Kim Shin-wook debut double hands Lion City Sailors victory in Community Shield

Lion City Sailors warmed up for the 2022 Singapore Premier League season with a 2-1 victory over Albirex Niigata (S) in Saturday's Community Shield at Jalan Besar Stadium. Alfie Lee

A superbly-taken brace from star signing Kim Shin-wook ensured Lion City Sailors warmed up for the start of the 2022 Singapore Premier League season in perfect fashion, as they beat Albirex Niigata (S) 2-1 on Saturday to win the Community Shield.

The curtain raiser to the upcoming campaign, already an eagerly-anticipated affair pitting last season's SPL winners and runners-up against one another, had the added intrigue both sides fielding their marquee off-season signings for the first time.

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And it was Albirex's new main man in attack who drew first blood as ex-Southampton man Tadanari Lee opened the scoring in the 14th minute, when he converted a penalty which he had won after drawing a foul from Shahdan Sulaiman inside the area.

But South Korea international Kim, a two-time AFC Champions League winner with Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors and Ulsan Hyundai, responded four minutes before the break, climbing highest inside the area to equalise with a trademark towering header from a Tajeli Salamat delivery.

With three minutes remaining, Kim would emerge as the match winner as he again proved why he could be crucial to the Sailors' hopes for more success this season, showing great athleticism in addition to his renowned predatory instincts in the box to meet a Diego Lopes cross and send the ball smashing into goal with an acrobatic volley.

Albirex, who were four-time SPL champions in five years prior to last season, will be hoping to put the defeat behind time on Friday when they open the new campaign against Tanjong Pagar United.

Meanwhile, the Sailors' title defence begins two days later when they take on Hougang United, who finished third in the league last term.