Team of the Week - S.League Rd 25
Our FFT team had five S.League games to pick from this round from October 15 to October 18, as Courts Young Lions upset Hougang United with the help of some new faces and Geylang International grabbed a valuable three points across the Causeway with a surprise pick in central defence.
A department where no one particularly stood out in this round of matches, Tanjong Pagar United custodian Aurelien Herisson got the nod for keeping a clean sheet and making a couple of useful stops against Woodlands Wellington.
Courts Young Lions also had a clean sheet in their 2-0 victory over Hougang, but the role was shared by Syazwan Buhari and later Rudy Khairullah. Neither had much to do as their opponents had a woeful showing, especially in the final third where they could not convert the early momentum in the second half into shots to trouble either keeper.
There were few outstanding performers in defence as most of the outstanding individuals came from the midfield and striking departments. One midfielder, Geylang International's Fabian Kwok, shone in a makeshift position in centre back as he put in a solid shift to frustrate Harimau Muda B in a 2-1 victory at Pasir Gudang.
Jufri Taha earned the nod for his outstanding showing as he kept Balestier Khalsa dangerman Goran Ljubojevic in the leash, barely giving him a sniff at the Tampines goal in his side’s 3-1 win. His defensive colleague Ang Zhi Wei was industrious in his full-back role, combining his high work rate with an efferverscent attacking display.
A central midfield combination of Warriors FC’s Shi Jiayi and Shahdan Sulaiman of Tampines Rovers could potentially unlock more attacking avenues for their colleagues. It is a pity that the Shanghai-born Shi no longer seems to be in the national team reckoning as he delivered two pinpoint assists for Nicolas Velez in the thrilling 3-2 uniformed derby victory over Home United.
Shahdan ensured his club remains in the title race with two assists in their victory over Balestier. Continuing his solid form under the tutelage of mentor Rafi Ali, the 26-year-old has regained his appetite for distributing killer balls in the final third as the Stags’ tactical play centred around him.
Hafiz Nor was instrumental in laying the foundation for Geylang’s come-from-behind win with a goal immediately after the Malaysians took the lead. The more impressive part was how he did it as he shimmied his way past two defenders before firing home from a narrow angle inside the box.
Tanjong Pagar duo Sebastien Etiemble and Afiq Tan played key roles in their 1-0 win over Woodlands. The former was busy unlocking the fragile Rams backline with some useful passes in attacking midfield, but the young upstart stole the show with his man-of-the-match performance.
A livewire down the right wing, young midfielder Tan showed both flair and tenacity to give Woodlands veteran defender Rosman Sulaiman nightmares. His determination to chase the ball was crucial to the Jaguars scoring the only goal of the game.
Central to the Courts Young Lions being lifted off the bottom of the table following their 2-0 victory against Hougang United were Sahil Suhaimi and Faris Ramli. Both scored in the win and were influential in the final third of the pitch.
Faris carried on where he had left off from a solid season with LionsXII as he teased defenders down the flanks with his pace and dribbling skills. It was his exploitating of the generous space afforded by the Hougang defenders that led to the first goal.
After missing a few opportunities, Sahil made no mistake with a direct free kick to snuff out any hopes of a comeback from the Cheetahs as they coasted to victory and two places off the bottom of the table.
Nicolas Velez was superb up front for the Warriors, combining the eye for a good pass and fine finishing to put Home United to the sword with a brace. The Argentinean’s first goal in particular was the art of a fine executioner inside the box, taking only one touch to lift the ball over Shahril Jantan for the opening goal.
The second was a trademark finish into an empty net after he broke the offside trap and rounded Shahril Jantan to ensure a comfortable lead for the Warriors as they held off a late rally from the Protectors.