By Gabriel Tan
High-flying Harimau Muda finally succumbed to their first defeat after the season when they lost 2-1 to Home United at the Bishan Stadium on Sunday evening.
Goals from Shotaro Ihata and Frederic Mendy were enough to hand the Protectors all three points, although Ahmad Hazwan gave the travelling Harimau fans something to cheer about after scoring with a spectular 30-yard effort.
Elsewhere, SAFFC's ailing title hopes took another blow on Thursday when they were held to a 2-2 draw by Woodlands Wellington, while Gombak United edged Hougang United 2-1 at the Jurong West Stadium on Sunday.
On Friday, Balestier Khalsa got back to winning ways with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Albirex Niigata, while Courts Young Lions narrowly fell to league leaders DPMM FC 1-0 at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.
Sunday's other game saw Gombak United edge Hougang United 2-1 at the Jurong West Stadium.
Here, ESPNSTAR.com takes a look at the best performers from the league this week and go with a 4-3-3 formation.
GK: Syazwan Buhari (Courts Young Lions)
Ahead of Friday's daunting trip to Brunei, Young Lions coach Robin Chitrakar had told ESPNSTAR.com how pleased he has been with the way Syazwan has stepped up as his first-choice goalkeeper this season.
And against DPMM, the 20-year-old showed his coach was right to keep his faith in him. Despite being physically bullied at times by Rodrigo Grahl and Basiru Osman, Syazwan stood strong and claimed crosses with authority all evening long.
He was unlucky to finally be beaten in the 90th minute, although not many keepers would have been able to keep out Azwan Salleh's magnficent freekick.
RB: Subhi Abdilah (DPMM FC)
While Azwan received the plaudits for DPMM's late winner, it was Subhi who had been their best player on the night, after putting in a tireless shift at right-back.
He not only handled his direct opponent well, but bombed forward whenever he had the opportunity and was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet, when he fired a diving header into the side-netting on one of his many forays forward.
CB: Paul Cunningham (Balestier Khalsa)
Balestier's triumph over Albirex on Friday was based on pure grit and good organisation, and you can be sure there is no other man besides Cunningham Tigers coach Darren Stewart would prefer barking out orders.
The New Zealander was unbeatable in the air all evening long put was also alert to danger, breaking up a number of potentially-dangerous Albirex passing moves with timely interceptions.
Cunningham was also not afraid to let the opposition attackers know he was around, and had the crowd wincing when he put in a hefty-but-fair challenge on Sho Kamimura in the first half.
CB: Obadin Aikhena (Gombak United)
Aikhena has rightfully criticised in the past for his lack on concentration at pivotal moments, but he was exemplary in Sunday's win over Hougang.
The Bulls captain went in hard for every challenge and knew when to boot the ball away, and when to try to initiate something from the back. You can't always say this about him, but on Sunday, he was a calming presence in defence.
LB: Jeremy Chiang (Home United)
Since receiving stinging criticism from his coach Lee Lim-saeng earlier this season, Chiang has bounced back strongly and has been one of Home's best players in recent weeks.
He is not only steady-if-unspectacular at the back, but has been uncharacteristically composed when helping his team out in attack. On Sunday, he played a huge part in the Protectors' opener when he linked up well with captain Shi Jiayi on the left, before swinging in a looping ball which the Harimau defenders were unable to deal with, leading to Ihata finding the back of the net.
DM: Firdaus Idros (Home United)
If Firdaus continues to keep up his performances, he may just find himself playing regularly for the Protectors, not as a pacy winger but as a nippy defensive midfielder.
Against Harimau, the 25-year-old pestered the opposition midfielders into giving up possession, before passing it on quickly to to get his side on the front foot.
Firdaus covered every blade of grass at the Bishan Stadium on Sunday, and is fully deserving of his place in our Team of the Week.
CM: Mustafic Fahrudin (Tampines Rovers)
The Tampines lynchpin was at his best on Saturday as he pulled the strings in their 5-1 win over Geylang United.
Fahrudin laid on an assist for Aleksandar Duric's opener when he threaded a perfect ball into the veteran striker's path, before grabbing one of his own when he nodded a powerful header in from a corner.
The Singapore international hardly misplaced a pass all game long and looks like he still has plenty to offer despite his increasing years.
CM: Shi Jiayi (Home United)
It must have been frustating at times for Shi this season, having to fill in at the back regularly due to Home's t terrible injury problems. However, like every captain should, he has done the job capably without ever once looking the slightest bit unhappy.
Against Harimau on Sunday, he was reverted to his favourite position of central midfield and was back to his playmaking best.
The Singapore international displayed his rull range of passing, both short and long, and laid on Home's winner for Mendy when he found the Frenchman with a glorious over-the-top ball.
RF: Moon Soon-ho (Woodlands Wellington)
The Rams didn't exactly have plenty of chances against SAFFC on Thursday, but thanks to the Moon's clinical finishing, they managed to salvage a share of the spoils.
He gave his side a shock lead when he made a darting run in behind Noh Rahman and was picked out with a brilliant pass from Armanizam Dolah, before calmly sliding the ball past Shahril Jantan.
Mislav Karoglan equalised shortly after but the South Korean put Woodlands ahead again just after the hour mark when he picked up the ball just inside the Warriors half and went on a penetrating run, before unleashing an effort into the bottom corner.
Unfortunately for Moon, his efforts were not enough for all three points as Ruzaini Zainal stole a point for SAFFC two minutes later.
LF: Zulkiffli Hassim (Balestier Khalsa)
Despite having just returned from two weeks of national service and with only a day's training under his belt, the Tigers wing wonder showed no signs of fatigue or rustiness as he put Albirex to the sword on Friday.
Gave Balestier the lead in the first half when he latched onto a loose ball outside the area and fired a shot into the bottom corner, before helping Park Kang-jin score their winner when he stole possession from Shuhei Hotta before laying off a neat pass into the path of the South Korean.
ST: Aleksandar Duric (Tampines Rovers)
Tampines look to have shrugged off their early season woes and were back to their best on Saturday as they crushed the Eagles.
Duric opened the scoring in the 12th minute when he found the top corner with a clever toe-poke, before completing his hat-trick with two powerful headers in the second half.
The Singapore international may be turning 42 later this year but there are still few strikers in the S.League as lethal as him when it comes to finding the back of the net.