Singapore Premier League • May 14, 2024

2024/25 Singapore Premier League Matchweek 1: Roundup

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BG Tampines Rovers’ Shah Shahiran in action against Albirex Niigata (S), 12 May 2024.

 

SINGAPORE, 14 MAY 2024 – Title contenders Lion City Sailors and BG Tampines Rovers signalled their ambitions with opening victories over Hougang United and Albirex Niigata (S) respectively, while a new-look Brunei DPMM side swept aside Young Lions to join the duo on three points after the first matchweek of the 2024/25 Singapore Premier League (SPL) season. Elsewhere, Balestier Khalsa came from two goals down to hold Geylang International in a thrilling draw. We recap all the action here…

 

Sailors cruise past Cheetahs

Hougang 1-4 Sailors | Jalan Besar | 10 May    

Hazzuwan Halim 34’ | Bart Ramselaar 23’, Shawal Anuar 26’, Adam Swandi 60’, Obren Kljajić 88’

 

 

There was no way back for Hougang after Ramselaar swept home a delicious opening goal off Maxime Lestienne’s cross and Shawal escaped Ensar Brunčević to hook home a second. The Cheetahs did halve the deficit when Hazzuwan netted on the rebound after his penalty was saved. However, Adam fired home a daisy-cutter to restore the Sailors’ two-goal lead before Kljajić prodded home from close range to complete the victory.

Facts

  •       The Sailors won their season-opening game for a third straight season.
  •       Shawal has now scored in each of his last three appearances against Hougang in all competitions.
  •       Three out of Adam’s last four SPL goals have come against Hougang.
  •       Ramselaar and Kljajić scored their first-ever SPL goals.
  •       Hazzuwan has now scored in nine straight SPL seasons.

Hougang: Zaiful Nizam (GK) (C), Faris Hasić, Ensar Brunčević, Danish Irfan, Nazhiim Harman (Puttipat Kaewsawad 46’), Ajay Robson (Zamani Zamri 77’), Shodai Yokoyama, Jordan Vestering, Hazzuwan Halim (Justin Hui 68’), Petar Banović (Shahdan Sulaiman 46’), Stjepan Plazonja.

Unused subs: Isaac Jonathan (GK), Gabriel Quak, Jordan Sea, Rauf Sanizal, Louka Vaissierre-Tan.

Sailors: Zharfan Rohaizad (GK), Christopher van Huizen, Bailey Wright, Toni Datković, Obren Kljajić (Kian Jared Ghadessy 90’+1), Hariss Harun (C) (Anumanthan Kumar 90’+1), Hami Syahin, Maxime Lestienne, Adam Swandi (Haiqal Pashia 82’), Bart Ramselaar (Nur Muhammad Asis 90’+1), Shawal Anuar (Hafiz Nor 87’).

Unused subs: Izwan Mahbud (GK), Bill Mamadou, Sergio Carmona Pérez, Nathan Mao.

 

Lion City Sailors’ Shawal Anuar in action against Hougang United, 10 May 2024.

 

 

Tigers display fighting spirit

Balestier 2-2 Geylang | Bishan | 10 May   

Kodai Tanaka 56’, pen. 81’ | Shakir Hamzah 6’, Tomoyuki Doi 38’

 

 

It had looked like Geylang was cruising to victory after Shakir lashed home a stunner and Doi produced a cheeky lobbed finish from outside the box to put them two up. However, Balestier rallied with Tanaka first popping up at the far post to tap home Riku Fukashiro’s low cross before calmy converting from the spot to complete his brace – and earn his new side a valuable point.

Facts

  •       This is the first league draw between both sides since March 2016.
  •       Balestier drew a game for the first time since October 2022 in a 4-4 draw with Young Lions.
  •       Tanaka has scored a brace on the opening day of the last two league seasons – he did so last season for the Sailors in a 3-1 win over Tanjong Pagar United.
  •       Doi scored his first SPL goal since netting a hat-trick in Hougang’s 7-3 win over Tampines in September 2021.

Balestier: Hafiz Ahmad (GK), Tajeli Salamat, Madhu Mohana, Jordan Emaviwe, Darren Teh, Harith Kanadi, Alen Kozar (C), Ismail Sassi (Ignatius Ang 79’), Masahiro Sugita, Riku Fukashiro, Kodai Tanaka.

Unused subs: Martyn Mun (GK), Wayne Chew (GK), Emmeric Ong, Amer Hakeem, Amiruldin Asraf, Fudhil I’yadh, Merrick Tan, Darren Teo.

Geylang: Hairul Syirhan (GK), Naqiuddin Eunos (Akmal Azman 62’), Keito Hariya, Shakir Hamzah, Huzaifah Aziz (Ahmad Syahir 82’), Takahiro Tezuka, Joshua Pereira (C), Vincent Bezecourt, Ryoya Taniguchi, Sora Tanaka (Iqbal Hussain 62’), Tomoyuki Doi.

Unused subs: Rudy Khairullah (GK), Naufal Azman, Faisal Shahril, Zikos Chua.

 

Balestier Khalsa and Geylang International players challenging for the ball, 10 May 2024.

 

Revitalised DPMM grind out win

Young Lions 1-2 DPMM | Jalan Besar | 11 May

Farhan Zulkifli 19’ | Miguel Oliveira 23’, Yura Indera Putera 38’

 

 

Young Lions got the early breakthrough with captain Farhan hooking home after a well-worked set-piece routine. However, DPMM – led by new Portuguese coach Rui Capela – soon levelled matters with Oliveira clinically finishing off Farshad Noor’s through ball before completing the comeback through Yura’s header off Patrick Flottmann’s cross.

Facts

  •       Young Lions have now lost their 16 SPL matches – a run that stretches back to April 2023.
  •       Farhan has scored in each of his last two matches in all competitions – he was also on target in Young Lions’ 4-2 Singapore Cup win over Geylang in November 2023.
  •       Oliveira scored on his SPL debut.
  •       Yura scored only his third-ever SPL goal.

Young Lions: Travis Ang (GK), Fairuz Fazli (Andrew Aw 87’), Jun Kobayashi, Kieran Teo, Nur Adam Abdullah, Kan Kobayashi, Kaisei Ogawa (Ethan Pinto 87’), Fathullah Rahmat (Khairin Nadim 61’), Jonan Tan (Amir Syafiz 46’), Itsuki Enomoto, Farhan Zulkifli (C).

Unused subs: Umayr Sujuandy (GK), Aqil Yazid, Danish Haqimi, Danish Qayyum, Ikram Mikhail.

DPMM: Kristijan Naumovski (GK), Syafiq Safiuddin, Yura Indera Putera, Patrick Flottmann, Najib Tarif, Nurikhwan Othman (Hanif Farhan 54’), Farshad Noor, Gabriel Gama (Hanif Hamir 87’), Azwan Ali Rahman (C) (Abdul Hariz Herman 87’), Miguel Oliveira, Hakeme Yazid (Nazirrudin Ismail 87’).

Unused subs: Haimie Nyaring (GK), Abdul Mu’iz Sisa, Faturrahman Embran, Nazry Aiman.

 

Brunei DPMM’s players celebrating a goal against Young Lions, 11 May 2024.

 

Stags present title credentials

BG Tampines 3-1 Albirex | Jalan Besar | 12 May

Seia Kunori 64’, 73’, Boris Kopitović 87’ | Daniel Goh 38’

 

 

Goh had given Albirex a half-time lead through a delightful lob past Syazwan Buhari, but BG Tampines produced a brilliant comeback after the break – Kunori first fired a sizzling grounder past Hassan Sunny before bending a stunning strike into the top corner to complete an outstanding brace. Kopitović then tapped home the rebound after Faris Ramli’s shot was parried into his path to round off a morale-boosting victoy.

Facts

  •       BG Tampines won their season-opening game for the first time since 2020.
  •       Kunori also scored a brace the last time both sides met in the league in July 2013, albeit for Albirex in a 6-3 win at Jurong East.
  •       Kopitovic has 15 goals in 13 appearances against Albirex in all competitions since coming to the SPL in 2020.
  •       Goh netted his first-ever goal for Albirex – he played two games for the White Swans in 2020 without scoring.

Tampines: Syazwan Buhari (GK) (C), Irfan Najeeb (Jared Gallagher 46’), Shuya Yamashita, Miloš Zlatković, Amirul Adli, Glenn Kweh (Taufik Suparno 69’), Shah Shahiran, Kyoga Nakamura, Faris Ramli (Amirul Haikal 87’), Seia Kunori (Yasir Hanapi 79’), Boris Kopitović.

Unused subs: Ridhuan Barudin (GK), Syahrul Sazali, Thitipat Ekarunpong, Kegan Phang, Kieran Tan.

Albirex: Hassan Sunny (GK), Syed Firdaus Hassan, Koki Kawachi, Stevia Egbus Mikuni, Gareth Low, Yojiro Takahagi (Haziq Kamarudin 81’), Yohei Otake, Ho Wai Loon (C) (Arshad Shamim 73’), Daniel Goh, Arya Igami Tarhani, Shuhei Hoshino.

Unused subs: Dylan Pereira (GK), Zainol Gulam (GK), Syukri Bashir, Jarrel Ong, Junki Yoshimura, Hilman Norhisam, Kenji Austin.

 

BG Tampines Rovers and Albirex Niigata (S) players challenging for the ball, 12 May 2024.