Cheetahs Clip Eagles’ Wings For First Victory
By Eagles Admin on 20 May 2015
Geylang International’s unbeaten run in the month of May did hit a snag, as they were handed a painful, 1-0 defeat by Hougang United on 19th May 2015 at the Hougang Stadium.
Francisco Ela, whom is also know as Chupe, punished the luckless Eagles with a 72nd minute winner, to record Hougang’s first victory of the 2015 Great Eastern-YEO’S S.League season, after 11 games.
If you do not take your chances, you will be punished. That is how one of the clichés in football goes, and it certainly applied to the crunching fixture on Tuesday night.
Geylang failed to bury any of their golden opportunities against the Cheetahs and almost inevitably, fell to a defeat by a single goal margin for the fifth time this season.
The hosts, Hougang started the brighter side and came close in breaking the deadlock, as early as the 2nd minute through Muhaymin Salim. However, Geylang’s custodian, Yazid Yazin executes a spectacular diving safe to keep out the early effort.
A few minutes later, Geylang asserted their dominance with some fine possession percentage. The Eagles came really close in scoring when Tatsuro Inui’s amazing free-kick attempt left Hougang’s goalkeeper, Ahmadulhaq Che Omar stranded. However, the wicked shot, unfortunately slammed onto the crossbar.
Eagles’ Bruno Castanheira almost recorded his name on the score-sheet on two separate attempts as well. Firstly, in the 25th minute, the Brazilian-Japanese forward picks up a loose rebound and curls it towards Che Omar’s far post, but the shot flashes inches wide past the goal.
At the half-hour mark, Castanheira then launched a canon from outside the box, towards the Hougang’s goal. The powerful attempt left Che Omar rooted ground, but the effort crashed against the post, once again.
Hougang, then capitalized on Geylang’s missed attempts and sprung to life, just before the half-time break. Firstly, the Hougang striker, Chupe made a powerful run past three Eagles’ defenders and launched a shot. Yazid displayed his goalkeeping heroics once again, as he made a stunning save at the nick of time.
Few minutes later, the Equatoguinean striker lashed out two similar low drives from outside the box. On both occasions, the shots blazed wide of Yazid’s near post and did not cause much trouble.
Salim Moin’s charges took that momentum into the break and re-emerged with it, only to be denied the opening goal by two moments of defensive brilliance by the Eagles.
In the 46th minute, Fairoz Hasan squared the ball past the outstretched Yazid to set up Salim through on goal. The former had an empty net to tap the ball into, but Kento Fukuda made a timely sliding challenge to keep the Eagles at bay.
A few minutes later, Yazid was called into action once again as he pulled of a magnificent save to keep out Cheetahs’ captain, Nurhilmi Jasni’s point blank range effort.
The Eagles’ then hit back through Inui, who first curled another free-kick from the edge of the box which glazed over the crossbar. A while later, the Japanese playmaker has another try at goal from about 25 yards but Cheetahs’ Che Omar parries the stinging shot away, for a corner-kick.
Despite the fruitful attempts, Geylang still could not land the ball at the back of the net. However, the hosts punished and landed the knockout punch on the Eagles on the 72nd minute.
Muhaymin Salim’s determination allowed him to regain possession from Kento Fukuda at the right flank and that move, initiated a swift counter-attack. Salim then raced down the channel and picked out Chupe whom lurked inside the box. The former then made no mistake from close range, as he calmly finesse his shot from 10 yards.
Chupe’s third goal of the season, proved to be the dagger in the Eagles’ hearts. All valiant attempts in search for an equalizer alongside offensive minded substitutions proved to be futile, as Hougang United adopted a defensive strategy of ‘parking the bus’ till time expired.
After the final whistle, both sets of players dropped to their knees for various reasons. Although, it never quite looked like a Hougang win was on the cards, the Cheetahs clinched their long-awaited victory. As for the Eagles, they were shell-shocked being on the receiving end of a 1-0 defeat, which concluded their illustrious ‘giant-killing’, unbeaten run. Geylang are now seventh placed in the league standings with 12 points whilst Hougang have propelled up a spot, to ninth position.
Speaking after the game, Geylang International’s coach Jorg Steinebrunner, was very disappointed of the team’s performance and labelled Hougang United in being a ‘negative’ side. “We were the better team, full stop ; It was also a cheap goal to concede in the second-half and honestly, we wasted at least one point today, which would have put us in an even better league standing,” said Steinebrunner.
Steinebrunner also added, “Now we have to prepare for the RHB Singapore Cup and we do have a break to work things out. We had a good last four weeks and we have to go back to doing the things we have been doing right for the last three games. That we can do for sure and it is very much possible.
Geylang International FC will now look forward to their next game against Lao Police FC, from Laos in the ‘RHB Singapore Cup 2015 – Preliminary Round’ at Bedok Stadium on 25th May 2015!
Full Time : Geylang International FC 0 – 1 (Francisco Ela 72’) Hougang United FC
EAGLES’ Editor Man Of The Match: Yuki Ichikawa
Geylang International FC: Yazid Yasin (GK), Yuki Ichikawa, Hafiz Osman, Kento Fukuda, Syed Thaha (Anaz Hadee 63′), Nor Azli Yusoff (Mustaqim Manzur 81′), Shah Hirul (Shawal Anuar 76′), Tatsuro Inui, Jozef Kaplan (C), Hafiz Nor, Bruno Castanheira