S.League Rd 4 Wrap: Stags rise to the top
Nevertheless, Tampines Rovers took advantage of the draw between Home United and DPMM FC to put themselves in prime position. Elsewhere, a wonder goal decided the contest between Balestier Khalsa and Albirex Niigata.
Don't want to sift through all the match reports or search for highlight videos of your favourite players in action? No fear for FourFourTwo is here with the goods from yet another fascinating round of S.League action.
Tampines Rovers 2 Hougang United 0
18 Mar | Wednesday | Jurong West Stadium
Tampines bounced back from last week's disappointing loss to Home United, as they got back to winning ways against a winless Hougang. National team veterans Ridhuan Muhammad and Fahrudin Mustafic scored on either side of halftime as the Stags cruised to a comfortable victory over their disappointing opponents.
Roberto Alviz's return to the Tampines team after suspension was timely, as he created both goals and could have had more assists if not for some wayward finishing. Hougang, on the other hand, could find no way past a debuting Siddiq Durimi.
Balestier Khalsa 0 Albirex Niigata (S) 1
20 Mar | Friday | Jalan Besar Stadium
Shoharo Ihata's golazo stole all the headlines at JBS on Friday, and it was enough to seal all three points for a resurgent Albirex. The Japanese striker's 30-yard lob caught goalkeeper Zaiful Nizam unawares, dropping perfectly into the net to spark delighted celebrations.
The White Swans have now registered two wins to go with their opening two losses to sit pretty in third, their title hopes now restored ahead of the international break. It's back to the drawing board for Balestier however, as the Singapore Cup holders failed to muster a single shot on target and lost their second out of three games this season.
Brunei DPMM 2 Home United 2
21 Mar | Saturday | Bandar Seri Begawan
The S.League's last two unbeaten teams fought out an entertaining 2-2 draw in Brunei, as DPMM fell to second place behind Tampines with a game in hand. The Bruneians had been in scintillating form before taking a break as the country contested the first stage of World Cup Qualifying, but found Home United a tougher nut to crack.
Ken Ilsø's fourth goal in as many games put the Protectors ahead after half an hour, but DPMM's league top scorer Rafael Ramazotti had other ideas, taking the game by the scruff of it's neck with two goals of his own. It was left for Kamel Ramdani to be the hero, as he pounced on a rebound with five minutes to go and beat Wardun Yusof for the equaliser. The draw also represents DPMM's first dropped points of the season, and coach Steve Kean will hope it is but a temporary blip.