Team of the Week - S.League Rd 11
“There’s only one Fadhil Salim!” is a chant frequently heard during Hougang United games and there is a good reason why. Playing in his second game after suffering a broken finger, Fadhil was back to his best, making a string of fine saves to prevent Balestier Khalsa from adding to Goran Ljubojevic’s penalty. That helped his side to hold on to all three points, which ensured they finish the first half of the league season in sixth place.
Also worth mentioning is Brunei DPMM’s custodian Wardun Yussof, who still had a bit of work to do despite his side’s big win against Tanjong Pagar United. He was however up to the task, earning a league-best sixth clean sheet this year.
Making FFT’s Team of the week for the fifth time this year, Sirina Camara showed just why he is one of the best defender in the S-League right now as he put on his usual outstanding shift at the back, covering every blade of grass whilst ensuring the opposition’s attackers hardly got a sniff at his goal.
Joining him this week is his teammate Yasir Hanapi, who despite starting out at right back, came up with a thumping volley to that helped Home United to a 1-1 draw. Despite his small stature, the former Singapore U-23 international showed that he can match up to anyone on his day, with energetic runs down the right while holding nothing back in the challenge.
Courts Young Lions’ Delwinder Singh once again showcased why he is already a Singapore international despite being only 21 years old. Mature beyond his years, he stopped established names such as Fazrul Nawaz, Indra Sahdan and Qiu Li in their tracks, helping the young side to earn a valuable point. It is without doubt that Delwinder has the talent, and if he manages to put in such showing on a more consistent basis then a return back into the Singapore National Team set-up might not be that far off indeed.
Albirex Niigata (S) defender Shuhei Hotta once again gets the last place in this four-man backline after yet another commanding performance in his side’s 4-2 win over Geylang International. Up against the on-form Leonel Felice, he managed to keep the Argentinian off the score-sheet, and even popped up with a goal at the other end of the pitch, marking the third straight game that he has scored. At this rate, don’t bet against the Japanese becoming the highest-scoring defender in the league this year.
Plucked out from obscurity in the National Football League, Shunsuke Nakatake is sure turning out to be a gem of a find. Comfortable in possession with an eye for the pass, the deep-lying midfielder ensured that Hougang had a firm grip in the midfield battle alongside his team-mate Nurhilmi Jasni. Both made sure that the Tigers had little time on the ball when in possession, especially towards the end of the game with the away side searching for an equalizer. While Nurhilmi did tire late on, Nakatake kept going on to guarantee his side’s victory.
It was intriguing to see the Japanese player going up against Balestier’s Ridhwan Jamil, who put in a good shift as well, although it was still not enough for his team to earn at least a point.
A player who can spray passes to every corner of the pitch will definitely be regarded highly. For that, enter Rosmin Kasmis. The Bruneian was exceptional against Tanjong Pagar United, dictating the game from midfield to produce several outstanding passes, one of which came in the build up to the second goal.
Rounding up the midfield-trio is someone who has put the S-League on the world map the past week. Scoring a first time volley from the centre-circle, Fabian Kwok stunned not only Albirex, but made headlines around the world as video footage of his goal went viral. Not only that, he went on to put in his usual hard shift, making vital interceptions in the middle of the park and covered almost every inch of the Jurong East turf.
They just cannot stop scoring. Brunei DPMM’s pair of Rodrigo Tosi and Roy O’Donovan were at their impeccable best as ripped the Jaguars apart, with the former scoring one and the latter notching a brace. O’Donovan had two assists as well, which meant that he played a part in all four of DPMM’s goal. If the duo keeps going, it might just turn into a two-horse race to win the Golden Boot award this season.
He may be almost 44 year old, but he sure does play like a man 20 years younger. Aleksandar Duric answered his team’s SOS call as he came on late in the first half with his team down 2-0 to force a 3-3 draw against Warriors, scoring his team’s first and creating the equalizer in the dying minutes of the game. The veteran forward will be eager to make his last season a successful one.
Meanwhile, Kazuya Okazaki also deserve a shout out for his lively performance against Geylang International, as his running caused some panic to the Eagles’ defence, with the striker helping himself to a goal and an assist.