This weeks games were high scoring to say the least, with at least one team scoring four goals in each of the four fixtures. Niigata and Lion City Sailors continued their dominance in the league, Tanjong Pagar got their second win in two consecutive weekends and a poor display by Balestier, who give the Young Lions their second win of the season.
Albirex Niigata (S) 4 v 1 Hougang United
Following their 2-1 loss to Tanjong Pagar, Niigata needed to get back to winning ways in order to solidify their hold on the top spot. They did exactly that with a decisive win over Hougang, asserting the dominance and scoring in the 2nd minute of play. Defender Reo Kunimoto, scoring a great header from a Albirex corner. Following the opening goal, the Cheetahs did have their own fair share of possession and opportunities, with lead league goalscorer Tomoyuki Doi looking to cause problems. This was very much the case throughout the remainder of the game, with both sides having chances but were unable to capitalise. The final 10 minutes of the game proved to have the most excitement. In the 78th minute in almost identical fashion, Albirex made it 2-0 when again from the corner Reo Kunimoto scored with a header to stun Izwan Mahbud. Hougang managed to pull one back just several minutes later after being gifted an own goal from Niigata winger Mahiro Takahashi, who headed it into his own goal in attempt to clear the freekick. However, the White Swans weren't about to let that faze them when Ryosuke Nagasawa played a wonderful ball into the box for Yasuhiro Hanada to fire home. In the dying minutes of the game, Albirex made it 4-1 when they beat the offside trap and Takahiro Tezuka tucked it past the keeper following Hanada's selfless lay off.
Geylang International 2 v 4 Tanjong Pagar
Tanjong went into this game with a feel good feeling from beating league leaders Albirex the previous weekend. However, Geylang certainly made them fight for the win. In the 15th minute Geylang won a corner and from the cross, Pagar midfielder Anaqi Ismit attempted to clear the ball, but ended up knocking it into his own net. Moments later, Geylang struck again, this time through the in form Amy Recha calmly placing it past the Tanjong keeper after a wonderful ball in by Barry Maguire. Geylang were about to go into half time as the 2-0 leaders until Shodai Nishikawa gave his side a lifeline in the 43rd minute when Shakir Hamzah played him in behind the defenders. Coming out for the second half, it was the Jaguars who came out with renewed vigour. In the 49th minute, Reo Nishiguchi made it 2-2 when he received the ball in the box from Luiz Junior, whilst he scuffed his shot, it slowly trickled over the line. Pagar felt the game was slowly playing into their hands and in the 78th minute, they won a freekick out on the right hand side. Rusyaidi Salime crossed the ball deep into the box for Khairul Amri to head home. Towards the end of the game, Luiz Junior was running down the right wing and spotted Khairul Amri making a run into the box, he unselfishly played in the through ball for the aforementioned Amri to strike in off the left post to finish the game 4-2.
Young Lions 4 v 2 Balestier Khalsa
Young Lions took the 1-0 lead in the 18th minute through a lapse of defensive errors, mainly from goalkeeper Zacharial Leong who invited unnecessary pressure on himself from a goalkick. Ilhan Fandi capitalised, slotting the ball into an empty goal. Things were about to get worse for the Khalsa goalkeeper. In the 30th minute, Young Lions whipped a corner deep towards the back post. Leong came to collect the ball, but completely misjudged the balls trajectory, allowing Jacob Mahler to head it into the goal. Mahler turned from goalscorer to assist maker, when in the 41st minute he cut a ball back from the right wing for Khairin Nadim to finish. But the Young Lions weren't quite done yet. Before the end of first half, the Lions made it 4-0 through Ilhan Fandi, when he finished off a fantastic cross into the box from the right wing. They even had the opportunity to make it 5, but the shot went just wide from Daniel Goh. Khalsa did attempt to come back into the game in the second half, but it proved to be too much for the Tigers despite Šime Žužul's attempts. In the 68th minute, the aforementioned Šime Žužul made it 4-1 when he finished off Puvan Raj's pass into the box. Šime Žužul struck again in the 75th minute when he struck home the rebound from Croatian compatriot Kristijan Krajček's shot.
Lion City Sailors 4 v 1 Tampines Rovers
It was an evenly contested match in the opening 20 minutes, with both teams having chances in front of goal. But it was Lion City Sailors who struck first in the 34th minute, when Stipe Plazibat won the ball near the half way line and saw Gabriel Quak making a run inbetween the defenders. He sent in a beautiful cross over the backline for Gabriel to chip over the stranded Syazwan Buhari and make it 1-0 LCS. The Sailors scored again just minutes later when Faris Ramli pulled the ball back for Stipe Plazibat to smash into the net from 10 yards out. Lion City Sailors weren't happy with 2-0 lead. Practically straight from the second half whistle, Faris Ramli again found himself through onto goal and played in a through ball in between the defenders for Saifullah Akbar to chip over the Rovers keeper. The Sailors scored again to make it 4-0 in the 48th minute through Stipe Plazibat, who received his brace when that man again Faris Ramli got his hat-trick of assists when he played in Plazibat after punishing poor defending by Tampines. The Stags did manage to get one back through Boris Kopitovic in the 59th minute, who made no mistake to finish off a lovely back heel pass from Zehrudin Mehmedović. Tampines did seem to be revived slightly after that goal, having numerous opportunities in front of goal to try and get back into the game, but failed to capitalise or truly test Hassan Sunny. Ultimately defensive errors and lapses in judgement secured their loss.
Matchweek 16 Fixtures
Balestier Khalsa v Tampines Rovers | Thursday 19th August | 12:45pm UK Time
After this weekends results, Khalsa have gone 10 games without a win and find themselves joint bottom with Young Lions on 10 points, only above them through goal difference. With Tampines looking to bounce back following their 4-1 defeat to LCS, the match will be sure to provide plenty of goals and alot of entertainment.
Hougang United v Geylang International | Saturday 21st August | 12:45pm UK Time
Hougang will want to get back to winning ways after their 4-1 loss against Niigata. Tomoyuki Doi is the lead league goalscorer with 16 goals, who will be hoping to get himself back on the scoresheet. Whereas Geylang will also be looking to redeem themselves after thei 4-2 loss at the weekend. The likes of Amy Recha and Matheus Moresche have been integral to the side and can hopefully rekindle their fantastic partnership in front of goal.
Tanjong Pagar v Lion City Sailors | Saturday 21st August | 12:45pm UK Time
Tanjong Pagar have been in good form as of late and will be looking to take that confidence into the game against title chasing Lion City Sailors. Pagar did the Sailors a favour two weeks ago, by beating the league leaders 2-1. However, can they add a spanner into the works and spoil LCS's chances of catching up to Albirex. Lion City on the otherhand, will be looking to continue their fine goalscoring abilities and attacking dominance. The likes of Stipe Plazibat, Faris Ramli and Gabriel Quak will be looking to link up again and cause the jaguars defence some problems.
Young Lions v Albirex Niigata (S) | Sunday 22nd August | 10:30am UK Time
With their shock (or maybe not) 4-2 win over Balestier Khalsa, the Young Lions will no doubt be feeling geared up for their clash with top of the table Niigata. However, Albirex will be wanting to solidify their hold on the top spot, especially with Lion City chasing them every step of the way. Kiyoshiro Tsuboi is still injured for the White Swans, however the likes of Ryoya Taniguchi, Kuraba Kondo and Takahiro Tezuka have been compensating for that loss and have linked up well to score 15 goals between them. It is likely we will a Niigata win, but I do feel that Young Lions may put up some fight.
Geylang International v Tampines Rovers | Wednesday 25th August | 12:45pm UK Time
Tampines haven't had the best start since crashing out of the AFC Champions League. A lot of defensive errors and mistakes led to LCS dominating possession and scoring 4 past them. Whilst it appears to have been difficult for the Stags to re-adjust after a long hiatus from playing league football, they will hopefully find their feet soon and get a result against Geylang. I do feel that this will be a very evenly contested game, which could result in a win for either side. Amy Recha and Moresche will be players to watch for Geylang, whereas Rovers striker Boris Kopitovic will also be someone to keep an eye on.
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.