Singapore Premier League • July 3, 2019
Singapore Premier League Week 15: Roundup
SINGAPORE, 3 JULY 2019 – Leaders Brunei DPMM wasted no time in bouncing back from their first defeat of the season by seeing off Balestier Khalsa, while Albirex Niigata (S) and Hougang United both kept up the pressure with victories. In-form Geylang International fell to a surprise defeat at home to Young Lions, who are close to getting off the bottom. We recap the weekend’s action below…
DPMM 2-1 Balestier | Hassanal Bolkiah | 28 June
Abdul Azizi Rahman 5′, Blake Ricciuto 53′ | Šime Žužul 48′
A stunning individual effort from Šime Žužul was not enough to derail the league leaders as they returned to winning ways in the comforts of home. Abdul Azizi Rahman got Adrian Pennock’s men off to the perfect start with a confident first-time finish off Helmi Zambin’s cross just five minutes into the game. DPMM spurned some chances and were punished shortly after half-time as Žužul left his man for dead with a dummy and latched on to Nurullah Hussein’s pass, before slaloming 35 yards to finish. It took the hosts just five minutes to hit back. There seemed to be little danger when Andrei Varankou slipped the ball to Blake Ricciuto, but the midfielder advanced and cracked a 25-yard drive that bounced into the bottom left corner to win the game.
– DPMM are now unbeaten in their last 11 home league games, winning nine of those.
– Ricciuto is the fourth player to score a winning goal for DPMM this season; no other team has more different players.
– The last time Balestier lost six league games in a row was July 2017.
– Balestier have failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their last ten games, their worst run since June 2016.
DPMM XI: Wardun Yussof (C), Charlie Clough (Hazwan Hamzah 50’), Hanif Hamir, Nurikhwan Othman (Wafi Aminuddin 60’), Helmi Zambin, Hendra Azam, Blake Ricciuto, Najib Tarif, Azwan Ali Rahman, Abdul Azizi Rahman (Razimee Ramlli 64’), Andrei Varankou.
Unused subs: Haimie Nyaring (GK), Awangku Fakharrazi, Abdul Mu’iz Sisa, Azwan Salleh.
Balestier XI: Naqiuddin Nodin (GK), Fadli Kamis (C), Nurullah Hussein, Illyas Lee, Fazli Shafie, Ahmad Syahir, Sufianto Salleh, Gaye Sameer (Suriya Ramesh 76’), Daniel Goh, Kristijan Krajček (Sanjin Vrebac 57’), Šime Žužul.
Unused subs: Faris Danial (GK), Sheikh Abdul Hadi, Khairuddin Omar, Ahmad Zaki.
Home 0-2 Hougang | Bishan | 29 June
Farhan Zulkifli 12′, Fazrul Nawaz 78′
History was made last Saturday as Hougang youngster Farhan Zulkifli became the second-youngest ever scorer in league history and its third-youngest ever debutant. The national Under-18 midfielder had not even made the matchday squad prior to the game, but was given an opportunity due to suspensions and injuries in the Hougang camp. The 16-year-old took it with aplomb as he broke the deadlock with a superb strike into the top right corner from 20 yards, having made the chance himself after robbing an opponent of the ball. Ridhuan Barudin made a good stop to deny Hafiz Nor from levelling but otherwise, Home struggled to find a way back and were dealt a further blow when Shahril Ishak copped a straight red card. Substitutes Faris Ramli and Iqbal Hussain then combined for the second goal, with the latter setting up captain Fazrul Nawaz for a tap-in to send the Cheetahs third.
– Home have lost six leagues games this season, one more than they did for the whole of last season.
– At 16 years and 231 days, Farhan supplanted Fareez Farhan (16y 331d) to become the league’s second-youngest ever scorer behind Hariss Harun.
– Farhan became the 12th player to score for Hougang; no other team has more different scorers.
– Hougang kept a fourth clean sheet of the season; last season, they only kept two.
Home XI: Nazri Sabri (GK), Aqhari Abdullah, Abdil Qaiyyim, Faizal Roslan, Iqram Rifqi (Ho Wai Loon 57’), Hami Syahin (Faritz Hameed 70’), Song Uiyoung, Oliver Puflett (Amiruldin Asraf 79’), Adam Swandi, Hafiz Nor, Shahril Ishak (C).
Unused subs: Haikal Hasnol (GK), Nur Hizami, Taufiq Muqminin, Arshad Shamim.
Hougang XI: Ridhuan Barudin (GK), Nazrul Nazari, Afiq Yunos, Kong Howon, Hafiz Sujad, Fabian Kwok, Stipe Plazibat, Nikesh Singh (Afiq Noor 81’), Amir Zalani (Faris Ramli 46’), Farhan Zulkifli (Iqbal Hussain 56’), Fazrul Nawaz (C).
Unused subs: Heng How Meng (GK), Shahfiq Ghani, Muhaimin Suhaimi, Paulin Mbaye.
Geylang 1-2 Young Lions | Our Tampines Hub | 29 June
Zikos Chua 82′ | Rezza Rezky 1′, Nur Luqman 59′
Fandi Ahmad’s charges pulled off a surprise win, aided by a goal within the first 60 seconds. Syahrul Sazali’s free-kick from the right was met by Rezza Rezky to give them a dream start. The midfielder was involved in the second goal as well as his pot-shot was deflected into the path of Nur Luqman, who stuck out a boot to smartly divert the ball in from close range. Zikos Chua came off the bench to head in a corner from Christopher van Huizen but it was too late for the Eagles, who also had Shawal Anuar dismissed.
– Geylang saw a two-game winning run ended.
– Geylang scored from a corner for a league-leading fourth time.
– Geylang conceded first in a game for a 10th time, the most in the league. Their record when conceding first stands at W2,L8.
– Zikos has scored three goals as a substitute; no other player in the league has more.
– Young Lions beat Geylang for the first time in 13 encounters.
– Young Lions snapped a five-game losing streak.
– Rezza and Luqman scored their first professional goals.
Young Lions XI: Kenji Rusydi (GK), Irfan Najeeb, Lionel Tan, Syahrul Sazali, Zulqarnaen Suzliman, Jacob Mahler, Joshua Pereira (C), Nur Luqman Rahman (Prakash Raj 90’+3), Rezza Rezky (Sharul Nizam 65’), Saifullah Akbar, Abdul Rasaq Akeem (Asraf Zahid 89’).
Unused subs: Adib Hakim (GK), Danial Syafiq, Nur Adam Abdullah, Qayyum Raishyan.
Geylang XI: Hairul Syirhan (GK), Anders Aplin, Darren Teh, Yuki Ichikawa (C), Fareez Farhan, Barry Maguire, Umar Akhbar (Christopher van Huizen 46’), Danish Irfan (Zikos Chua 65’), Amy Recha, Firdaus Kasman (Ifwat Ismail 85’), Shawal Anuar.
Unused subs: Zainol Gulam (GK), Jufri Taha, Muhd Noor Ariff, Azri Suhaili.
Albirex 1-0 Warriors | Jurong East | 30 June
Hiroyoshi Kamata 30’
A fortunate goal and gritty defending helped Albirex edge this game as they stayed on DPMM’s coattails. The hosts’ early pressure was rewarded on the half hour but Lady Luck certainly intervened as Kaishu Yamazaki’s free-kick was diverted into goal off the back of Hiroyoshi Kamata, who had been trying to duck out of the ball’s path. The Warriors hit back strongly but were frustrated by good defending, while Yosuke Nakagawa should have done better than to hit the bar from five yards at the other end. When one last good opportunity fell to Jonathan Behe, his header was kept out by a stunning reflex save from Kengo Fukudome to deal his side a second straight defeat.
– Albirex are now unbeaten in 48 games at home in all competitions.
– Fukudome recorded a sixth clean sheet; no other goalkeeper has more.
– Albirex beat Warriors for a 10th consecutive encounter.