Geylang International ended a six-match winless run when they beat Young Lions 4-2 at Jalan Besar.
Eagles coach Noor Ali made his intentions known when he started all his four imports for the first time this season and deployed Sylvano Comvalius, Matheus Moresche and Amy Recha in attack, while opting for 19-year-old Wayne Chew to make only his second appearance for the club in goal in front of the vocal Ultras Eagles.
Once again, the men in green and white came flying out of the traps, and Comvalius headed Elijah Lim’s excellent cross against the post within the first minute.
It was all Geylang in the opening period and Faizal Roslan grabbed the opener when he headed in Harith Kanadi’s corner in the 10th minute.
But Geylang’s defensive frailties were exposed again just minutes after taking the lead. Chew made a good save to deny Ilhan Fandi but from the resulting corner Yuki Ichikawa tugged at the Young Lions striker and referee Abirami Naidu had no qualms pointing to the spot. Hami Syahin stepped up to send Chew the wrong way from the ensuing penalty in the 14th mnute.
Ichikawa almost made amends in the 26th minute but his goal-bound header off Amy Recha’s corner was cleared off the line.
Fareez Farhan came on for Comvalius in the second half as Geylang continued to be quick off the blocks, pressing high.
Their endeavour was rewarded eight minutes after the restart when Amy clinically finished off a lovely give-and-go with Maguire for his third goal of the season.
The Eagles then doubled their lead in the 57th minute when a corner was not cleared and Moresche swept in Maguire’s knock down.
There would be a potentially nervy end to the game when Syed Akmal tapped in Ryhan Stewart’s cross in the 77th minute to reduce the arrears to 3-2.
But Young Lions goalkeeper Dylan Pereira was the busier of the two goalkeepers as he had to make saves from Amy, Fareez, Maguire and Moresche.
The Brazilian was not to be denied as he pounced at the near post in added time for his sixth goal of the season and sealing all three points.
Noor Ali said: “It’s great to taste the winning feeling again after so long. It’s a great performance from the boys.
“Even at 3-2, we continued to attack and kept things tight at the back.
“We need to continue working together and if we have our key players fit, we will win more games in the second round.
“We want to thank the fans, who are back with us in the stadium after such a long time out. They are what Geylang are all about and we dedicate this win to them.”
Lineup: Wayne Chew; Darren Teh, Yuki Ichikawa, Faizal Roslan, Harith Kanadi (Iqram Rifqi 90), Elijah Lim (Izzdin Shafiq 56), Barry Maguire, Firdaus Kasman; Amy Recha, Sylvano Comvalius (Fareez Farhan 46), Matheus Moresche