SPL 2022: Lion City Sailors 7-0 Tanjong Pagar United

Sailors hit Tanjong Pagar for seven to go three-points clear, taking big step towards retaining SPL title with seven league games to play

PHOTO: AIA SINGAPORE PREMIER LEAGUE


Singapore, 20 August 2022 - Under new management, the Lion City Sailors followed up on an impressive 10-1 win over Young Lions last weekend by dismantling AFC Cup contenders Tanjong Pagar United 7-0 on Saturday evening in what was largely a one-sided affair in the AIA Singapore Premier League.


At the Jalan Besar Stadium, Sailors interim manager Luka Lalic maintained his 100% winning record which saw his side move three points clear of title rivals Albirex Niigata (S) at the top of the SPL table; whilst maintaining a superior goal differential (10) over the Japanese youth outfit.


Tanjong Pagar missed the chance to gain ground on their competitors in the race for AFC Cup qualification but remain in third place – one point clear of both Tampines Rovers, who have a game in hand, and Hougang United.

Both sides rotated heavily for this clash. Coach Luka Lalic brought veteran midfielder Shahdan Sulaiman back into the lineup for the Sailors, relegating Singapore international Song Ui-Young to the bench. The home side set-up in their usual 4-2-3-1 shape with Saifullah Akbar used at left-back.


Tanjong Pagar were without Australian midfielder Blake Ricciuto to suspension and first-choice goalkeeper Zharfan Rohaizad to an adductor injury; Faizal Raffi and Fashah Iskandar started in their places respectively. With coach Hasrin Jailani banned from the touchline, assistant Herman Zailani oversaw the Jaguars starting off in an ultra-defensive 5-4-1 shape.


A dominant start from the home side was rewarded after just 10 minutes when a delightful exchange between foreign midfielders Diego Lopes and Maxime Lestienne allowed the latter to slot past an outstretched Fashah Iskandar into the side-netting.

PHOTO: AIA SINGAPORE PREMIER LEAGUE


Despite withstanding waves after waves of Sailors attacking plays, Tanjong Pagar could only kick themselves for conceding again right before the half-time whistle.


Midfielder Adam Swandi who was having a terrific match started the move by playing a forward pass into 1.96m-tall forward Kim Shin-Wook’s feet. The Korean held off his marker before releasing Hafiz Nor – on the underlap – with a deft touch, allowing the latter to score his fourth goal of the season.


The statistics at half-time made for grim reading. The Sailors had 13 shots on goal to the Jaguars solitary attempt on goal – an early free-kick from forward Reo Nishiguchi straight into the palms of goalkeeper Hassan Sunny.


Dark clouds loomed and rain poured over the Jalan Besar stadium, foreshadowing Tanjong Pagar’s impending doom as the second half began.

PHOTO: AIA SINGAPORE PREMIER LEAGUE


It took just eight minutes for the Sailors to get their third of the evening, as Kim Shin-Wook picked up his second assist – laying off for midfielder Gabriel Quak taking advantage of the wet surface to fire a left-footed grounder into the bottom corner of the net.


The fourth came just before the hour mark. Kim Shin-Wook secured his 17th league goal of the season, prodding home a rebound after Fashah Iskandar pulled off a smart reaction save from his far-post header courtesy of a looping cross from Lestienne.


A penalty was awarded to the reigning champions in the 66th minute when goalkeeper Fashah Iskandar clumsily clattered into substitute Faris Ramli jumping to punch a chipped through ball clear.


Diego Lopes tucked away the spot-kick to give the Sailors an unassailable 5-0 advantage.


The downtrodden Jaguars had their misery compounded when a thwarted attack led to the Sailors launching a counter-attack of their own. Diego Lopes released Faris Ramli down the left flank, whose first-time whipped cross across the box was turned into goal for six by substitute Song Ui-Young.

PHOTO: AIA SINGAPORE PREMIER LEAGUE


Brazilian midfielder maestro Diego Lopes cemented his claim for man-of-the-match, completing his brace with four minutes to play with a finesse shot into the top corner of the net from the edge of the penalty box.

The scoreboard read “Lion City Sailors 7-0 Tanjong Pagar United” as referee Taufik Thana blew the final whistle to end the Jaguars’ suffering.


Sailors interim manager Luka Lalic said: “The only thing I am focusing on is how we can improve further. After one week, we are starting to create a style of play hopefully people will start to recognize in the future and hopefully by the end of the season the Sailors will have the identity of an attacking football team.”

When asked about the one thing that defines his team, coach Lalic added: “For me the number one thing is the intensity of play and that is something that is going to take time for us to reach the level I want us to be at.”


AIA Singapore Premier League 2022

Other Match Week 19 Results


Albirex Niigata 4-2 Tampines Rovers Fri, 19 August 2022, Jurong East Stadium


Hougang United 5-1 Young Lions Sat, 20 August 2022, Hougang Stadium


Geylang International vs Balestier Khalsa Sunday, 21 August 2022, Our Tampines Hub


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