Tanjong Pagar blow SPL title race wide open: SPL 2021 [Round 14]

Jaguars end Albirex's 13 match unbeaten run, Hougang end winless run, Sailors held by Balestier

Image credit: Singapore Premier League

The 2021 AIA Singapore Premier League season is shaping up to be one of the most exciting ones in recent times, and we are not complaining.

Who knows? We may even see the first local club side win Singapore's football top flight for the first time since 2014 - when Warriors FC were last crowned as S-League champions.

Since then, Singapore's only professional football league has witnessed the title being shared between Albirex Niigata and Brunei DPMM no fewer than six times, four of those titles going the way of the Japanese football club.

Image credit: Singapore Premier League


What an incredible second half of the season Tanjong Pagar United is having. Having trounced Hougang United 4-1 on their home turf a fortnight ago, they pulled off another major upset with a classy 2-1 win over champions Albirex Niigata at Jurong East Stadium on Friday.

The result was made all the more impressive as the White Swans were unbeaten for the entire 2021 AIA Singapore Premier League season up to that point.

It took a late wonder goal from in form Brazilian hitman Luiz Junior to settle the affair after the White Swans had drawn level with a Shuya Yamashita header off an Albirex corner kick just minutes earlier on 80 minutes.

Tanjong Pagar United had earlier taken the lead through Reo Nishiguchi's sixth goal of the season on 33 minutes.

Image credit: Singapore Premier League


Hougang United finally put an end to their miserable second half of season run of form with a hard fought 1-0 win over a 10-man Young Lions at Jalan Besar Stadium.

A solitary goal from the league's top scorer Tomoyuki Doi was enough to settle the affair in a game that was not short on chances for both sides, but saw a combination of profligate finishing and good goalkeeping keep the scoreline down.

Image credit: Singapore Premier League

Doi was in the thick of the action, and should probably have gotten more than his solitary goal if not for the heroics of Ridhwan Fikri in the Young Lions goal.

At the other end of the pitch, Izwan Mahbud was also called into action and had to stick a foot out to deny Ilhan Fandi a goal on 53 minutes from point blank range.

The match turned on its head after Hami Syahin was sent off on 71 minutes to leave the Young Lions with just 10 men to play out the remainder of the match.

The numerical advantage was telling, as the Cheetahs pressed forward and on 77 minutes a mistake from Young Lions custodian Ridhwan Fikri saw Shawal Anwar putting the ball on a plate for Tomoyuki Doi to finish off the underside of the bar and break Young Lions hearts.

Image credit: Singapore Premier League


Balestier Khalsa were denied a famous victory on Sunday evening, when a late goal from the penalty spot by Stipe Plazibat rescued a point for title chasing Lion City Sailors.

Image credit: Singapore Premier League

Starting the day just a point adrift of Albirex Niigata, the Sailors knew that victory over the Tigers would put them in the drivers' seat in the title race.

Their job was far from easy, and after missing a host of chances in the first half, their frustration was compounded when Sime Zuzul was first to react to Shuhei Hoshino's flick on to score past Hassan Sunny in the Sailors' goal.

Both Zaiful Nizam and Hassan Sunny had to pull off top drawer saves to deny Shahdan Sulaiman and Sime Zuzul and keep their teams in the game.

The Sailors' mounting pressure eventually told when a goal bound header from Jorge Fellipe struck the flailing arm of Ensar Bruncevic on the edge of the six yard box, which saw the Balestier player sent off, and gifted Sailors' star striker Stipe Plazibat with the chance to level from the spot to rescue a point for the Sailors.

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