All about creators as Izzdin Shafiq, Zakir Samsudin and Daiki Asaoka shine in this edition of FOX Sports Asia’s Singapore Premier League (SPL) Team of the Week 19.
There was a flurry of action in midweek with four matches played concurrently. The pick of the lot was the Protectors’ 5-1 demolition of Geylang International while Balestier Khalsa and Warriors FC picked up 201 victories against Hougang United and Tampines Rovers respectively.
Young Lions did well to thwart Brunei DPMM’s efforts to climb into second spot with a 1-1 draw at Jalan Besar.
There was even more goals on Saturday when champions Albirex Niigata FC S romped to a 4-0 win at home to the Eagles while DPMM recorded a 3-1 win over Hougang.
Marko Kraljevic’s charges came from behind on Sunday to register a 2-2 draw against Warriors.
Find out who were the best 11 players in the SPL from Week 19.
Singapore Premier League Team of the Week 19
Zharfan Rohaizad (Young Lions) – A pair of safe hands was needed against a DPMM team looking to make it a big score line. Alas, Zharfan’s assuredness in goal, coupled with his ability to pull out top saves at the right time frustrated the visiting Wasps and gave Fandi Ahmad’s side a share of the spoils.
Shun Kumagai (Albirex Niigata S) – The Albirex centre-back was rock solid against Geylang, a huge reason why the Eagles only had one shot on goal the entire game. He also found time to pop out at the other end to open the scoring.
Ismadi Mukhtar (Warriors FC) – The veteran wing-back provided the assist for Jonathan Behe’s winner in the midweek game against Tampines. He was also superb at left-back to shut out Ryutaro Megumi, and his contribution came when he was moved into midfield, showcasing his versatility. Was equally effective in the 2-2 draw against Balestier.
Hafiz Sulaiman (Warriors FC) – The youngster, a midfielder by trade, has been moved further back this season and has struggled for consistency as a result. But in the midweek game against Tampines, Hafiz was outstanding as he kept Khairul Amri and that went a long way to helping Warriors to a vital victory.
Daiki Asaoka (Albirex Niigata S) – The Albirex midfielder was at his imperious best once again, setting up a of goal as his team romped to a 4-0 victory. The Geylang players were unable to get the ball off the playmaker all game, and had his teammates been more clinical, Asaoka could have ended the game with at least a couple more assists.
Izzdin Shafiq (Home United) – The midfield maestro was at the top of his game, spreading the ball everywhere for Home to push forward. Was desperately unlucky not to hit the back of the net with his curling volley as it came crashing off the post. This is turning out to be his best season yet.
Zakir Samsudin (Balestier Khalsa) – After a couple of years away from professional football, the left-sided player announced his comeback in fine style against Hougang. A stunning belter for the equaliser and a superb ball over the top to set up Hazzuwan Halim for the match-winner – all in the space of two minutes after coming off the bench in the second half.
Hafiz Nor (Home United) – Hafiz’s direct running proved to be a thorn in Geylang’s skin. His burst of pace often was difficult to deal with and he could have scored more goals, were it not for a combination of wastefulness and solid goalkeeping saves.
Shahril Ishak (Home United) – Not as fast as he once was, Shahril played it smart and timed his runs to perfection to consistently trouble Geylang. Was rewarded with two goals for his hard work. If Singapore are to go all the way at the AFF Suzuki Cup, this veteran forward must get vital minutes.
Azizi Ali (Brunei DPMM) – Handed his first-ever DPMM start, the 31-year-old repaid Rene Weber’s faith with aplomb by blasting in a superb hat-trick against Hougang. Those were Azizi’s first-ever professional goals as well and helped DPMM to a 3-1 as they kept up the chase for a top-three finish.
Jonathan Behe (Warriors FC) – You give him a yard and he will take an inch. The free-scoring French forward followed up his match-winning strike against Tampines in midweek with another two goals to help his side attain a point against Balestier. Just two goals behind Albirex’s Hoshino in the scoring charts, do not be surprised to see him winning the Golden Boot eventually.