News Singapore Premier League • October 27, 2020
Singapore Premier League Week 6: Roundup
SINGAPORE, 27 OCTOBER 2020 – It was another exciting week in the AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) as Albirex Niigata (S) left it late to sink title rivals Lion City Sailors, while Balestier Khalsa continued their fine form by defeating Geylang International. Meanwhile the Young Lions notched their first win as we recap all the action below…
Tigers – dark horses for the championship?
Geylang 2-3 Balestier | Our Tampines Hub | 24 October
Khairul Nizam 34’, Barry Maguire 90’+3 | Kristijan Krajček 60’, Hazzuwan Halim 66’, Hairul Syirhan O.G 80’
The better of the two sides in the first half, Geylang took a deserved lead through Nizam’s neat header off Harith Kanadi’s deep cross. However, Balestier returned after the break with renewed vigour and turned the game around with two quick strikes. Krajček lashed in a thunderbolt from 25 yards, before Hazzuwan smashed in Zulfadhmi Suzliman’s low cross. The three points were sealed when Geylang goalkeeper Hairul could only punch Krajček’s inswinging corner into his own net, before the Eagles grabbed a late consolation through Maguire’s close-range header.
- This is the third straight encounter between them in which there were five or more goals.
- Balestier are unbeaten for five league matches for the first time since October 2015.
- Balestier’s tally of 11 points from 6 matches is their best since 2018 (10 points).
- Krajček netted his first goal of the season after making an assist in each of his last three games.
- At 93 minutes and 18 seconds, Maguire’s strike is the latest goal this season.
Geylang: Hairul Syirhan (GK), Darren Teh, Yuki Ichikawa (C), Adam Hakeem, Harith Kanadi (Zikos Chua 89’), Nur Luqman Rahman (Amy Recha 46’), Barry Maguire, Firdaus Kasman, Christopher van Huizen, Fareez Farhan (Iqbal Hussain 62’), Khairul Nizam (Safirul Sulaiman 72’).
Unused subs: Wayne Chew (GK), Shahrin Saberin, Kamolidin Tashiev.
Balestier: Zaiful Nizam (GK, C), Keshav Kumar (Gaye Sameer 60’), Fadli Kamis, Jufri Taha, Ahmad Syahir, Aarish Kumar (Zulfadhmi Suzliman 46’), Elijah Lim (Faizal Raffi 60’), Kristijan Krajček, Hazzuwan Halim (Yeo Hai Ngee 83’), Šime Žužul, Shuhei Hoshino.
Unused subs: Zacharial Leong (GK), Danish Uwais, Azizi Rahman.
Free-scoring White Swans primed for title tilt
Albirex 3-2 Sailors | Jurong East | 24 October
Tomoyoki Doi 19’, Ryosuke Nagasawa 35’, Reo Nishiguchi 90’+4 | Song Uiyoung 58’, Gabriel Quak 88’
In the battle between two title contenders, Albirex led by two at half-time with Doi benefitting from a Hassan Sunny goalkeeping error before Nagasawa slalomed through the Sailors backline to thump home a sizzling finish. The Sailors rallied after the break as Song pulled one back from unmissable range after Arshad Shamim nodded on Stipe Plazibat’s cross. Gabriel Quak then thought he had earned a point after some superb individual work to lash home a left-footed stunner, but Albirex stole the win deep into injury time with Nishiguchi popping up at the back post to convert Kazuki Hashioka’s low cross to send the White Swans top of the league.
- Sailors had more shots but less ones on target than Albirex (14/3 as compared to 10/5).
- Quak ranked joint-second in terms of shots (three) despite only coming on during the 69th minute.
- Nishiguchi is the first player to score in each of the first five league games since Shahril Ishak did for Home United in 2018.
- Hashioka is the top-assisting defender, with an assist in each of the last three games – all for Nishiguchi.
- The three Albirex scorers were also on the scoresheet the previous week when they defeated Young Lions 4-0.
Albirex: Kei Okawa (GK), Kazuki Hashioka (C), Rio Sakuma, Kotaro Takeda, Hiroyoshi Kamata, Kenta Kurishima, Gareth Low (Ryoya Taniguchi 46’), Ryosuke Nagasawa (Mahiro Takahashi 90’), Fairoz Hasan (Ryuya Mitsuzuka 46’), Reo Nishiguchi, Tomoyoki Doi.
Unused subs: Hyrulnizam Juma’at (GK), Yasuhiro Hanada, Ren Ishihara, Ong Yu En.
Sailors: Hassan Sunny (GK), Aqhari Abdullah, Abdil Qaiyyim (Kaishu Yamazaki 54’), Tajeli Salamat, Naqiuddin Eunos, Izzdin Shafiq (C) (Faizal Roslan 69’), Song Uiyoung, Saifullah Akbar, Hafiz Nor (Adam Swandi 59’), Arshad Shamim (Gabriel Quak 69’), Stipe Plazibat.
Unused subs: Rudy Khairullah (GK), Haiqal Pashia, Aizat Murhamdani.
Depleted Young Lions defy odds
Young Lions 2-1 Tanjong Pagar | Jurong West | 25 October
Jacob Mahler 55’, Shahrulnizam Mazlan 69’ | Luiz Junior 74’
The Young Lions could only field three outfielders on the bench, but found the resolve to pick up their first win of the campaign. After an insipid first half, Nazri Nasir’s boys went ahead through Mahler’s well-directed header off Nur Adam Abdullah’s excellent free-kick delivery. The lead was swiftly doubled with Shahrulnizam breaking the offside trap to finish off Marc Ryan Tan’s intelligent through ball. Luiz halved the deficit with a towering header off Takahiro Tanaka’s cross eight minutes after being summoned from the bench, but it meant nothing for Tanjong Pagar, whose wait for a win since October 2014 goes on.
- This is the first time a team fielded just four substitutes since Geylang did so in a 2-2 away draw against Brunei DPMM in August 2018.
- Shahrulnizam scored his first professional goal.
- Luiz is the first South American to score for Tanjong Pagar since Carlos Delgado netted in a 1-1 draw with Balestier in October 2012.
Young Lions: Ridhwan Fikri (GK), Sahffee Jubpre, Jacob Mahler (C), Syed Akmal, Shahib Masnawi, Nur Adam Abdullah, Amirul Haikal, Shahrulnizam Mazlan (Danish Irfan 90’), Zamani Zamri, Marc Ryan Tan (Idraki Adnan 71’), Khairin Naidim (Irfan Najeeb 81’).
Unused subs: Nurshafiq Zainal (GK).
Tanjong Pagar: Fashah Iskandar (GK), Suhairi Sabri (Luiz Junior 66’), Yann Motta, Syabil Hisham, Takahiro Tanaka, Ammirul Emmran, Raihan Rahman (C), Shodai Nishikawa, Zulkiffli Hassim, Nashrul Amin ((Ignatius Ang 46’, Farihin Farkhan 71’), Hadiputradila Saswadimata (Suria Prakash 46’).
Unused subs: Kenji Rusydi (GK), Ribiyanda Saswadimata, Julian Tan.