Asian Football

Our Singapore Premier League Team Of The Week #9

The final fixtures before the international break have concluded. For the next month or so, we will not have any Singapore Premier League action, which means that we will not have any editions of our Team Of The Week until the resumption of the league in July. However, do not fret, for we have a couple of interesting articles on the way.

As much as you want to hate on the Singapore Premier League, we cannot deny how entertaining it is. Hougang United edged out Tampines Rovers in a 3-2 victory, A relatively tame Lion City Sailors produced a “functional” 1-0 win over Young Lions (A win is still a win), Albirex edged past Geylang International while Balestier and Tanjong Pagar settled for a 2-2 draw.

As usual, feel free to comment on the choices we have selected!

The Defence

Syazwan Buhari (Tampines Rovers) – GK

Yes, he may have conceded three goals but truly, that was due to poor defending on Tampines’s part. Out of all the keepers this round, Syazwan had to contend with the most shots [8] and had pulled off the most saves [5]. Hopefully, he gets a call up for the AFF Suzuki Cup instead.

Takahiro Tezuka (Albirex Niigata)

I’m sorry. I know he was deployed into a midfield position, but I could not leave the Albirex man out. He has been known to play as a defender at times so I have used him here. A beautifully struck freekick sees him gain a place in the Team of the Week – an important goal for two reasons. Firstly, it won Albirex the game but more importantly, it reminds everyone else that goals can come from other avenues from the squad other than Tsuboi.

Jacob Mahler (Young Lions)

The Sailors looked clueless, and partly due to their strangely defensive formation, but also due to a stellar outing by The Cubs’ returning talisman, Jacob Mahler. He was excellent in his hold-up role, and gave the hapless Sailors very little to work with in terms of forming an attack.

Shodai Nishikawa (Tanjong Pagar United)

The hardworking Jaguar was regularly testing the Balestier Khalsa defence and pumped low driven crosses to the centre of the box. One of them found Reo Nishiguchi who expertly slotted it past Zaiful Nizam. Another pass found Rusyadi Salime who unfortunately did not make the best out of his effort and ballooned his shot over the keeper.

The Midfield

Shahdan Sulaiman (Lion City Sailors)

Shahdan Sulaiman certainly reinforced his set-piece prowess with a scintillating free-kick to produce the solitary goal in the Lion City Sailors-Young Lions fixture. While many expected the Sailors to have raked up the goals against the toothless cubs, it was far from the case. While they did hit the woodwork twice, Shahdan came to the rescue for the Sailors.

Armin Bošnjak (Tampines Rovers)

The Stags might have lost, but the Montenegrin winger put on another sensational display down the left flank and continued his hot streak of providing assists by whipping in two crosses headed by Yasir Hanapi and Boris Kopitovic into the back of the net. A real asset for the Stags, he has replaced Jordan Webb by offering something different.

Idraki Adnan (Hougang United)

I’ll admit it and fellow writer Kim knows this all too well. For some time now, Idraki Adnan has become a favourite of mine but is it hard to see why? He covers so much space and is a nightmare for defenders to deal with his bursts of pace, skilful dribbling and accurate passes – all of which were on show this weekend. Also, what a way to cap off your national team call-up with a goal.

Kosuke Chiku (Albirex Niigata)

The second of two Japanese midfielders feature in the team of the week. A mistake by Wayne Chew saw Chiku scoop the ball and then pass it to Ong Yu En. Yu En played it back to the Japanese midfielder whose finesse shot from the edge of the box found the back of the net, the top corner no less. Alongside Tezuka, Chiku’s goal is important given how reliant the Albirex outfit is dependent on Tsuboi.

Shawal Anuar (Hougang United)

The right-winger terrorized the Tampines defence by charging down the right flank. He was heavily involved in Hougang’s first goal, where his cross found Doi, whose saved shot was buried in by Nazrul Nazari. He did secure an assist with a clever pass to Tomoyuki Doi, who slotted home his fourteenth goal of the campaign.

The Attack

Tomoyuki Doi (Hougang United)

The Japanese forward added a goal to bring this season’s tally to 14 goals, but it could have been significantly more, in all honesty. He did largely trouble the Stag’s defence and was pretty involved in the Hougang goals. Another solid week.

Šime Žužul (Balestier Khalsa)

The Croatian hitman showed that he has a physical edge over the Tanjong Pagar United defence. His second goal showcased this really well as he bulldozed through the Jaguars backline and slotted the ball past Zharfan Rohaizad.

Special Mentions

Image Credits: Singapore Premier League, Young Lions, and Hougang United.

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