Singapore Premier League Team of the Week 8: Abdil, Izzdin, Morinaga shine

Kelvin Leong Kelvin Leong

Taku Morinaga masterclass while Abdil and Izzdin shine for Home United. Find out who made FOX Sports Asia’s Singapore Premier League Team of the Week 8.

Young Lions head coach Fandi Ahmad must be smiling in his sleep as Ikhsan Fandi has struck a rich vein of form in front of goal. His goals have helped the developmental side snatch a point against Brunei DPMM and Warriors FC last week.

Over at Jurong East Stadium, Albirex Niigata FC (S) are beginning to run away with the Singapore Premier League (SPL) title after opening up the gap at the top to 17 points with a 5-0 thumping of Balestier Khalsa.

AFC Cup Zonal finalist Home United returned to domestic action on Saturday and made easy work of Brunei DPMM who were no match for the Protectors in a 3-1 loss. Song Ui-young is in red-hot form at the moment but his club captain Izzdin Shafiq stole the limelight with an impressive display in midfield.

Find out who were the best 11 players in the SPL from Week 8.

Singapore Premier League Team of the Week 8

Zharfan Rohaizad (Young Lions) – Still has not managed a clean sheet since his first two games but not for a lack of effort. Was a commanding character between the posts against DPMM and Warriors with some crucial saves and is a huge reason why the Young Lions are unbeaten in three games.

Shakir Hamzah (Home United) – A regular at left-back for the national team but was at the heart of Home’s defence against DPMM alongside Abdil Qaiyyim. Helped himself to the opening goal and kept the likes of Volodymyr Priyomov quiet throughout 90 minutes. If he keeps up this form, it will be a tough decision whether to play him at centre-back or left-back when the AFF Suzuki Cup comes along.

Taufiq Muqminin (Young Lions) – Returned to first-team duties from injury recently but was thrown into the deep end due to Fandi’s lengthy injury list. Marshaled his defence like a true captain and got stuck in even when he lacked match practice. The voice in defence for a team who are showing signs of maturity over the course of the season.

Abdil Qaiyyim (Home United) – Abdil made a superb block in the second half to deny Priyomov a goal. Never allowed the Wasps attackers a sniff of goal in the game and led the troops well with his stewardship. His central defensive partnership with Shakir is fast becoming one of the best combinations in the SPL this season.

Izzdin Shafiq (Home United) – He is Home’s version of Andres Iniesta and may just be the midfield conductor Singapore needs on the international stage. Calm and assured on the ball, Izzdin assisted both Song and Shakir’s goals and used the ball well to keep Aidil Sharin’s team in the ascendancy.

Daiki Asaoka (Albirex Niigata S) – Provided one assist in the White Swans’ rout of Balestier. Was overshadowed by captain Wataru Murofushi in the first few games but has started to shine in recent weeks. Always good to have a midfielder with assists and goals in his locker.

Zulfadhmi Suzliman (Tampines Rovers) – The former National Football Academy graduate has stood out for the Stags this season. Full of running and never afraid to take on his marker, Zulfadhmi clocked in another positive shift against a flat Geylang side. Needs to add more goals to his game if he harbors hopes of an international call-up.

Ryujiro Yamanaka (Albirex Niigata S) – Continued his good form from the previous week with another outstanding shift for Albirex. Was involved in most of his team’s attacking moves and had two assists to show for. Proving to be a good battle between Yamanaka and Adam Swandi for that left-forward spot.

Adi Said (Brunei DPMM) – Was DPMM’s brightest spark in both their matches this week, tormenting opposing defenders with his intelligent runs. His game awareness led to a goal in each game, first a late equaliser against Young Lions and then a well-taken strike against the Protectors.

Taku Morinaga (Albirex Niigata S) – Had a relatively quiet fortnight by his lofty standards but the diminutive attacker made it count against Balestier. His pace and trickery on the ball left the Tigers defenders for dead and scored a contender for goal of the week as well. Definitely an early favourite to win the Player of the Season award.

Ikhsan Fandi (Young Lions) – Three games, three goals. Enough said. The 19-year-old forward has found his rhythm and his teammates are beginning to put in the sort of deliveries that he craves for. His sublime strike stunned DPMM in midweek and he followed it up with the equaliser to silence the Warriors supporters at Jalan Besar Stadium.