The Magnificent Eight: Singapore football's rare four-goal heroes
Faris Ramli - Four goals
Match: Home United 9-3 Brunei DPMM, S.League, May 25, 2017
The 2017 season has barely reached its midway point, but Faris Ramli has already matched his best-ever goal tally with 11 goals in 16 games. The last time Faris scored as many goals was in 2015, when he was playing in the Malaysia Super League with LionsXII.
The winger has been sizzling all season and he made an injury-depleted Brunei DPMM feel his wrath, popping up with four well-taken goals. In addition, Faris added four assists in an incredible individual performance.
Home's 9-3 win was the joint-highest scoring game in the S.League's history. The Protectors similarly enjoyed a 9-3 win over Gombak United in 1998, while Geylang United (now known as Geylang International) trounced Young Lions 10-2 in 2003.
The last game to witness a 12-goal thriller was the match between SAFFC (Warriors FC now) and Young Lions in 2004, which ended in a 6-6 draw.
Stipe Plazibat – Four goals
Match: Than Quang Ninh 4-5 Home United, AFC Cup, April 5, 2017
Playing with Hougang United in 2016, Plazibat found the back of the net 16 times in 28 games. It was a decent yield and convinced Home United to sign him the following year.
The Croatian has so far repaid that faith shown in him, scoring at least a goal a game so far. Four of those came in the AFC Cup, as he picked up the slack for a Protectors’ backline that had a night to forget.
Shocking goalkeeping in particular put them in danger, but their star import ensured they still walked away with three points. Firstly he earned and converted a penalty in the 15th minute before scoring a quickfire double in the 64th and 69th minutes.
His final goal in the 86th minute proved to be the difference between the teams as the game ended 5-4 in Home’s favour.
Making it even more impressive, it was the second time Plazibat had achieved the feat this year, following on from his four goals in a season-opening 6-1 rout of the Young Lions.
Atsushi Kawata – Four goals
Match: Albirex Niigata S 5-0 Young Lions, S.League, February 20, 2016
Just two games into the season, people should have already guessed it was to be going to be Atsushi Kawata’s year. The sign of things to come that season was demonstrated in a 5-0 mauling of the Young Lions, as Kawata singlehandedly plundered four goals.
Kawata first opened the scoring in the eighth minute, before adding another three in the second half to seal a comprehensive for the White Swans.
The Japanese would end the season with 20 goals across all competitions as Albirex swept all four trophies available. Kawata was named the S.League player of the year, before earning a move back to parent club Albirex in J.League 1.