Jorge Fellipe’s first goal rescues Lion City Sailors
Lion City Sailors centre-back Jorge Fellipe's first goal in just his second appearance for his new club secured a 2-2 draw with title rivals Albirex Niigata in the Singapore Premier League (SPL) last night.
The Brazilian's goal made up for a poor collective defensive display, evident from the manner league leaders Albirex took a two-goal lead following Shuya Yamashita's brace from Kuraba Kondo's corners at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
Sailors striker Stipe Plazibat halved the deficit in the 45th minute and, when the Croat had his penalty saved by goalkeeper Takahiro Koga in the 84th minute, all hope of stopping Albirex from extending their three-point gap on the Sailors vanished.
|LION CITY SAILORS||ALBIREX NIIGATA|
|(Stipe Plazibat 45, Jorge Fellipe 87)||(Shuya Yamashita 17, 42)|
However, with three minutes left, Fellipe rose highest to meet Naqiuddin Eunos' deep cross from the right to earn Aurelio Vidmar's side a deserved draw.
"I have to give credit to the players, we showed a lot of character... we had quite a few chances to finish off the game but it was not meant to be... but both teams would probably be satisfied with the point tonight," said Vidmar.
Albirex coach Keiji Shigetomi, however, said he was "not satisfied" with the result, but noted it was important to switch their focus to their next game.
The White Swans now have a one-point lead over Hougang United and Tampines Rovers, whom they face in the next round of fixtures, which will see the return of fans for the first time this season.
The Football Association of Singapore announced yesterday that all venues hosting the next eight SPL fixtures (from Saturday to April 23) would be open to up to 250 spectators at no cost, provided they have tested negative or are fully vaccinated for Covid-19.
From April 24, up to 250 fans can purchase tickets to catch SPL games without needing to undergo Covid-19 testing. - NARENDAREN KARNAGERAN
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