SINGAPORE: Albirex Niigata were crowned Singapore Premier League (SPL) champions on Saturday (Dec 5), making it the sixth consecutive season that a foreign team has won the league.
Albirex clinched the title following their 1-0 victory over Hougang United, with Ryoya Taniguchi scoring the only goal.
Meanwhile, Tampines Rovers, who entered the final round of matches a point behind the Japanese side, were held 1-1 by Geylang International. Barry Maguire’s header put the Eagles ahead before Baihakki Khaizan equalised for Tampines.
READ: Singapore Premier League to allow fans in stadium for clash between Tampines Rovers and Geylang International
This means Albirex finished three points ahead of Gavin Lee’s men to top the league table. It is Albirex’s fourth title in five years.
The last local side to win the league was Warriors FC in 2014, and since then, the domestic competition has been won twice by DPMM in 2015 and 2019, as well as by Albirex Niigata between 2016 to 2018.
The SPL is into its third season since it was renamed from the S League. The season was suspended in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic and restarted in mid-October.
Saturday's clash between the Stags and the Eagles at Our Tampines Hub was the first time spectators could watch a “live” SPL game since the league was halted.
A maximum of 200 fans – 150 home and 50 away – were allowed in the stadium, subject to mandatory COVID-19 testing and safe-distancing protocols.