Deloitte Women's Premier League 2022: Albirex Niigata 1-2 Tanjong Pagar United

Late goal by Nadhra Aqilah not enough for Albirex as Tanjong Pagar United claim first WPL win of season

Tanjong Pagar United's Manami Fukuzawa holds off a challenge from Suriati Sonny of Albirex Niigata. PHOTO: HANA BASIR, SPORTPLUS.SG


Singapore, 29 May 2022 - The Women's Premier League made its much anticipated return yesterday following a two year absence, with a first ever title sponsor in Deloitte, a milestone for the local women's game.


Albirex Niigata and Tanjong Pagar United clashed in an early 5pm kick-off at Yishun Stadium, with the first three points of the season at stake, as the two clubs kicked off this season’s top flight league for Singapore women’s football.

Tanjong Pagar United players celebrate Manami Fukuzawa's opening goal. PHOTO: HANA BASIR, SPORTPLUS.SG


The two teams did not disappoint, delivering a thrilling season opener which Tanjong Pagar United eventually won 2-1. A first half goal by Manami Fukuzawa meant that the Jaguars led at the break, before Farah Nurzahirah doubled the visitors' lead.


Facing her former side, Albirex Niigata's Nadhra Aqilah eventually found the back of the net against her old club, but it proved scant consolation and insufficient for the White Swans.

Albirex Niigata Singapore Women's team before kickoff. PHOTO: HANA BASIR, SPORTPLUS.SG


Tanjong Pagar United could have gone ahead as early as 11 minutes when they were awarded a penalty kick, with Maisarah Rahmat knocking into a red shirt in the air while trying to grab hold of the ball, which saw the Albirex custodian booked. She redeemed herself after conceding the penalty however, diving at full stretch to parry the resulting spot kick away.


Tanjong Pagar United's pressure eventually told however, as Fukuzawa found the breakthrough in the 33rd minute when a cross was accidentally flicked onto her path by Albirex’s skipper, Tina Afrida Nasmi.

Albirex Niigata's Nadhra Aqilah bearing down on the Tanjong Pagar United goal. PHOTO: HANA BASIR, SPORTPLUS.SG


Despite almost straying offside, Fukuzawa controlled the ball well and struck it on a half-volley into the top left-hand corner to give her side the advantage.


Five minutes later, the White Swans had their first real chance of the match and an equaliser beckoned. However, following a well delivered cross from the right, Nadhra Aqilah saw her strike just outside the six-yard box pummeling off the bar.

Tanjong Pagar United's Haziqah with a drop kick in the match against Albirex Niigata. PHOTO: HANA BASIR, SPORTPLUS.SG


The Jaguars did not take long to extend their lead after the second half started. In the 54th minute, Farah found the back of the net as Albirex failed to clear their lines in the penalty box. The Tanjong Pagar forward proceeded to pounce on the mistake and made it 2-0.


Despite Albirex getting some shots in, the match began to settle and quitened down with Tanjong Pagar United goalkeeper collecting most attempts smoothly without trouble.

Albirex Niigata's Noralinda Wahab skirts the challenge of a (hidden) Tanjong Pagar United player. PHOTO: HANA BASIR, SPORTPLUS.SG


The White Swans finally got on the scoresheet in the 68th minute, and it was a real poacher's goal from Nadhra Aqilah. A dangerous freekick from the left was delivered too close to the keeper who fumbled the ball in the air. Nadhra clinically finished it off despite the best efforts of Tanjong Pagar United defenders.


From then on, The White Swans set up camp in the Tanjong Pagar half, dominating the remainder of the match, as Tanjong Pagar sat deep to soak up pressure, throwing extra bodies behind the defence. had most of their players back to help the defense.

No room for error, as both teams contest a set piece in the Deloitte Women's Premier League season opener. PHOTO: HANA BASIR, SPORTPLUS.SG


Albirex Niigata nearly got the elusive equaliser when a corner almost turned into a goal but the ball was volleyed off the line. The Jaguars ultimately resorted to game management tactics to hold on to their slender lead and see out the match.


Albirex will have to look for their first WPL win next week when they face the well rested Lion City Sailors, who did not play this weekend while Tanjong Pagar will be hoping to continue their winning form against Balestier Khalsa.

Albirex Niigata's Suriati Sonny (left) does battle with Tanjong Pagar United's Manami Fukuzawa. PHOTO: HANA BASIR, SPORTPLUS.SG


More photos of the match is available in SportPlus.sg's photo gallery here.


Deloitte Women's Premier League 2022

Other Match Week 1 Results


Balestier Khalsa 0-0 Tiong Bahru FC Sat, 28 May 2022, Yishun Stadium


Hougang United 0-4 Still Aerion Sun, 29 May 2022, Yishun Stadium


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