Sailors held by Cheetahs, Young Lions seal dramatic comeback: SPL 2021 [Week 17]

Albirex Niigata favourites to win SPL as Lion City Sailors drop more points, Ilhan Fandi rescues Young Lions

Image credit: Singapore Premier League


LION CITY SAILORS 1 - 1 HOUGANG UNITED: TITLE HOPES DASHED


An Anders Aplin header off an Hougang United freekick early in the second half has thrown a wrench into the works of Lion City Sailors' SPL title pursuit, with the Sailors now facing an uphill battle in their ambitions to become the first local club side to be crowned as champions of Singapore's top flight since 2014.

Image credit: Singapore Premier League


Despite a late equaliser by Stipe Plazibat for the Sailors, failure to claim all 3 points as the 2021 AIA Singapore Premier League season enters its final month could prove costly, with the second placed Sailors now trailing champions and league leaders Albirex Niigata by 5 points, albeit with a game in hand.


With just four matches left to play, Albirex could seal the SPL title before the final weekend should the Sailors drop any more points over the coming weeks - as pressure on coach Kim mounts in the Sailors camp.

Plazibat files police report


Lion City Sailors forward Stipe Plazibat has filed a police report on 28 August, after he was the victim of text abuse via social media Instagram.


Plazibat tweeted a screenshot of a series of offensive messages which were sent to him on his Instagram direct messages after he scored the equaliser in the Sailors' 1-1 draw against the Cheetahs.


The abusive comments made reference to him as a monkey, and were also directed at his wife and mother.

Image credit: Singapore Premier League


GEYLANG INTERNATIONAL 2-3 YOUNG LIONS: LATE ILHAN MAGIC


Ilhan Fandi rescued Young Lions from the jaws of defeat, scoring two late goals to turn the match on its head after the Young Lions had trailed the Geylang Eagles 1-2 at Our Tampines Hub.


An early Jacob Mahler penalty for the Young Lions was cancelled out within minutes by the irrepresible Amy Recha, who is enjoying his best spell as a professional footballer to date, and received a call up to the national side this week following his recent performances.

Matheus Moresche's tap in 10 minutes into the second period gave the Eagles wind under their wings and made them favourites to win the match, but it was not to be as Ilhan Fandi flipped the script by finding the net twice in the last 10 minutes to complete the turnaround for the Young Lions.


Image credit: Singapore Premier League

ALBIREX NIIGATA 4 - 0 BALESTIER KHALSA: SUPER SUB KONDO


Abirex Niigata continued their imperious form following their defeat against Tanjong Pagar United, crushing Balestier Khalsa at the Jurong East Stadium in clinical fashion to cement their label as favourites to retain the Singapore Premier League title.


Following a goalless first half, an early goal assisted by half time substitute Kuraba Kondo in the second period sparked the White Swans into life, and he found the net just 4 minutes later from all of 20 yards to double Albirex's lead.

Kondo added his second of the night from the edge of the area with a speculative effort, before a horrible goalkeeping error by Riki Kimura gifted the White Swans a fourth as Ryora Taniguchi raced through to slide the ball into an empty net.


Image credit: Singapore Premier League


TAMPINES ROVERS 2 - 2 TANJONG PAGAR UNITED: STAGS AND JAGUARS SHARE THE SPOILS


Tampines Rovers' second half of season fortunes in the Singapore Premier League have yet to truly turn the bend after they were held to a 2-2 draw by Tanjong Pagar United at Our Tampines Hub on Sunday evening.


Irfan Najeeb put the Stags in the lead on 19 minutes, but Tampines Rovers soon found themselves level again just 10 minutes later when Shakir Hamzah levelled for Tajong Pagar United.


Marc Ryan Tan restored the lead again for the Stags, but in what turned out to be a real see-saw of a match the Jaguars restored parity on the stroke of half time through Anaqi Ismit.


Tampines Rovers' have lost four of their last six matches, and are currently 5 points adrift of fourth placed Hougang United.


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