Geylang International snapped their two-game winless streak with a comeback victory which Head Coach Noor Ali described as ‘one of the best matches of the season’.
The Eagles’ Eastern derby win at Our Tampines Hub (OTH) on Wednesday evening was sealed thanks to three second-half goals by Danny Kim, Amy Recha and Chris van Huizen despite the Stags drawing first blood in the first 45 minutes.
Geylang International started strongly by assuming control of possession early in the first half. However, they failed to break the deadlock, and the match seemed to be headed for a draw at half-time until Boris Kopitovic nodded home Yasir Hanapi’s corner to put the Stags ahead in the 44th minute.
The Eagles went in search of the equaliser and responded almost immediately when Ilhan Noor’s header off a corner was cleared off the line.
They came out strongly in the second half, and it was not long before Danny Kim levelled the score with a stupendous strike from the edge of the box in the 59th minute. That sparked the Eagles’ offensive momentum as Recha made it 2-1 in the 65th minute. An inch-perfect pass from Barry Maguire found Van Huizen on the left flank, who squared the ball perfectly for Recha to fire into the top left corner.
Van Huizen got onto the scoresheet for the first time this season when he slammed home a Maguire cutback to pull the Eagles further ahead in the 76th minute.
The heroics of Wayne Chew then kept the Eagles largely in control as the Stags piled the pressure with a quarter of the match remaining. Chew was equal to the task and made several stunning saves before the Eagles held on defensively to pull off a memorable victory in front of the passionate home crowd.
Noor said: “The boys were fantastic throughout the game, and this is one of the best games we have played this season. We controlled the game, enjoyed possession, and had three quality finishes. I could not have asked for anything more from the boys tonight.
“I told the boys at half-time we got to believe in ourselves and keep playing the football we have been playing and most importantly, show that winning mentality.”
Lineup: Wayne Chew, Ilhan Noor (Faizal Roslan 85’), Danny Kim, Amy Recha, Barry Maguire (C), Matheus Moresche, Harith Kanadi, Firdaus Kasman (Izzdin Shafiq 51’), Christopher van Huizen (Fareez Farhan 89’), Abdil Qaiyyim, Afiq Yunos