Geylang International FC

Controversial call sees Jozef off in Eagles’ triumphant run against Cheetahs

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The game between Hougang United FC and Geylang International FC which took place at Hougang Stadium on 10th July saw the two teams ranking 10th and 9th on the league table respectively aiming to claim the full three points in order to move up the table.

Right into the game, host Cheetahs went on attack which forced Eagles’ first mistake committed in the 4th minute by goalkeeper Takuma Ito. Ito’s poor clearance saw the ball going straight to Mamadou Diallo just outside the box. However, Diallo failed to put in the opening goal.

The 5th minute saw Hougang’s first attempt at goal as Jerome Baker on the left flank passed to Diallo who executed a low cross at goal, only to be stopped by Geylang’s defender Norihiro Kawakami. In the next minute, it was another poor attempt at goal by Basit Hamid which went wide, causing no threat to Ito.

Cheetahs had good possession of the ball at its home ground and almost breaking Eagles’ goal at 14th minute as Diallo’s shot from right was almost met by Jerome Baker right in front of the goal, however was stopped by Ito.

As both teams struggled to put in the match opener, the 35th minute saw a breakthrough, almost. Khairulnizam Jumahat’s freekick from edge of box was deflected by fellow Eagles and scrapped past the post. The 39th minute saw another attempt by the Eagles as Kawakami met Jalal’s corner kick with a header, but went wide of goal.

With added time of 1 minute, half time score was 0-0. It was an even game with both teams’ strikers failing to find back of the net.

The second half’s first goal attempt was made in the 46th minute by the Cheetahs as Diallo advanced the ball into the box and it was cleared to Azhar Sairudin, whose attempt at goal was saved by Ito.

Not to be outdone, Eagles captain Jozef Kaplan spearheaded a counter attack in the 68th minute and headed the ball right to Taufiq Ghani in another failed attempt to score as intervened by Syaqir Sulaiman.

The breakthrough soon came for the Eagles in the 73rd minute as danger man, Jozef Kaplan raced down the pitch after collecting a loose pass and squared it off to Yasir Hanapi. With all to do, the winger calmly slotted the ball past Syaqir Sulaiman, giving the Eagles a 1-0 lead.

A much debated red card was shown to Jozef Kaplan in the 88th minute after he was adjudged to have lunged in dangerously on Diallo. This sending off means that the Eagles’ captain will now miss the next two matches.

At full time, the score remained at 1-0 to Eagles and the win maintained their recent run of good form with only one loss so far since the league’s halfway mark to Home United FC.

In the after match interview with Geylang’s coach, Mr Kanan Vedhamuthu was happy with his team’s performance. Even though captain Jozef Kaplan will be out for two games, he believed that his team will step up in performance to cope with Jozef’s absence. In conclusion, the Eagles are looking forward to their next game against Brunei DPMM, and he also stressed that “it is the end that matters, not the process”, referring to the three points they bagged.

With the three points bagged, Geylang successfully rose up 2 positions to 7th in the league table while Hougang’s standing remains unchanged.

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