Team of the Week 11
In yet another action-packed week in the S.League, the biggest shock was Tanjong Pagar’s stunning 1-0 win against an in-form Home United, a result which sees four Jaguars make it into our team of the week. SAFFC continued their resurgence with a second consecutive 1-0 win, this time against Tampines Rovers. Geylang defended stoutly against an Albirex side devoid of ideas to eke out a 0-0 draw, while DPMM reclaimed top spot courtesy of a 3-0 win against Woodlands in Brunei. Courts Young Lions recorded their second three points of the season, grinding a 1-0 win out against The Bulls of Gombak United.
Despite a bad start to the game, SAFFC custodian Shahril Jantan recovered well and helped his side to earn a crucial win. The former SAFFC captain made a couple of good saves, including a crucial save when Jamil Ali ran through ten minutes before Mislav Karoglan broke the deadlock.
That goal proved to be the winning goal, as ‘Kari’ atoned for an earlier miss. He was constantly on the ball throughout the game, trying to create chances for strike partner Fazrul Nawaz, when playmaker Sakurada found the going tough.
Captaining a depleted side, Harimau Muda’s Affize Faisal led by example as he scored two goals to help his team overcome Hougang United 3-1. One of the goals included a beautiful freekick beyond the reach of Fadhil Salim, as the fullback showed that he had an eye for goal as well.
They might be fullbacks by trade, but the makeshift central pairing of Hafiz Osman and Hanafi Salleh were unbreachable in defence, as they stood tall to deny the Home attackers. Together with Jonathan Xu and Zahid Ahmad, the solid rearguard action set the stage for Tanjong Pagar’s shock 1-0 win over the last season’s league runners-up.
They are joined by teammates Aliff Shafaein and Takaya Kawanabe, who led most of the sporadic Jaguar attacks upfront. Tricky winger Aliff had a stormer down the flanks, as he switched between right and left all game and gave Home fullbacks Nor Azli Yusoff and Jeremy Chiang a torrid time. Tormenting his markers and going past them at will, it was his cross that found Takaya lurking at the far post for the Japanese striker to head home the winning goal.
Producing one of their best performances so far, Geylang duo Rhema Obed and Ishak Zainol helped their team to a credible 0-0 draw against Albirex. Despite being played out of position in midfield and right back respectively, they were both outstanding, stopping the Albirex attackers constantly.
His teammate and captain Hafiz Abu Sujad also put in an effervescent performance in the middle of the park. The playmaker led by example, covering every blade of grass as he closed down the Gombak players, giving them no breathing time on the ball.
He might have ended up on the losing side, but Hougang winger Jordan Webb was once again the liveliest player on the pitch for the Cheetahs. Coming on late in the first half, he proceeded to pull a goal back for his side a few minutes after the restart, and take his tally to seven for the season.
For masterminding the result of the week, Terry Pathmanathan is our man in the dugout. The ex-Singapore captain got his tactics spot on and also displayed his motivational skills to raise his team’s spirits after being thumped 5-0 last week, as his side delivered the perfect riposte to critics with a well-deserved 1-0 win over title contenders Home United.
Team of the week (4-4-2):
Goalkeeper: Shahril Jantan (SAFFC)
Defender: Affize Faisal (Harimau Muda)
Defender: Hafiz Osman (Tanjong Pagar)
Defender: Hanafi Salleh (Tanjong Pagar)
Defender: Ishak Zainol (Geylang)
Midfielder: Aliff Shafaein (Tanjong Pagar)
Midfielder: Rhema Obed (Geylang)
Midfielder: Hafiz Sujad (Young Lions)
Midfielder: Jordan Webb (Hougang)
Forward: Mislav Karoglan (SAFFC)
Forward: Takaya Kawanabe (Tanjong Pagar)
Coach: Terry Pathmanathan (Tanjong Pagar)