Singapore Premier League • June 24, 2024

2024/25 Singapore Premier League Matchweek 5: Roundup

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Lion City Sailors’ Maxime Lestienne in action against Albirex Niigata (S), 23 June 2024.

 

SINGAPORE, 24 JUNE 2024 – Title-chasing Lion City Sailors go top with a convincing victory over Albirex Niigata (S) in a week that is dominated by goals and thrilling comebacks. Geylang International missed the chance to leapfrog Tampines to go second after being held by Brunei DPMM, Young Lions picked up a second straight victory to climb to fifth, while Hougang United came from three goals down to pick up a valuable draw against Balestier Khalsa. We recap all the action here… 

 

Struggling Cheetahs show fight

Hougang 3-3 Balestier| Jalan Besar | 21 June    

Dejan Račić 66’, 90’+5, Shahdan Sulaiman 85’ | Ismail Sassi 42’, Kodai Tanaka pen. 57’, 61’ 

 

Hougang looked dead and buried after going three goals down with Sassi opening the scoring with a firm finish before Tanaka chalked up a brace – one from the spot and another off Sassi’s through pass. However, the Cheetahs rallied with Stjepan Plazonja squaring across goal for Račić to finish before Shahdan lashed home a stunner from the edge of the box. The comeback was completed deep into injury time, with Račić netting an emphatic finish from a tight angle. 

Facts

  • Hougang are one of the remaining two sides, along with Tanjong Pagar, yet to win a game this season. 
  • Tanaka has netted a brace in each of his four appearances this season, tallying a total of eight goals. 
  • Shahdan scored his first SPL goal since July 2022 in Sailors’ 1-1 draw with Geylang. 
  • Hougang’s Rauf Sanizal made his SPL debut. 

Hougang: Zaiful Nizam (GK) (C), Adam Reefdy (Rauf Sanizal 74’), Faris Hasić, Ensar Brunčević, Jordan Vestering (Nazhiim Harman 84’), Danish Irfan (Petar Banović 74’), Ajay Robson, Shahdan Sulaiman, Shodai Yokoyama, Stjepan Plazonja (Gabriel Quak 78’), Dejan Račić.

Unused subs: Kenji Rusydi (GK), Hazzuwan Halim, Justin Hui, Zamani Zamri, Danie Hafiy. 

Balestier: Hafiz Ahmad (GK), Darren Teh, Amer Hakeem (Tajeli Salamat 58’), Madhu Mohana, Jordan Emaviwe (Emmeric Ong 86’), Harith Kanadi (Fudhil I’yadh 86’), Alen Kozar (C), Ismail Sassi (Ignatius Ang 76’), Masahiro Sugita, Riku Fukashiro, Kodai Tanaka.

Unused subs: Wayne Chew (GK), Elijah Lim, Amiruldin Asraf, Irfan Mika’il, Reycredo Bukit. 

 

Balestier Khalsa’s Harith Kanadi in action against Hougang United’s Stjepan Plazonja, 21 June 2024.

 

Another comeback win for Young Lions

Young Lions 3-2 Tanjong Pagar | Jalan Besar | 22 June 

Amir Syafiz 45’, Khairin Nadim 56’, Itsuki Enomoto 82’ | Sahil Suhaimi 24’, Salif Cissé 41’

 

Tanjong Pagar led by two goals, with Sahil firing home his first goal of the club before Cissé held off his mark to net a thumping finish in off the bar. However, Young Lions repeated their feat last week – Khairin teed up Amir to pull one back, before popping into the area to convert Farhan Zulkifli’s superb right-wing cross to pull them level. Enomoto then hooked in a volley after Kaisei Ogawa’s free-kick was not dealt properly to seal the three points for Nazri Nasir’s side. 

Facts

  • Young Lions picked up two consecutive victories for the first time since April 2018 when they started that season with 2-0 and 1-0 wins over Hougang and Warriors FC. 
  • Five games into this season, Young Lions have already surpassed their 2023 tally of five points.
  • Amir scored his first-ever SPL goal, while Khairin netted his first since October 2022.  
  • Sahil scored his first SPL goal since June 2023 in Hougang’s 3-0 win over Young Lions. 

Young Lions: Aizil Yazid (GK), Aqil Yazid, Jun Kobayashi, Kieran Teo (C), Nur Adam Abdullah (Fairuz Fazli 90’+7), Kan Kobayashi, Kaisei Ogawa, Danish Qayyum (Farhan Zulkifli 46’), Amir Syafiz (Jonan Tan 62’), Itsuki Enomoto, Khairin Nadim (Andrew Aw 75’). 

Unused subs: Travis Ang (GK), Ikram Mikhail, Danish Haqimi, Garv Sahoo, Ryaan Sanizal. 

Tanjong Pagar: Prathip Ekamparam (GK), Faizal Roslan, Syed Akmal (Syahadat Masnawi 83’), Akram Azman (C) (Anaqi Ismit 73’), Daniel Elfian (Zenivio Mota 46’), Tomoki Wada, Timur Talipov, Stefan Paunovic, Shodai Nishikawa, Sahil Suhaimi, Salif Cissé. 

Unused subs: Fashah Iskandar (GK), Riki Kimura (GK), Shahrin Saberin, Azim Akbar, Umar Akhbar, Aiqel Aliman. 

 

Young Lions’ Amir Syafiz and Khairin Nadim celebrate scoring their first goals of the season, 22 June 2024.

 

Eagles denied by late DPMM show

DPMM 3-3 Geylang | Bandar Seri Begawan | 22 June 

Azwan Ali Rahman 29’, Hakeme Yazid pen. 77’, Julio Cruz 79’ | Naqiuddin Eunos 15’, Rio Sakuma 22’, Tomoyuki Doi 30’ 

 

DPMM’s first home game at the Hassanal Bolkiah Stadium since 2019 ended in a thriller. Naqiuddin sneaked into the box to open the scoring for Geylang, before Sakuma headed home Vincent Bezecourt’s corner to double their lead. DPMM pulled one back through Azwan Ali’s powerful finish, but the Eagles quickly restored their two-goal advantage through a typical poacher’s finish from Doi. Despite having to play with a man less for the last half hour, the home side stayed resilient – with Hakeme halving the deficit from the spot, before Cruz produced a towering header off Gabriel Gama’s free-kick to salvage a valuable point. 

Facts

  • Geylang remains one of only three sides, along with Sailors and BG Tampines Rovers, yet to lose a game this season. 
  • Geylang missed the chance to win three straight SPL games since September 2022. 
  • Doi has scored in each of his five appearances this season as he currently tops the SPL scoring charts with nine goals. 
  • This is already Naqiuddin’s best-ever scoring season with two goals. 

DPMM: Kristijan Naumovski (GK), Syafiq Safiuddin (Nazry Aiman 53’), Hanif Hamir, Nurikhwan Othman, Yura Indera Putera, Najib Tarif, Farshad Noor, Gabriel Gama, Azwan Ali Rahman (C) (Hakeme Yazid 46’), Miguel Oliveira, Julio Cruz (Hanif Farhan 85’). 

Unused subs: Ishyra Amin (GK), Abdul Mu’iz Sisa, Azwan Saleh, Faturrahman Embran, Abdul Hariz Herman, Nazirrudin Ismail.  

Geylang: Hairul Syirhan (GK), Naqiuddin Eunos, Rio Sakuma, Keito Hariya, Shakir Hamzah, Takahiro Tezuka, Joshua Pereira (C), Iqbal Hussain (Zikos Chua 86’), Vincent Bezecourt, Ryoya Taniguchi (Naufal Azman 55’), Tomoyuki Doi. 

Unused subs: Rudy Khairullah (GK), Akmal Azman, Faisal Shahril, Ahmad Syahir, Nizwan Izzairie, Syafi Suhaimi.   

Red Card – Farshad Noor (Brunei DPMM) 63’

 

Geylang International’s Naqiuddin Eunos in action against Brunei DPMM’s Azwan Ali, 22 June 2024.

 

Defending champions demolished

Sailors 7-1 Albirex | Bishan | 23 June 

Shawal Anuar 9’, Lennart Thy 31’, Bailey Wright 54’, Song Uiyoung 60’, Bart Ramselaar 64’, 83’, Maxime Lestienne 68’ | Shuhei Hoshino 21’

 

Shawal’s early instinctive finish was quickly cancelled out by Hoshino’s header, but it was one-way traffic thereafter. Thy slammed home an unerring finish for his first SPL goal to put the Sailors back ahead, before Wright and Song came up with fine volleyed efforts to extend the lead to 4-1. Ramselaar joined in the act with two clinical finishes – sandwiched between a majestic Lestienne effort to seal a stunning triumph over the reigning champions. 

Facts

  • Albirex conceded seven goals for the first time in the SPL and suffered their joint-heaviest ever defeat – along with a 6-0 loss to SAFFC back in March 2009. 
  • Sailors remain the only team to have won every game so far this season, while Albirex have now lost four out of their opening five league matches. 
  • The Sailors are unbeaten in their last 16 domestic matches in all competitions since a 3-1 loss to Albirex in July 2023. 
  • Song scored his first SPL goal since October 2022 when he netted a brace in Sailors’ 5-3 loss to Balestier. 

Sailors: Zharfan Rohaizad (GK), Lionel Tan (Christopher van Huizen 59’), Bailey Wright, Toni Datković, Obren Kljajić, Hariss Harun (C) (Hafiz Nor 76’), Hami Syahin, Maxime Lestienne (Anumanthan Kumar 76’), Bart Ramselaar, Shawal Anuar (Song Uiyoung 25’, Adam Swandi 76’), Lennart Thy.  

Unused subs: Izwan Mahbud (GK), Bill Mamadou, Haiqal Pashia, Nur Muhammad Asis.   

Albirex: Hassan Sunny (GK), Syed Firdaus Hassan (Haziq Kamarudin 63’), Koki Kawachi, Stevia Egbus Mikuni, Gareth Low (Daniel Martens 86’), Yohei Otake (Junki Yoshimura 77’), Arya Igami Tarhani, Arshad Shamim, Amy Recha, Shingo Nakano, Shuhei Hoshino. 

Unused subs: Dylan Pereira (GK), Syukri Bashir, Jarrel Ong, Kenji Austin.  

 

Lion City Sailors celebrating Lennart Thy’s goal against Albirex Niigata (S), 23 June 2024.

 

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