Football: SPL Team of the Week (Matchweek 5)

Singapore Premier League Team of the Week: Matchweek 5.

Zharfan Rohaizad (Lion City Sailors)

Registering his second clean sheet in four days, Zharfan worked hard to prevent a free-scoring Balestier Khalsa team from adding to their 10 goals scored. He faced 13 shots and made seven saves, bringing his total tally up to 27 - eight clear of Balestier’s Hairul Syirhan who is currently second-best with 19.

Super (Lion City Sailors)

Immediately thrown into the starting 11 against Geylang International midweek, Super helped his new side to their first clean sheet. On Saturday, the former Elche B centre-back showed his experience with a commanding display until he was replaced on the hour mark.

Shuya Yamashita (Tampines Rovers)

With three clean sheets in five games, Tampines Rovers are just one away from matching last season’s total of four in 28 matches. Yamashita contributed at both ends of the pitch - bravely attacking corners and defending crosses - to shutout defending champions Albirex Niigata for the first time since February 2022 when they fell 2-0 to Tanjong Pagar United.

Milos Zlatkovic (Tampines Rovers)

Zlatkovic has been instrumental to Tampines’ resurgence with his astute reading of the game to thwart counter-attacks and composed decision making on the ball. He shook off a virus to put up another mammoth performance which coach Gavin Lee described as “very important” to his team’s approach.

Ryo Takahashi (Albirex Niigata)

While Albirex lost to Tampines, Takahashi did not put a foot wrong and executed his role to near perfection. The 22-year-old right-back picked his moments to join the attack and threatened with quality crosses. He also defended smartly and aggressively, limiting Tampines to few chances from their left flank.

Hami Syahin (Lion City Sailors)

Playing in a deeper midfield role alongside captain Hariss Harun, Hami did his defensive duties by covering left-back Christopher van Huizen’s forward runs. In a fast-paced encounter against Balestier, the 24-year-old often found the right balance between retaining the ball and taking calculated risks with forward passes.

Jared Gallagher (Young Lions)

Gallagher scored what was arguable the goal of the week, lashing a first-time effort into the bottom corner from outside the penalty box. It was an all-important strike that shifted momentum in favour of Young Lions, galvanising them to launch a late comeback for their first victory of the season.

Maxime Lestienne (Lion City Sailors)

The league’s highest-profile player dazzled once more last weekend, notching a brace and an assist to help the Sailors to a 3-0 win over Balestier. Lestienne was untouchable when he hit his stride as he showed flashes of his technical excellence - which once allowed him to play in the Champions League with Dutch side PSV Eindhoven.

Syahadat Masnawi (Young Lions)

Making his first start of the season, Syahadat instantly impressed with not only his rapid acceleration, but also his dribbling in tight spaces and ball-striking technique. The 1.75m-tall striker threatened with five shots and could have had a debut goal if not for Hougang custodian Zaiful Nizam parrying his close-range header.

Boris Kopitovic (Tampines Rovers)

Up against an Albirex defence that had not conceded in three league matches, Kopitovic made himself a nuisance for their centre-backs with his strong hold-up play. The Montenegrin forward was the focal point of Tampines’ build-up and also scored the game’s only goal to send his team back to the top of the league.

Naufal Azman (Geylang International)

Deployed by coach Noor Ali as a striker, Naufal - conventionally a winger - has adapted well to his new role. The 24-year-old was instrumental in Geylang’s 3-1 win over Brunei DPMM, bagging a goal and an assist. He also pitched in when Geylang did not have the ball. As the first line of pressure, Naufal diverted play away from central areas by shrewdly angling his runs and responding aptly to pressing triggers.

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