Balestier Khalsa put up a commanding performance to frustrate defending champions Albirex Niigata to a scoreless draw as big-spending Lion City Sailors faltered to a 3-1 loss to Hougang United in the 2021 AIA Singapore Premier League.
After knocking in six goals in their last two matches, Albirex hit a wall against a gritty Balestier side.
Largely on top in the first half, the Tigers were unlucky not to take the lead with Fadli Kamis’ teasing right-wing cross tipped onto the post by Albirex custodian Takahiro Koga.
Marko Kraljevic’s side had to field rookie goalkeeper Martyn Mun for the final half-hour due to Zaiful Nizam’s injury but managed to hold on for a valuable point.
In the meantime, Hougang United’s two quick first-half goals set the tone for their fabulous 3-1 win over the Sailors.
Lionel Tan capitalised on Hassan Sunny’s mistake in the 19th minute to pounce on the winner as Tomoyuki Doi then doubled the advantage a minute later.
Doi then completed his brace at the hour with a shot from a tight angle as Stipe Plazibat’s late tap-in six minutes to the end handed Hougang their second full points of the season.
2021 AIA SINGAPORE PREMIER LEAGUE
Lion City Sailors lost to Hougang United 3-1
Geylang drew with Young Lions 1-1
Tampines Rovers beat Tanjong Pagar 3-1
Albirex Niigata drew with Balestier Khalsa 0-0
Pictures and Graphics Courtesy #SPL