S.League: Wonder goals

Geylang International midfielder Fabian Kwok might be the flavour of the month after his wonder strike against Albirex Niigata last week went viral on social media.

His stunner drew comparisons with goals scored by the likes of Wayne Rooney, Jonjo Shelvey, and, if you go back a few years, Real Zaragoza's Nayim against Arsenal in the old Uefa Cup Winners' Cup final in 1995.

While Kwok's goal certainly deserves all the praise it has received, another local player in the Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League has been banging in some eye-catching goals himself, albeit with far less fanfare.

Step forward Courts Young Lions striker Sahil Suhaimi.

As part of our mid-season review of the 2014 season, The New Paper has compiled a list of the 10 best goals so far this season, and the 21-year-old features not once, not twice, but a remarkable three times.

When told of the achievement, Sahil sheepishly remarked: "Three times? Seriously?

"I didn't expect at all.

"In fact, I don't think my goals this season are that wonderful."

Perhaps he was trying to be humble, but Sahil's three selected strikes - a free-kick into the top corner against Warriors FC on April 24 and two dazzling individual goals against Hougang United eight days later - were great efforts.

While many in the fraternity agreed that there was an element of luck involved in Kwok's volleyed effort, Sahil's goals owed more to his technique, close control of the ball and his ability to beat defenders.


Despite sitting out his team's first seven games as he struggled to pass the S.League's mandatory 2.4km fitness test, Sahil's form in just four games has surely put a smile on the face of national coach Bernd Stange.

Along with Kwok's and Sahil's strikes, six others have made TNP's top 10.

Among them are beauties scored by two of the S.League's five marquee players.

Home United's former South Korean international Lee Kwan Woo hammered home a spectacular strike against Albirex on March 27, while Balestier Khalsa's ex-Dinamo Zagreb striker Goran Ljubojevic made the cut with his looping effort against Tanjong Pagar on March 13.

Sahil says these strikes are just a few of several great goals in the S.League this year.

"Even before Fabian scored his goal, I've already seen quite a few others that were very beautiful," he said.

"Like (Home United midfielder) Yasir Hanapi's goal against us when we drew 1-1 recently. That was a difficult angle but he made it happen.

"I think goals like that are harder to score than the ones I put away."

Indeed, Yasir's howitzer from last Wednesday was one of many goals that narrowly missed making the top 10.

Other great strikes that didn't make the cut were top-corner efforts by Warriors FC duo Kevin McCann (against Harimau Muda B on March 12) and Nicolas Velez (his third goal against Albirex Niigata on April 16).

S.League chief executive Lim Chin is delighted with the quality he has seen this season.

He said: "Some of the goals I have seen at matches this season are truly phenomenal, from great set-pieces to some real net-busters. I was one of the lucky ones who managed to witness Fabian's goal first-hand.

"These great goals are a good reflection of the high standard of football in our S.League."

This article was published on May 14 in The New Paper.

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