Five-star performance by Albirex Niigata (S) while Fahrudin Mustafic rolls back the years. Find out who made FOX Sports Asia’s Singapore Premier League Team of the Week 9.
This will be remembered as the week where Warriors FC won their first game of the Singapore Premier League (SPL) season against a hapless Hougang United who looked bereft of ideas at both ends.
But while Mirko Grabovac can now heave a sigh of relief, the rest of the league are slowly losing the battle to stay in title contention with Albirex Niigata FC (S) who put on another attacking masterclass to rout Brunei DPMM 5-0.
Tampines Rovers had a double-header against the Young Lions and came away with maximum points as Jurgen Raab’s charges try valiantly to keep up with the White Swans.
Find out who were the best 11 players in the SPL from Week 9.
Singapore Premier League Team of the Week 9
Mukundan Maran (Warriors FC) – Was part of the Warriors outfit that finally won their first league game of the season. Calm and assured when called upon and made some vital interceptions.
Kenya Takahashi (Albirex Niigata S) – Was solid in the game against DPMM, shackling the on-form Adi Said and keeping the forward quiet throughout. Almost scored with a free-kick, only to be denied by the woodwork. Did we mention that he was a striker before he joined the SPL?
Fahrudin Mustafic (Tampines Rovers) – With Fahrudin and Daniel Bennett at the back, there was no way past the Stags defence. Ikhsan Fandi and Ifwat Ismail was up against a seasoned veteran who knows the game inside out. Popped up with an assist for Yasir Hanapi’s opener.
Kento Fukuda (Warriors FC) – The Warriors captain was a rock in defence and his leadership rallied the troops to a crucial three points. Hardly gave the Hougang attackers a sniff at goal and that laid the foundations for a memorable night at Choa Chu Kang Stadium.
Yuki Ichikawa (Geylang International) – The centre-back has been pushed up into a defensive midfield role this season and was the difference for the Eagles in their win over Balestier. Winning challenges has always been his strength but Saturday night saw him plant a superb header to win it for Geylang.
Wataru Murofushi (Albirex Niigata S) – Captain marvel has been quiet by his lofty standards in recent weeks but returned to form almost immediately to steer the White Swans to their 11th win of the campaign. Netted a brace and his first goal – a solo run past three defenders before rifling in a shot – could be up as a contender for Goal of the Season.
Daiki Asaoka (Albirex Niigata S) – One of the reasons why we don’t hear Murofushi’s name as often as before. Asaoka has come into his own and ran the show in midfield with two assists against the Wasps. The Bruneians had no answer to stopping the playmaker who could have made it a hat-trick of assists had his teammates been more clinical.
Yasir Hanapi (Tampines Rovers) – The Tampines midfielder is the key man for Jurgen Raab’s side this season. His dynamism in midfield and willingness to get into space saw him find the back of the net twice on Friday while orchestrating play across the offensive third. Singapore’s most all-round midfielder at the moment?
Ryutaro Megumi (Tampines Rovers) – Megumi was unplayable in midweek as the Young Lions defenders were left gasping for air. Laid on an assist for Amirul Adli for the Stags’ second goal before helping himself to a brace late on to seal a 4-0 victory.
Jonathan Behe (Warriors FC) – Behe should be in our TOTW by virtue of helping Warriors end a miserable run but he deserves the plaudits for taking the game by the scruff of the neck. Having missed from the spot in previous games, the Frenchman showed nerves of steel to put the penalty away before showing awareness to nick the ball away from Khairulhin Khalid and score the killer goal.
Taku Morinaga (Albirex Niigata S) – Morinaga is miles ahead of the competition when it comes to those magical one-two plays in and around the box. Put in another wonderful shift to help Albirex to a a second 5-0 win in two weeks.