recorded 7 attacking contributions in the last 4 matches. He had previously recorded none in Albirex’s first four matches of the season.
Albirex: Hassan Sunny (GK), Koki Kawachi, Shunsaku Kishimoto, Asahi Yokokawa (C) (Keito Hariya 90’+2), Sho Fuwa, Shodai Yokoyama, Kaisei Ogawa, Shuto Komaki (Nicky Melvin Singh 90’+2), Junki Yoshimura (Riku Fukashiro 46’), Tadanari Lee (Keito Komatsu 59’), Seia Kunori (Masaya Watanabe 90’+2).
Unused subs: Hyrulnizam Juma’at (GK), Ryo Takahashi, Shakthi Vinayagavijayan, Hilman Norhisam.
DPMM: Haimie Nyaring (GK), Helmi Zambin, Yura Indera Putera (Hanif Hamir 89′), Angel Martinez, Najib Tarif (Abdul Mu’iz Sisa 89′), Hanif Farhan, Josip Balic, Azwan Ali Rahman (C) (Hendra Azman 78′), Abdul Azizi Rahman (Awangku Fakharrazi 46′), Andrei Voronkov, Hakeme Yazid (Razimie Ramlli 89′.
Unused subs: Akmal Tursunbaev (GK), Syafiq Hilmi, Hirzi Zulfarqar, Nazirrudin Ismail.
Riku Fukashiro against DPMM, 15 April 2023.
Tigers win topsy-turvy affair
Tanjong Pagar United 2-4 Balestier Khalsa | Jurong East Stadium | 16 April
Tajeli Salamat 10′, Shakir Hamzah 15′ | Ho Wai Loon 9′, Masahiro Sugita 17′, Ryoya Taniguchi 23′, 60′
Five goals came in the first 23 minutes in this one, with Ho first putting Balestier ahead with a calm close-range finish before Tanjong Pagar turned it around with stunning volleys from Tajeli and Shakir. Peter de Roo’s men then equalised through Sugita from three yards out before taking the lead when Taniguchi scored via a rebound. The Tigers then sealed the win in the second half with Taniguchi firing home a crisp volley to complete his brace.
- Balestier emerged victorious in this fixture for the first time since September 2021 – they lost all four encounters against Tanjong Pagar last season.
- Shakir has now equalled his best-scoring SPL season with three goals – a tally he last achieved in 2018 with Home United.
- Shakir has recorded more attacking contributions (5) than any other defender in the league.
- Balestier have now conceded in their last 25 outings in all competitions since July 2022.
- Taniguchi is now the league’s leading scorer with eight goals – one more than Albirex’s Seia Kunori. He is just two goals off his 2022 tally of ten.
- Ho’s third goal of 2023 meant this is already his best scoring season – his previous best was two with Warriors FC in 2018.
Tanjong Pagar: Kenji Rusydi (GK), Tajeli Salamat (Raihan Rahman 61′), Shakir Hamzah, Faizal Roslan, Azram Azman, Blake Ricciuto, Mirko Sugic, Fathullah Rahmat (C) (Khairul Amri 61′), Naqiuddin Eunos (Naufal Ilham 72’), Khairul Hairie (Syukri Bashir 61′), Marin Mudrazija (Zulfadhmi Suzliman 80’).
Unused subs: Fashah Iskandar (GK), Shahrin Saberin, Pedro Dias, Azim Akbar.
Balestier: Hairul Syirhan (GK), Fudhil I’yadh (Syukri Noorhaizam 69’), Madhu Mohana, Fabian Kwok (Amer Hakeem 75′), Darren Teh, Alen Kozar, Ryoya Taniguchi, Ho Wai Loon (C), Daniel Goh (Ignatius Ang 84’), Masahiro Sugita, Shuhei Hoshino.
Unused subs: Mukundan Maran (GK), Syabil Hisham, Emmeric Ong, Amer Hakeem, Aidil Johari, Kian Jared Ghadessy, Irfan Mika’il.
Ho Wai Loon scores against Tanjong Pagar, 16 April 2023.
Late drama again at Jalan Besar
Hougang United 1-1 Tampines Rovers | Jalan Besar Stadium | 12 April
Hazzuwan Halim pen 62′ | Boris Kopitovic pen. 90″+15
Hougang had looked set to end a six-game winless drought with a stoic defensive display after Hazzuwan put them ahead from the spot. However, Tampines drew level with the last kick of the game with Kopitovic converting from 12 yards out after the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) had deemed substitute Iryan Fandi to have fouled Faris Ramli in the box.
- This is the fourth time Hougang have dropped points after scoring first this season.
- Hougang are winless in seven straight games in a season for the first time since a ten-game winless streak between April to June 2018.
- Hougang are the only side without a home victory.
- Hougang have now conceded in their last 23 SPL games since July 2022.
- Kopitovic’s goal is the latest ever goal scored in SPL history.
- Kopitovic has now scored 15 goals in 13 outings against Hougang since joining Tampines in 2020.
- Iryan Fandi made his professional debut at the age of 16 years, 8 months and 7 days – he is the 13rd youngest debutant in league history and is the youngest to make his debut amongst the four Fandi brothers including Irfan, Ikhsan and Ilhan.
Hougang: Zaiful Nizam (GK), Anders Aplin, Naoki Kuriyama (Brian Ferreira 53′), Kazuma Takayama, Jordan Vestering (Iryan Fandi 76′), Zulfahmi Arifin (C), Kristijan Krajcek, Nazrul Nazari, Ajay Robson (Amir Zalani 68′), Sahil Suhaimi (Gabriel Quak 76′), Hazzuwan Halim.
Unused subs: Zainol Gulam (GK), Fairoz Hassan, Umar Akhbar, Rauf Sanizal, Raimi Ishraq.
Tampines: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Irfan Najeeb (Rezza Rezky 80′), Shuya Yamashita, Milos Zlatkovic, Glenn Kweh, Kyoga Nakamura, Shah Shahiran, Joel Chew (Taufik Suparno 65′), Faris Ramli, Yasir Hanapi (C) (Saifullah Akbar 80′), Boris Kopitovic.
Unused subs: Ridhuan Barudin (GK), Danish Irfan, Syed Firdaus, Firdaus Kasman, Kegan Phang, Ong Yu En.
Boris Kopitoic celebrates after scoring against Hougang, 16 April 2023.
Stags extend unbeaten run
Tampines Rovers 2-0 Brunei DPMM | Jalan Besar Stadium | 20 April
Yura Putera O.G 8′, Yasir Hanapi 10′
A change of venue had little effect on Tampines as they scored two early goals to set them on the way to a sixth victory in eight matches. After Ong Yu En’s shot got a wicked deflection off Yura to deceive Haimie Nyaring in the DPMM goal, Yasir then lashed one in from the edge of the box. Andrei Voronkov then blazed a late penalty over to rub salt into the wounds of the Bruneian side.
- Tampines are now unbeaten in their last 16 SPL matches stretching back to August 2022 – they are still the only undefeated team in the 2023 season.
- Tampines have kept four clean sheets this season – the second-most behind Albirex.
- DPMM have won just two out of their opening eight matches in 2023 – their tally of seven points in eight is their worst since 2017 when they collected just four in a similar run.
- Tampines’ Ridhuan Barudin kept his first clean sheet since April 2021 in Hougang’s 1-0 win over Balestier – this is his first league appearance for the Stags since May 2014 in a 2-1 win over Young Lions.
Tampines: Ridhuan Barudin (GK), Irfan Najeeb, Shuya Yamashita, Milos Zlatkovic, Glenn Kweh, Kyoga Nakamura, Ong Yu En (Joel Chew 59′), Taufik Suparno (Saifullah Akbar 59′), Faris Ramli (Syed Firdaus 85′), Yasir Hanapi, Boris Kopitovic (Rezza Rezky 90’+5).
Unused subs: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Danish Irfan, Jovan Ang, Kegan Phang, Mathias Koesno.
DPMM: Haimie Nyaring (GK), Helmi Zambin (Awangku Fakharrazi 83′), Yura Indera Putera, Angel Martínez, Najib Tarif (Abdul Mu’iz Sisa 83′), Hanif Farhan (Syafiq Hilmi 83′), Josip Balic, Hendra Azman (C) (Hanif Hamir 26′), Abdul Azizi Rahman (Razimie Ramlli 64′), Andrei Voronkov, Hakeme Yazid.
Unused subs: Akmal Tursunbaev (GK), Azwan Ali Rahman, Eddy Izzat, Hirzi Zulfarqar.
Ridhuan Barudin against DPMM, 20 April 2023.