Football: Sailors, Albirex play out 1-1 draw as coach Kim fails to win on his SPL debut

 predecessor Australian Aurelio Vidmar.

Goalkeeper Hassan Sunny of Lion City Sailors saves against Nicky Melvin Singh (far left) of Albirex Niigata, as teammate Jorge Filipe looks on during their Singapore Premier League match held on 23 July, 2021.

Singapore – New Lion City Sailors coach Kim Do-hoon cleared the decks on his Singapore Premier League debut but was still unable to secure a victory as his men were held to a 1-1 draw by leaders Albirex Niigata on Friday (July 23).

There were six changes to the line-up from the Sailors’ last outing – a 1-0 win over the Young Lions on May 22. Shahdan Sulaiman and Saifullah Akbar were suspended but influential winger Gabriel Quak, defenders Naqiuddin Eunos and Aniq Raushan and the league’s most expensive player in history, Diego Lopes, were left out.

Singapore captain Hariss Harun made his debut, Adam Swandi came in for his first start of the season and Aqhari Abdullah came in for his first start since a 3-1 loss to Hougang United back in March.

But the Sailors were still unable to get the better of defending champions Albirex, who remain a point above them with nine matches to go and maintained their record as the only unbeaten team in the SPL this term. The Sailors have also now failed to win in their last four encounters against Albirex.

The clash between the SPL’s top two teams was played in front of 100 fans at the Jurong East Stadium. In line with the return to Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) on Thursday (July 22), only a maximum of 100 fans were allowed to attend.

Another 100-odd fans took in the action through the fences around the stadium.

The tension in the air was palpable from kick-off. Perhaps it was also a case of both teams finding their feet after the two-month break in the SPL.

The first half was a cagey affair. In the middle of the park, Hariss looked eager to impress his new employers, but he too seemed to be rusty after months of inaction.

But as the first 45 minutes wore on, Albirex gained momentum – a result of their superior physical conditioning. The Japanese side created several chances with Sailors custodian Hassan Sunny forced to pull off some outstanding saves.

But in first-half stoppage time, Albirex’s pressure finally yielded the opening goal. They were awarded a penalty after Aqhari was adjudged to have clipped Albirex defender Yu Tokiwa in the box. Ryoya Taniguchi stepped up and fired his penalty past Hassan.

The Sailors, who were tepid in their approach in the first half, turned it on in the second half, helped largely by the introduction of their prized asset, Brazilian playmaker Lopes.

It was his intelligent pass down the left that freed Hafiz Nor to produce a cross for Stipe Plazibat to tap in for the equaliser in the 72nd minute.

And just before full time, the Brazilian’s trickery almost yielded the winning goal as he ghosted past Albirex’s defenders. But his shot was too tame to trouble the opposition’s goalkeeper.

Albirex coach Keiji Shigetomi said: “In the first half, we had many chances and a few more in the second half. Our players have to improve their accuracy in shooting. I am not happy that the sailors dominated the game in the closing moments. I want my players to have more belief that we can win the game.

“We had enough chances to win the game. I am disappointed we cannot get the three points. We take one game at a time and the title is not on our mind.”

Hougang United, considered as the outsiders for the title, have an opportunity to spice up the title race and move within a point of the Sailors if they can secure a victory against Tanjong Pagar on Saturday (July 24).

Analysis

It is only his first match in charge of the Sailors and perhaps it may be unfair to judge his philosophy on 90 minutes alone but the men in blue definitely looked different under the South Korean compared to his predecessor Australian Aurelio Vidmar.

Under their former coach, the Sailors were always eager to dominate possession and even in arguably tougher matches against the likes of Tampines Rovers, Albirex and Hougang United, they would leave plenty of space behind. The numbers were telling as well – in three matches against those opponents, the Sailors conceded eight goals.

But here, the Sailors seemed to be a little more tactically savvy, leaving little space to run in behind their backline.

The chances that Albirex created came mostly from intricate play via the wings. A drawback for the Sailors though was that with their pragmatic approach, their attacking play suffered as most of their chances came via counter-attacks. Stipe Plazibat – their leading marksman with nine goals – was often isolated up front in the first half.

But as they resumed the second half a goal behind, the Sailors seemed to lose their shackles a little, as star man Diego Lopes entered the proceedings and took the game to Albirex.

It remains to be seen if the Sailors will take the same approach against some of the league’s lesser teams and if coach Kim will stick to being more defensively organised in the remaining nine matches of the season but based on this 90 minutes alone, it seems like his mantra is not too different from the legendary, former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson who once said: Attack wins you games, defence wins you titles. In nine matches, we will find out if this approach served the Sailors well.

News Related

OTHER NEWS

Championship round-up: Cherries go top as Fulham and WBA drop points

© PA Images Championship club Derby’s manager Wayne Rooney Bournemouth are now top of the Sky Bet Championship table eight matches in after West Brom and Fulham both dropped points ... Read more »

Rafa Benitez insists Everton are a work in progress after second-half collapse

Boss Rafa Benitez insisted Everton remain a work in progress after the Toffees’ collapse at Aston Villa. They shipped three goals in nine second-half minutes to fall to a 3-0 ... Read more »

Feestwedstrijd voor Ajax: Daramy maakt zijn eerste doelpunt

© ProShots Feestwedstrijd voor Ajax: Daramy maakt zijn eerste doelpunt De thuiswedstrijd tegen SC Cambuur is een feestwedstrijd aan het worden voor Ajax. Invaller Mohamed Daramy heeft als invaller zijn ... Read more »

Lens v Lille derby suspended amid crowd trouble

© Provided by Khaleej Times Lens v Lille derby suspended amid crowd trouble The kickoff to the second half of the Ligue 1 derby between RC Lens and Lille was ... Read more »

Volkswagen Polo restylée (2021) : les photos de la citadine allemande remaniée

© Autonews Volkswagen Polo restylée (2021) : les photos de la citadine allemande remaniée Nouveau look pour la Polo de sixième génération qui voit sa carrosserie retouchée et se rapprocher ... Read more »

Watch: Naby Keita's brilliant reaction after scoring stunner for Liverpool

Naby Keita produced an Eric Cantona-esque celebration after scoring in Liverpool‘s 3-0 win over Crystal Palace at Anfield.  © PA Images Naby Keita Liverpool Since joining Liverpool from RB Leipzig in ... Read more »

Kayky introduces himself to fans as he gets Man City career started

Kayky thanked his new Manchester City teammates for helping him to settle in his first week at the club. The Brazilian teenager, 18, was signed by the Blue s from ... Read more »

Dean Smith reveals his Everton trick as Leon Bailey becomes Aston Villa hero

Dean Smith praised new Holte End hero Leon Bailey after his 21-minute cameo helped to blow Everton away in a scintillating performance at Villa Park. The £30million signing capped his ... Read more »

Pep Guardiola's crowd comments reminiscent of Jose Mourinho's during his Chelsea days

After Wednesday night’s emphatic 6-3 win over RB Leipzig, Pep Guardiola took the opportunity to encourage Manchester City fans to attend their side’s home game with Southampton on Saturday. Guardiola ... Read more »

Canadiens @ Senators Rookie Camp Scrimmage: Game thread, rosters, and how to watch

© Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images Rookie Camp: Montreal Canadiens @ Ottawa Senators How to watch Start time: 4:05 PM EDT / 1:05 PM PDT Streaming: YouTube ... Read more »

Kein Austria-Heimsieg: "Verstehe, dass die Fans warten"

© Gepa Fischer Die Wiener Austria muss weiter auf den ersten Saison-Heimsieg warten. Am Samstag holten die “Veilchen” ein 0:0 gegen Altach. Damit bauten die Wiener ihre Ungeschlagen-Serie aus, verloren ... Read more »

USMNT's Premier League players may miss next round of World Cup qualifiers

The US men’s national team may face Panama in the next round of 2022 World Cup qualifiers without Christian Pulisic and several other U.K. based players as their Central American ... Read more »

Darum zählte das Ducksch-Freistoßtor nicht

Im Nordderby zwischen Werder Bremen und dem Hamburger SV geht es ordentlich zur Sache. Das aberkannte Ausgleichstor von Werder sorgt für Diskussionen. © Bereitgestellt von sport1.de Darum zählte das Ducksch-Freistoßtor ... Read more »

Griezmann, c'est de pire en pire

© Fournis par Sports.fr Un 3e match sans but pour le numéro 8 de l’Atlético. Déjà moribond lors de ses 3 matches du début de saison avec le FC Barcelone, ... Read more »

Johan Derksen stopt niet en tekent voor twee jaar bij Talpa

© Aangeboden door Voetbalzone Johan Derksen gaat een nieuw contract voor twee jaar tekenen en samen met Wilfred Genee en René van der Gijp een dagelijkse talkshow doen op SBS ... Read more »

MotoGP, GP di Misano 2021. Francesco Bagnaia: "Vorrei trasmettere la passione per la moto"

MISANO ADRIATICO – Le statistiche sono spesso utili per certificare la grandezza di un’impresa. © Moto.it Quella che riguarda Francesco Bagnaia dice che era dal 2009 che un pilota italiano ... Read more »

1:1! Admira gibt Sieg gegen Hartberg spät aus der Hand!

Keinen Sieger brachte am Samstag die Bundesliga-Partie zwischen dem FC Flyeralarm Admira und TSV Hartberg hervor. Joseph Ganda brachte die Admira mit seinem ersten Saisontor in Führung, doch Dario Tadic gelang in der Schlussphase der ... Read more »

AC Milan : une enquête ouverte après des chants racistes visant Bakayoko

La fédération italienne de football a ouvert une enquête après que Tiemoue Bakayoko ait été victimes de chants racistes entonnés par des supporters de la Lazio. © Icon Sport Tiémoué ... Read more »

RC Lens - LOSC (1-0) : Les 6 leçons à retenir de ce bouillant derby du Nord

Le RC Lens s’est imposé lors de ce derby du Nord face au LOSC (1-0). © Fournis par 90min Le RC Lens renoue avec le succès face au LOSC (1-0). ... Read more »

L'Athletic Club frustre l'Atlético

© Fournis par Sofoot Atlético de Madrid 0-0 Athletic Club Décidément, l’Atlético n’y arrive pas. Trois jours après son match nul 0-0 face au FC Porto, en Ligue des champions, ... Read more »

Real Madrid : épaté par Camavinga, Ancelotti fuit les dossiers Haaland et Mbappé

Carlo Ancelotti, l’entraîneur du Real Madrid, s’est présenté en conférence de presse ce samedi. L’occasion d’évoquer la révélation Camavinga, notamment… © Icon Sport Carlo Ancelotti Carlo Ancelotti, l’entraîneur du Real ... Read more »

Trotz Insolvenz: Rooney will Derby die Treue halten

Derby (SID) – Das englische Fußball-Idol Wayne Rooney will seinem taumelnden Traditionsklub Derby County trotz Insolvenzverfahrens die Treue halten. “Ich habe schon oft gesagt, dass ich mich diesem Verein, den ... Read more »

L'Atlético accroché par Bilbao

SOCCER-LIGA:L’Atlético accroché par Bilbao © Reuters/Sergio Perez L’Atlético accroché par Bilbao par Martin Schmuda (iDalgo) Dans le cadre de la cinquième journée de Liga, l’Atlético de Madrid a concédé le ... Read more »

Tuchel : « J'étais heureux que Harry Kane reste à Tottenham »

© Fournis par Sofoot Pour l’amour du jeu. Malgré l’intérêt de Manchester City cet été, Harry Kane n’a pas bougé. Le deuxième meilleur buteur de l’histoire de Tottenham portera le ... Read more »

Liga: Joao Felix traite l'arbitre de "fou" et risque une lourde suspension

© AFP Joao Felix contestant le carton jaune dont il écope pour son geste sur Vencedor Joao Felix risque entre 4 et 12 matchs de suspension pour avoir insulté l’arbitre ... Read more »

Atlético Madrid : nouvelle prestation décevante pour Antoine Griezmann

Antoine Griezmann, l’attaquant français de l’Atlético Madrid, a dû mal à retrouver un statut d’homme décisif depuis son retour chez les Colchoneros. © Icon Sport Antoine Griezmann Antoine Griezmann, l’attaquant ... Read more »

Incidents à la pause de Lens-Lille

© Fournis par Sofoot Chaud comme une baraque à frites. Le derby du Nord entre le Racing Club de Lens et Lille, comptant pour la sixième journée de la Ligue ... Read more »

Panthers elevate CB Rashaan Melvin

© Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Rashaan Melvin now has an opportunity to play in a game for the first time since the 2019 season. The Panthers made the veteran ... Read more »

Bellator 266: Phil Davis vs. Yoel Romero live results and highlights

Bellator 266: Phil Davis vs. Yoel Romero full live results and highlights. © Provided by Fansided Bellator 266 went down on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, starting at 7 p.m. ET. The ... Read more »

Sky looking to build playoff momentum vs. Fever

Perhaps a visit from the last-place Indiana Fever can help the struggling Chicago Sky build some momentum in advance of the WNBA playoffs. Desperate for a victory, the Sky can ... Read more »

Thrilling but brief cameo inspires Aston Villa in win over Everton – player ratings

© PA Images Leon Bailey and Ollie Watkins celebrate Aston Villa goal against Everton Aston Villa took some steps in the right direction after an indifferent start to the season ... Read more »

Real Madrid announce squad for La Liga match against Valencia

© Photo by Helios de la Rubia/Real Madrid via Getty Images Real Madrid have published their squad list for Sunday’s away match against Valencia, a tough game just four days ... Read more »

Deshalb brach Modeste in Tränen aus

Anthony Modeste erzielt beim Remis gegen Leipzig schon seinen vierten Saisontreffer. Anschließend kullern beim Torjäger die Tränen. © Bereitgestellt von sport1.de Deshalb brach Modeste in Tränen aus Der 1. FC ... Read more »

Joao Felix: Gelb und Gelb-Rot in zehn Sekunden

Madrid/München – Atletico Madrid ist gegen Athletic Bilbao nicht über ein 0:0 hinausgekommen. Und doch lieferte die Partie gleich zwei Aufreger. © imago images/NurPhoto Joao Felix Mega-Talent Joao Felix wurde ... Read more »

Premier, il Liverpool ne fa tre al Palace e resta in vetta. Manchester City bloccato sul pari, cade l'Everton

Il Liverpool resta saldamente in vetta alla Premier League. Spazza via (3-0) il Crystal Palace e mette pressione al Manchester United (impegnato domenica alle 15 a Londra contro il West Ham) ... Read more »

Live Eredivisie: Ajax laat geen spaan heel van Cambuur

Tijdens de vijfde speelronde van de Eredivisie staat het eerste treffen tussen twee ploegen uit de traditionele top-3 op het programma. Zondag treffen PSV en Feyenoord elkaar in Eindhoven. © ... Read more »

Meesteraangever Tadic passeert magische grens

© ProShots Meesteraangever Tadic passeert magische grens Ajax heeft geen kind aan SC Cambuur en staat bij rust al op een 4-0 voorsprong. Dusan Tadic was de aangever bij twee ... Read more »

Inter, Inzaghi: "Temevo il Bologna. Brozovic e Lautaro insostituibili"

Simone Inzaghi ha commentato ai microfoni di DAZN la roboante vittoria ottenuta contro il Bologna. Le dichiarazioni dell’allenatore dell’Inter. © Fornito da 90min Simone Inzaghi | CPS Images/Getty Images BOLOGNA ... Read more »

"La Fiorentina fu a un passo da Maradona, van Basten e Rummenigge". La rivelazione

Ranieri Pontello, ex presidente della Fiorentina, ha raccontato alcuni retroscena legati alla sua esperienza in viola. Le dichiarazioni ai microfoni di Lady Radio. © Fornito da 90min Diego Maradona | ... Read more »