Singapore Premier League • July 20, 2019

Singapore Premier League Week 18: Roundup


SINGAPORE, 20 JULY 2019 – The title race is on, ladies and gentlemen. Hougang United’s defeat of leaders Brunei DPMM reduced their gap to the top to five points with eight games left and Albirex Niigata will rue throwing away a two-goal lead against Home United as their draw leaves them three points behind DPMM. Tampines Rovers lost ground after stumbling against a spirited Young Lions side, while Balestier Khalsa ended a losing run in a six-goal thriller against Warriors FC. We recap the past week’s action below…

Young Lions 1-1 Tampines | Jalan Besar | 18 July
Syed Firdaus Hassan 69′ | Jordan Webb 23′
An improved second-half showing from Fandi Ahmad’s charges saw them hold the visitors, who are now ten points behind the leaders. Jordan Webb got his eighth goal of the season to break the deadlock, taking down Ryutaro Megumi’s cross with a brilliant first touch before blasting in from a tight angle. But half-time substitute Haiqal Pashia changed the game and it was his precise cut-back that found an onrushing Syed Firdaus Hassan to sidefoot in the equaliser for a deserved point.

– Firdaus scored his first professional goal.
– Webb scored in a sixth consecutive league game.
– Webb scored his 25th league goal for Tampines.

Young Lions XI: Zharfan Rohaizad (GK), Zulqarnaen Suzliman, Lionel Tan, Jacob Mahler, Syahrul Sazali, Naqiuddin Eunos (Nur Adam Abdullah 55’), Joshua Pereira (C), Syed Firdaus Hassan (Qayyum Raishyan 90’), Nur Luqman Rahman (Haiqal Pashia 46’), Saifullah Akbar, Sharul Nizam.
Unused subs: Adib Hakim (GK), Asraf Zahid, Danial Syafiq, Ruzree Rohzaini.
Tampines XI: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Hamizan Hisham (Daniel Bennett 82′), Madhu Mohana, Ryaan Sanizal, Irwan Shah, Taufik Suparno (Zehrudin Mehmedović 46’), Yasir Hanapi, Shahdan Sulaiman (C), Ryutaro Megumi, Jordan Webb, Shah Shahiran. 
Unused subs: Zephen Nonis (GK), Akmal Azman, Zulfadhmi Suzliman, Joel Chew, Safirul Sulaiman.

Home 3-3 Albirex | Bishan | 18 July
Amiruldin Asraf 32′, Song Uiyoung pen. 82′, Shahril Ishak 84′ | Yosuke Nakagawa 36′, Hiroyoshi Kamata 56′, Kyoga Nakamura 79′
Albirex surrendered a two-goal lead in the closing stages, where victory would have seen them move just one point behind DPMM. The visitors had done well to respond to Amiruldin Asraf’s powerful opener for Home as Yosuke Nakagawa curled in a fine effort after cutting in from the right to equalise. Haikal Hasnol then spilled a free-kick into the path of Hiroyoshi Kamata, who buried the rebound before Kyoga Nakamura scored a Goal of the Season contender. Having chased down a loose pass, the Albirex captain hit a first-time effort from 45 yards that sailed over the goalkeeper and into the top left corner. That looked to have been enough to seal the three points but the Protectors refused to lie down. Song Uiyoung converted from the spot after Hami Syahin was fouled and just 120 seconds later, Shahril Ishak was Johnny on the spot to sweep in the rebound after Faizal Roslan’s header came off a post.

– Amiruldin ended a 31-game goal drought for Home.
– Anaqi Ismit made his professional debut.
– Song is three goals away from reaching 50 career goals for Home.
– Nakamura scored his fifth goal from outside the box in open play; no other player has more than three.

Home XI: Haikal Hasnol (GK), Aqhari Abdullah, Abdil Qaiyyim (C), Faizal Roslan, Ho Wai Loon, Hami Syahin, Song Uiyoung, Oliver Puflett (Anaqi Ismit 79’), Arshad Shamim (Shahril Ishak 46’), Hafiz Nor, Amiruldin Asraf (Muhelmy Suhaimi 69’). 
Unused subs: Prathip Ekamparam (GK), Taufiq Muqminin, Suhairi Sabri, Danish Iftiqar.
Albirex XI: Kengo Fukudome (GK), Naruki Takahashi, Kyoga Nakamura (C), Sota Sugiyama, Kaishu Yamazaki, Daniel Martens (Yoshikatsu Hiraga 46’), Zamani Zamri (Makito Hatanaka 62’), Yosuke Nakagawa, Daichi Tanabe, Shoki Ohara, Hiroyoshi Kamata.
Unused subs: Hyrulnizam Juma’at (GK), Yusuke Kawagoe, Firas Irwan, Daizo Horikoshi, Gamu Tasaka.

Hougang 3-1 DPMM | Jalan Besar | 19 July
Faris Ramli pen. 6′, Zulfahmi Arifin 33′, Nazrul Nazari 77′ | Blake Ricciuto 45’+2
Hougang blew the title race open with a big win against the leaders, who fell to only their second defeat of the season. The loss of Hendra Azam through suspension was a blow for Adrian Pennock, as was the injury that first-choice goalkeeper Wardun Yussof sustained during the warm-up. Clement Teo’s charges raced out of the blocks and Faris Ramli put away the penalty after Haimie Nyaring brought him down. The replacement goalkeeper’s position looked suspect when Hougang captain Zulfahmi Arifin whipped a free-kick past him from 22 yards. DPMM were blunted further when league top scorer Andrei Varankou was forced off by injury on the stroke of half-time and despite Blake Ricciuto scoring his ninth of the season, Hougang sealed victory when Faris set up substitute Nazrul Nazari to hammer in from 14 yards.

– Hougang beat DPMM for the first time in six encounters, their last win having come in September 2017.
– Hougang have 14 different scorers in the league; no other team has more than 11.
– Hougang have scored five penalties this season, the most of any team in the league.
– Zulfahmi scored for the first time in 69 games at club level.
– DPMM conceded a goal within the first ten minutes of a match for the first time this season.

Hougang XI: Ridhuan Barudin (GK), Alif Iskandar (Nazrul Nazari 65’), Afiq Yunos, Kong Howon, Hafiz Sujad, Zulfahmi Arifin (C), Stipe Plazibat, Nikesh Singh (Fabian Kwok 61’), Farhan Zulkifli (Iqbal Hussain 70’), Faris Ramli, Afiq Noor.
Unused subs: Khairulhin Khalid (GK), Fazrul Nawaz, Muhaimin Suhaimi, Timothy Yeo.
DPMM XI: Haimie Nyaring, Hazwan Hamzah, Yura Indera Putera, Charlie Clough, Helmi Zambin, Blake Ricciuto, Adi Said, Najib Tarif, Azwan Ali Rahman (Shah Razen Said 90’+1), Abdul Azizi Rahman (Razimee Ramlli 73’), Andrei Varankou (Azwan Saleh 45’).
Unused subs: Awangku Fakharrazi, Abdul Mu’iz Sisa, Wafi Aminuddin.

Warrriors 3-3 Balestier | Jurong East | 19 July
Jonathan Behe 4’, Ignatius Ang 68’, Fairoz Hasan 76’ | Sanjin Vrebac 6’, Šime Žužul 41’, 85’Warriors missed the opportunity to move to sixth after losing the lead twice against Balestier, who ended a seven-game losing streak – their worst such run in six years. Faris Danial’s hesitation in coming out to claim Gabriel Quak’s free-kick allowed Jonathan Behe to touch the ball in to break the deadlock, but the Tigers equalised just two minutes later through Sanjin Vrebac’s fine free-kick from 22 yards. Poor defending then allowed Šime Žužul to tap in Fariz Faizal’s pass, but two Warriors substitutes turned the game around again. First, Ignatius Ang raced onto Tajeli Salamat’s long pass and produced a wonderful lob to equalise, before Fairoz Hasan finished off Quak’s cross from close range. But the visitors hit back through Žužul, whose speculative 30-yard effort should have been dealt with by Fashah Iskandar. The goalkeeper redeemed himself by saving Kristijan Krajček’s penalty in the 89th minute as both sides shared the spoils.

– Behe has now scored in each of his last five games against Balestier, tallying seven goals.
– Behe scored his 45th career SPL goal.
– Fashah made his second penalty save of the season; no other goalkeeper has more.
– Quak and Tajeli have supplied Warriors’ last five goals (three and two assists respectively).
– Before yesterday, Balestier had gone on to lose on all previous seven occasions this season when they conceded first.

Warriors XI: Fashah Iskandar (GK), Ryhan Stewart, Kento Fukuda, Emmeric Ong (R Aaravin 52’), Daniel Shafiq (Ignatius Ang 46’), Tajeli Salamat, Yeo Hai Ngee, Faizal Raffi, Sahil Suhaimi (Fairoz Hasan 72’), Gabriel Quak (C), Jonathan Behe.
Unused subs: Riki Kimura (GK), Ammirul Emmran, Poh Yi Feng, Suria Prakash.
Balestier XI: Faris Danial (GK), Fadli Kamis (C), Sheikh Abdul Hadi, Khalili Khalif, Sufianto Salleh, Huzaifah Aziz, Raihan Rahman, Fariz Faizal (Daniel Goh 73’), Kristijan Krajček, Sanjin Vrebac, Šime Žužul.
Unused subs: Zacharial Leong (GK), Khairuddin Omar, Ahmad Zaki, Gaye Sameer, Suriya Ramesh.

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