Singapore captain Shahril Ishak inspired title hopefuls Warriors FC to a 2-0 S.League victory over Geylang International in a televised game at Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday night.
With key man Jordan Webb's absent through injury, Shahril's early brace lifted the uniformed outfit while putting him on an impressive eight goals for the 2017 season.
Despite Geylang dominating the opening exchanges, Warriors broke the deadlock on 16 minutes.
Captain Shaiful Esah marked his return from a long injury layoff with an inch-perfect, inswinging corner for Shahril to head past Syazwan Buhari.
Razif Onn's side swiftly doubled their advantage four minutes later through Shahril again.
The 33-year-old tapped home from close range after Hafiz Nor had nodded down Fadhil Noh's cross into his path.
The Eagles toiled hard to reduce the deficit, and threw on Shawal Anuar for the ineffectual Shahfiq Ghani midway through the second half.
However, Hasrin Jailani's side found it hard to breach the Warriors backline led by Kento Fukuda.
They carved out their best opportunity on the night with five minutes left. But Argentine playmaker Ricardo Sandra somehow skied his shot over the bar after being found by a Faritz Hameed long ball.
The win helped Warriors close within a point of third-placed Tampines Rovers, with 20 points from 10 games.
Meanwhile Geylang remained at fifth with 14 points from 11 outings.
In the other Friday night game, defending champions Albirex Niigata (S) continued their unbeaten start to their title defence with an emphatic 4-0 trouncing of Brunei DPMM at Jurong East Stadium.
Tsubasa Sano and Ryota Nakai put the White Swans 2-0 up at half-time, before Rui Kumada and Naofumi Tanaka completed the rout after the break.
The result put them eight points clear of nearest challengers Home United, albeit having played a game more.
As for DPMM, they stayed second-from-bottom, with four points from 10 games with the pressure firmly on Scottish coach Steve Kean.
Geylang International: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Faritz Hameed, Yuki Ichikawa, Al-Qaasimy Rahman, Safirul Sulaiman, Gabriel Quak (Nor Azli Yusoff 79'), Isa Halim (C), Shahfiq Ghani (Shawal Anuar 64'), Amy Recha, Ricardo Sandra, Victor Coto
Warriors FC: Hyrulnizam Juma'at (GK), Emmeric Ong, Baihakki Khaizan (Hafiz Osman 79'), Kento Fukuda, Ho Wai Loon,Syaqir Sulaiman (Poh Yi Feng 87'), Shaiful Esah (C), Hafiz Nor, Shahril Ishak, Fazli Jaffar, Fadhil Noh (Ridhuan Muhammad 64')