Singapore Premier League - Matchweek 13 and Matchweek 14 Preview

Published on 1 August 2021 at 13:36

 

Hougang United 1 v 2 Albirex Niigata (S)

Both sides had opportunities in the first opening 10/15 minutes, but it wasn't quite the dominant possession and attack that Albirex would have had in mind. The early warnings signs were there that Hougang were knocking at the door and it was in the 29th that 21-year old Kishon Philip scored the opener, beating the keeper at the near post. Niigata keeper Takahiro Koga, arguably should have done better. But the Cheetahs were the happier of the two teams going into half time. Coming out for the second half, The White Swans game out with fight and determination. In the 51st minute, Ryoya Taniguchi played a lovely through ball in behind the defence which Kuraba Kondo latched onto. Kondo saw the keeper rushing towards him and cooly chipped it over the stranded Izwan Mahbud to make it 1-1. Sensing the tide was turning in their favour, Niigata continued to push and saw reward for their constant attack. Ryoya Taniguichi again playing a major part, when he notices the run from the right wing by Takahiro Tezuka. Taniguichi plays in a lovely through ball, but the exquisite finish by Tezuka is one to be admired when he perfectly and beautifully chips the keeper from inside the box to make it 2-1.

 

Balestier Khalsa 2 v 3 Young Lions

Young Lions got their first win of the season when they beat Khalsa on Saturday. Whilst Balestier aren't in great form, it is an incredibly poor result for the side. Young Lions got things underway in the 18th minute when Lions were awared a penalty after Ilhan Fandi was brought down in the box by Amer Haakeem. 22-year old forward Hami Syahin slotting it calmly into the bottom left corner. Balestier pushed back and had their own attempts on goal, but were not clinical enough to equalise. The Young Lions punished them for this, by making it 2-0 in the 35th minute. From a Lions freekick, Khalsa goalkeeper Zaiful Nizam spilled his save which allowed Ryhan Stewart to pounce and lay it off for Daniel Goh to finish. After half time, Balestier looked to respond with a quick goal through Hazzuwan Halim who gets a fortuitous rebound from Ridhwan Fikri's original save. With the score at 2-1, you felt as though Khalsa would come back into the game and did have opportunities, but again it was the Young Lions who made the most of theirs. In the 86th minute Hami Syahin sent in a wonderful low cross for Harhys Stewart to finish. Balestier did get one goal back in the dying moments of the game through that man Šime Žužul after Croatian compatriot Kristijan Krajček played through a wonderful through ball.  

 

Tanjong Pagar 1 v 3 Geylang International

Both sides had their fair share of possession and chances in the opening 10 minutes, but it was The Eagles who struck first through Ilhan Noor's header from a Barry Maguire cross to make it 1-0 Geylang. Pagar defender Shakir Hamzah will want to forget this game and moment very quickly, when in attempt to head the ball back to goalkeeper Zharfan Rohaizad, he underestimated the the positioning of his teammate and unfortunately scored an own goal. Tanjong's heads dropped after this and Geylang punished them a few minutes later in the 37th minute when Matheus Moresche and Amy Recha linked up well on the left wing. Receiving Moresche's pass into the box, Amy then pulled the ball back to lay it off for Ilhan Noor to finish and get his brace. Geylang headed into half time up 3-0. Tanjong did attempt to get back into the game and received some consolation for their efforts in the 62nd minute when Blake Ricciuto flicked a backheel pass onto Luiz Junior. For the remainder of the game both sides had opportunities to score more for their respective teams, however the game finished 3-1 with Geylang now moving above Tanjong Pagar.

 

Matchweek 14 Fixtures

Fixture Changes

In order to give Tampines Rovers time to prepare following their return from AFC Champions League action and having to quarantine, the SPL have moved their first two fixtures to late August and September. Whereas the two games which were set to take place on the 21st August have been brought forward due to National Day Celebrations.

 

Changed Fixtures

Tampines Rovers vs Lion City Sailors 4 August - 21 September

Geylang International vs Tampines Rovers 8 August - 25 August

Balestier Khalsa vs Tampines Rovers 21 August - 19 August

Hougang United vs Geylang International 21 August - 20 August

 

Matchweek 14 Fixtures

Albirex Niigata (S) v Tanjong Pagar | Friday 6th August | 12:45pm UK Time

After Pagar's loss to Geylang this weekend, they won't have too much confidence or hope of picking themselves up anytime soon when they play the current league leaders Albirex. Niigata did take a while to kick into gear against Hougang were losing 1-0 up until half-time. So perhaps Tanjong can bounce back and put in a good performance against the White Swans and look to cause an upset, especially with key midfielder Rusyaidi Salime returning from suspension. However, Albirex could see their attacking duo of Fairoz Hasan and Kiyoshiro Tsuboi return. 

 

Prediction: It is too hard to see past a Albirex Niigata win

 

Young Lions v Hougang United | Saturday 7th August | 10:30am UK Time

After getting their first win of the season, you will imagine that the Lions will go into this game with confidence, however Hougang aren't third in the table for no reason. Hougang's Maksat Dzhakybaliev and Kaishu Yamazaki could be set to return after not featuring last week due to injury. Whereas Young Lions could also see their players of Syahrul Sazali and Danish Irfan return after serving suspension and back from injury. However, Hougang have enough strength and character about them to get a result off of bottom of the table Lions.

 

Prediction: Hougang United win

 

Balestier Khalsa v Lion City Sailors | Sunday 8th August | 10:30am UK Time

After a shocking defeat to Young Lions, Balestier are now winless in 9 games and I can't see them getting a win this upcoming weekend, especially when they are playing title challengers and second placed Sailors. Despite the fantastic form of Šime Žužul, the Khalsa defence is incredibly poor at the moment which diminishes any good work done up top. The Sailors will not want to allow the current one point gap between themselves and Niigata to increase anymore and will be going into this match with a point to prove and continue to chase Albirex to the title

Prediction: Albirex Niigata win

 

League Table

Where to watch

If you're interested in watching any of this weekend Singapore Premier League games, you can do so with relative ease. All games will be available to watch live and for free on the Singapore Premier League YouTube channel, on the Singapore Premier League Facebook page, 1playsports YouTube channel, 1playsports Facebook page and on ElevenSports.


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