Singapore Premier League • March 12, 2020
Singapore Premier League Week 2: Roundup
SINGAPORE, 12 MARCH 2020 – It was a good week for Brunei DPMM, who started their SPL title defence by defeating Tampines Rovers, while championship rivals Lion City Sailors and Albirex Niigata (S) were held to draws by Tanjong Pagar United and Balestier Khalsa respectively. On the other hand, Geylang International cruised past Young Lions for their first win of the season as we recap the action below…
Tanjong Pagar 1-1 Sailors | Jurong East | 6 March
Yann Motta 26’ | Andrew Pengelly 44’
The returning Jaguars showed that they will be no pushovers with a surprise draw here. Young Brazilian defender Motta put the Jaguars ahead before the half-hour mark as he bundled in Takahiro Tanaka’s excellent corner. The Sailors rallied through Australian forward Pengelly, who headed in Gabriel Quak’s cross after great work by the latter down the left. The visitors dominated but were luck-less as Quak’s thunderous 71st-minute effort and substitute Shahril Ishak’s header in injury time both struck the woodwork.
- Motta’s goal is Tanjong Pagar’s first in the SPL since Asraf Rashid’s late consolation in a 4-2 defeat to Hougang United in the final game of the 2014 season.
- Delwinder Singh was the only player in the Tanjong Pagar side to have played for them previously, last in the 2012 season.
Tanjong Pagar XI: Kenji Rusydi (GK), Faritz Hameed (C), Yann Motta, Delwinder Singh, Takahiro Tanaka, Ignatius Ang (Syabil Hisham 90’+4), Shodai Nishikawa, Suhairi Sabri, Nashrul Amin (Suria Prakash 54’), Syahadat Masnawi (Hadiputradila Saswadimata 63’), Luiz Junior.
Unused Subs: Fashah Iskandar (GK), Syariful Haq Sapari, Farihin Farkhan, Ribiyanda Saswadimata.
Sailors XI: Hassan Sunny (GK)(C), Zulqarnaen Suzliman, Kaishu Yamazaki, Tajeli Salamat, Naqiuddin Eunos (Ho Wai Loon 89’), Shahdan Sulaiman, Song Uiyoung, Gabriel Quak (Shahril Ishak 75’), Hafiz Nor, Haiqal Pashia (Iqram Rifqi 62’), Andrew Pengelly.
Unused Subs: Adib Nur Hakim (GK), Abdil Qaiyyim, Izzdin Shafiq, Saifullah Akbar.
DPMM 2-0 Tampines | Hassanal Bolkiah | 6 March
Charlie Clough 23’, Andrei Varankou 86’
The defending champions started with a statement of intent by recording an impressive triumph over their fellow title contenders. English defender Clough rose highest to meet Hendra Azam’s deep free-kick with an excellent looping header, before last year’s Golden Boot winner Varankou sealed the win with a superb individual goal. New 37-year-old Brazilian keeper Emerson Conceicao made a series of saves to deny Tampines who ended the game with 10 men after substitute Taufik Suparno saw red.
- DPMM have lost just once in their last 17 home matches – a run that stretches back to August 2018.
- Tampines have scored in 21 straight league matches before this game – their last goalless outing was in a 0-0 draw against Albirex in March 2019.
DPMM XI: Emerson Conceicao (GK), Helmi Zambin, Yura Indera Putera, Charlie Clough, Najib Tarif, Hendra Azam (Abdul Aziz Tamit 79’), Nurikhwan Othman, Hanif Farhan (Suhaimi Sulau 69’), Azwan Ali Rahman, Abdul Azizi Rahman (C) (Razimee Ramlli 88’), Andrei Varankou.
Unused Subs: Wardun Yussof (GK), Wafi Aminuddin, Hazwan Hamzah, Hakeme Yazid.
Tampines XI: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Shannon Stephen (Daniel Bennett 75’), Amirul Adli, Syahrul Sazali, Irwan Shah (C), Huzaifah Aziz (Kyoga Nakamura 55’), Shah Shahiran, Zehrudin Mehmedović, Joel Chew (Taufik Suparno 55’), Jordan Webb, Boris Kopitovic.
Unused Subs: Zulfairuuz Rudy (GK), Safirul Sulaiman, Fathullah Rahmat.
Balestier 2-2 Albirex | Bishan | 7 March
Ensar Brunčević 21’, Shuhei Hoshino 59’| Ryoya Taniguchi 52’,Reo Nishiguchi 89’
Last season’s bottom side Balestier put up yet another promising display, but fell victim to a late leveller. Towering Serbian centre-back Brunčević swept home from close range off Fadli Kamis’ knock-on, but Albirex levelled matters early after the restart as substitute Taniguchi headed in Kenta Kurishima’s corner. Marko Kraljevic’s outfit retook the lead when Hoshino finished off Hazzuwan Halim’s lofted pass, before a half-hour delay ensued following a floodlight issue. Rio Sakuma’s goal-line clearance to deny Sime Žužul late on proved crucial – the counter-attack that resulted saw Nishiguchi scoring from three yards out to earn a point.
- Balestier are win-less in their last seven league games – a run that stretches back to August 2019.
- Balestier are still waiting for their first win against Albirex since October 2015 after 16 unsuccessful tries.
- Taniguchi and Nishiguchi have scored two goals in as many games for Albirex this season.
Balestier XI: Zaiful Nizam (GK)(C), Fadli Kamis, Khalili Khalif, Ensar Brunčević, Ahmad Syahir, Hazzuwan Halim (Syukri Noorhaizam 81’), Aarish Kumar, Kristijan Krajček, Karthik Raj (Zulfadhmi Suzliman 53’), Faizal Raffi (Šime Žužul 58’), Shuhei Hoshino.
Unused Subs: Zacharial Leong (GK), Jufri Taha, Elijah Lim, Azizi Rahman.
Albirex XI: Kei Okawa (GK), Kazuki Hashioka (C), Rio Sakuma, Kotaro Takeda, Hiroyoshi Kamata (Yasuhiro Hanada 75’), Kenta Kurishima, Iman Hakim (Ryuya Mitsuzuka 63’), Ryosuke Nagasawa,Daniel Goh (Ryoya Taniguchi 46’), Reo Nishiguchi, Tomoyoki Doi.
Unused Subs: Hyrulnizam Juma’at (GK), Gareth Low, Mahiro Takahashi, Zamani Zamri.
Geylang 3-0 Young Lions | Our Tampines Hub | 11 March
Iqbal Hussain 16’, 58, Khairul Nizam 75’
Led by the irrepressible Iqbal, Geylang recovered from a heavy opening-day defeat to clinch a convincing first win. The gifted left-footed attacker got the ball rolling in the first half by netting the first direct free-kick goal of the season. The second was a crisp finish off Christopher Van Huizen’s cross, before Nizam smashed in Amy Recha’s perfect pass to condemn the Young Lions to a second straight defeat.
- This is Geylang’s biggest win since a 5-0 thrashing of Balestier Khalsa in June 2019.
- Young Lions lost their first two opening games for the first time since 2017.
- The last time Young Lions lost by three goals or more in consecutive games was in October 2017 – Tampines (3-0) and Home United (4-0).
- This is Iqbal’s first-ever professional brace since making his debut in 2012. He has already doubled his goal tally from 2019.
Geylang XI: Zainol Gulam (GK), Darren Teh, Joshua Pereira, Yuki Ichikawa (C), Harith Kanadi, Muhd Noor Ariff (Panagiotis Linardos 67’), Firdaus Kasman, Iqbal Hussain, Barry Maguire, Christopher Van Huizen (Amy Recha 73’), Khairul Nizam.
Unused Subs: Hairul Syirhan (GK), Nurullah Hussein, Kamolidin Tashiev, Azri Suhaili, Ilhan Noor.
Young Lions XI: Nurshafiq Zainal (GK), Syed Akmal, Akmal Azman, Akram Azman, Danish Irfan, Harhys Stewart, Jacob Mahler (C), Rezza Rezky (Khairin Nadim 69’), Abdul Rasaq (Marc Ryan Tan 63’), Nur Adam Abdullah, Ilhan Fandi (Ryhan Stewart 86’).
Unused Subs: Ridhwan Fikri (GK), Fikri Junaidi, Shahib Masnawi, Nor Hakim Redzuan.