Singapore Premier League Team of The Week 7: Two Irfans, Zainol dazzle

Kelvin Leong

Both Fandi brothers had a great week while Geylang had Zainol Gulam to thank. Find out who made FOX Sports Asia’s Singapore Premier League Team of the Week 07.

19 goals in five matches made it a week to remember in the Singapore Premier League (SPL) with Albirex Niigata FC (S) still unbeaten in this campaign.

The White Swans sealed maximum points in their two games this week and now have a 14-point lead at the top of the SPL standings.

Newly-minted national team coach Fandi Ahmad  began the week with a loss to Albirex but saw his charges storm back with a sensational 2-1 victory over Hougang United on Saturday.

Elsewhere, Geylang International’s return to form saw them ink a second consecutive win against Warriors FC with their goalkeeper turning in a performance that even Gianluigi Buffon would have been proud of.

So without further ado, here are the best eleven players from Week 7.

Singapore Premier League Team of the Week 07

Zainol Gulam (Geylang International) – An amazing goalkeeping performance from the Eagles man. Sahil Suhaimi and Jonathan Behe must be wondering how they did not managed to get on the scoresheet. The pick of the bunch was his superb reflex save to deny Sahil’s volley in the second half.

Faizal Roslan (Home United) – Was on the losing side but his maturity as the season progresses is a good sign for Singapore football. Faizal was a threat at set-pieces and hardly allowed space at the other end only to be undone by two individual moments of brilliance.

Irfan Fandi (Young Lions) – The most experienced player in the Young Lions ranks, Irfan tried in vain to repel the Albirex attack in midweek but his hard work paid off against Hougang when he was an absolute rock in defence. Will be crucial to his team’s chances of a top-half finish this season.

Danish Irfan (Geylang International) – The young defender has begun to take to life in the SPL and turned in a solid display for Geylang at the Sports Hub. A stunning last-ditch tackle to prevent a goal-bound shot capped a superb performance and a first clean sheet for the Eagles.

Yuki Ichikawa (Geylang International) – Arguably one of the best centre-backs in recent memory to have played in Singapore. His majestic reading of the game makes him tough to beat but this season, he has moved into a central midfield position to be the link between defence and attack. Been involved in all nine of Eagles’ league games so far and was a calming influence against Warriors.

Hami Syahin (Young Lions) – Worked tirelessly in the middle of the park for both games and was constantly breaking up play and orchestrating his team’s forays down the attacking end. Provided a delightful assist against Albirex for Naufal Azman to net a consolation goal.

Ryujiro Yamanaka (Albirex Niigata S) – With captain Wataru Murofushi and Adam Swandi missing from the headlines, Albirex needed a new hero and Yamanaka stepped up. His brace was the product of his well-timed runs in the attacking zone and it ensured the White Swans kept their perfect record intact.

Zulfadhmi Suzliman (Tampines Rovers) – Albirex have not met their match for a while now but Zulfadhmi and his Tampines teammates refused to follow the script. The former National Football Academy star was a menace down the flank and his goal was an absolute blinder. A few more such displays and he may just be the surprise name on the Lions’ roster for the AFF Suzuki Cup.

Ryutaro Megumi (Tampines Rovers) – Tampines rely on Megumi to launch most of their attacks and the Japanese playmaker did not disappoint against Albirex when he pulled the strings whenever the Stags went on the offensive. Helped himself to a goal as well in the absence of main striker Khairul Amri.

Shuhei Hoshino (Albirex Niigata FC S) – The man who can’t stop scoring at the moment. Netted his ninth goal of the season to open the floodgates at Our Tampines Hub. What makes Hoshino a nightmare for defenders is his ability to play with the ball at his feet along with a good leap in the air. His striker partner Taku Morinaga seems to be slightly off the pace in recent matches but with Hoshino on a hot streak, the White Swans are cruising.

Ikhsan Fandi (Young Lions) – While his brother led by example from the back, Ikhsan did likewise up top. Restored to the starting line-up, he did not let a niggling knee injury prevent him from hassling the Hougang defence all night. The youngster showed guile and strength in equal measure, and was rewarded with his first-ever professional goal. Also picked out Asshukrie Wahid to cross for Naufal Azman to head in the winner.

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