Albirex Edge Out Resilient Eagles To Extend Winning Streak
By Eagles Admin on 9 April 2015
Albirex Niigata FC (S) defeated Geylang International FC to a score-line of 1-0, at the Jurong East Stadium on the 8th April 2015. With that hard-fought and slender victory, the White Swans did not only extend their winning streak to four straight matches, but also increased their clean sheet record to four games as well.
With the emphatic result, Albirex moved back to the summit of the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League table with a two-point lead over Brunei DPMM FC, whom now have two games in hand. On the other hand, the spirited Eagles still remain in 7th spot with five points earned out of five matches.
The visitors, Geylang started the first-half brightly and enjoyed most of the possession in the opening minutes of the game. However, the match was soon halted after the ‘Lightning Warning System’ was activated in the 3rd minute. After an approximate 15 minutes, the fixture, then resumed. However, this time round, Albirex turned the tide and dominated ball possession for longer periods.
Albirex’s captain, Itsuki Yamada had the first chance of the game after Shun Inaba intelligently set him up with a fantastic through ball into the penalty box. However, Yamada dragged his shot well wide, across the goal-line.
The White Swans then made no mistake with their second chance as, Rion Taki calmly slotted the opener past Eagles’ Yazid Yazin from close range, after connecting well with Fumiya Kogure’s low cross into the six-yard box.
With the 1-0 lead, Albirex then pushed forward in search for another goal to double their lead. However, the Eagles’ goalkeeper denied the White Swans two golden ‘goal-scoring’ opportunities, with his cat-like reflexes. Firstly, Yazid made an outstanding finger-tip save to keep out Albirex’s Atsushi Kawata’s outer-foot effort from outside the box. Next up, was Fumiya Kogure’s curling free-kick attempt, which was safely gathered by the Geylang’s experienced custodian.
Despite the constant attacks from the White Swans, the Eagles once again proved that they were no pushovers and almost succeeded in scoring an equalizer in the 32nd minute. Geylang’s captain, Jozef Kaplan met with Yuki Ichikawa’s cross, he then neatly turned away from his marker, before launching a powerful attempt which unfortunately, smashed against the side-netting.
Ex-Geylang International striker, Shotaro Ihata had the last chance of the first-half to add another goal to Albirex’s tally. However, despite executing a lovely skill to turn away from Hafiz Osman at the edge of the box, he fired his effort just wide of the goal.
The resilient Eagles, started the second-half determined to overturn the current deficit and indeed, were the more dominant side after the restart. They almost accomplished an equalizer in the 48th minute, but Eagles’ Tatsuro Inui rocket shot, from 30 yards out came off the underside of the crossbar and Bruno Castanheira also failed to capitalise on the rebound as Albirex’s custodian, Yosuke Nazawa parried the shot away to safety.
A few minutes later, Geylang had another notable chance to score an equalizer. However, it was apparent that the Eagles had hardly any luck in front of goal that night with winger Hafiz Nor, failing to connect with Tatsuro Inui’s delicious cross despite being unmarked and only yards away from goal.
With Geylang rueing at their missed opportunities, Albirex continued to threaten and try their luck from distance. However, the former then had to thank, Yazid Yasin for keeping them alive in the game with only a one goal deficit as he displayed his goalkeeping heroics once again. The 36-year-old made three stupendous diving saves to keep out lethal efforts from Atsushi Kawata, Kento Nagasaki and Rion Taki.
The visitors were then presented another glorious chance in the 89th minute to probably earn a point from their journey to the western part of Singapore. After a goal-mouth scramble caused by Inui’s deep cross into the box, Eagles’ young starlet, Shawal Anuar picked up the loose ball in the penalty area, but regrettably, blazed his shot over the crossbar, ending all hopes of clinching a point.
Geylang’s Assistant Coach Owen Monaghan, stood in for the suspended Jorg Steinebrunner, admitted that his side failed to grasp the game in the opening 45 minutes and paid for their bad start by conceding a goal early in the game. Owen said, “After conceding the early goal, it was generally an uphill task to overcome. However, the team (Geylang) played much better in the second-half with more drive and desire, but we (Geylang) just couldn’t get that elusive goal. “We (Geylang) will keep working hard in trainings to retain the ball better and will come back stronger against Brunei DPMM at Bedok Stadium,” added Owen.
Full Time : Albirex Niigata FC (S) (Rion Taki 12′) 1 – 0 Geylang International FC
EAGLES’ Editor Man Of The Match: Yazid Yazin (GK)
Geylang International FC: Yazid Yasin (GK), Yuki Ichikawa, Kento Fukada, Hafiz Osman, Anaz Hadee (Syed Thaha 64’), Tatsuro Inui, Hafiz Nor, Shah Hirul (Khairulnizam Jumahat 69’), Mustaqim Manzur (Shawal Anuar, 82’), Jozef Kaplan (C), Bruno Castanheira