Lion City Sailors star Kim Shin-wook bags first hat-trick in Singapore Premier League

Lion City Sailors' South Korean import Kim Shin-wook scored his first hat-trick in the Singapore Premier League on Friday in a 4-0 rout of Balestier Khalsa at Jalan Besar Stadium. AIA Singapore Premier League

South Korea international Kim Shin-wook notched his first hat-trick in the Singapore Premier League since joining reigning champions Lion City Sailors as a marquee signing in a 4-0 victory over Balestier Khalsa on Friday evening.

The powerful target man opened the scoring at Jalan Besar Stadium after just seven minutes, when he cleverly got separation from his marker Ensar Bruncevic to meet Shahdan Sulaiman's corner and squeeze a header in at the far post.

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The Sailors then doubled their lead in the 27th minute when fellow big-name signing Maxime Lestienne's searing left-wing delivery was latched onto by Song Ui-young, who expertly brought the ball down on his chest before slotting past Hairul Syirhan in the Balestier goal.

Just two minutes later, Kim struck again with a simple finish from six yards out after being set up by Gabriel Quak, who had been set free down the left by a superb 50-yard pass from Hariss Harun.

And ten minutes after the restart, the rout was completed when Diego Lopes hung a ball up into the area for Kim to climb over Ho Wai Loon and send a towering header into the back of the net for his hat-trick.

The victory was a much-needed boost for Lion City as they build towards their AFC Champions League debut later this month, with Kim now boasting five goals in as many games since joining the club.

In Friday's other SPL game, four-time champions Albirex Niigata (S) threw away a lead handed to them by Masahiro Sugita in the 44th minute to draw 1-1 with Hougang United, who had Sahil Suhaimi's 77th-minute equaliser to thank for a share of the spoils - a positive reaction following a humiliating 7-1 loss to Tampines Rovers in their previous match before the international break.