Eagles and Protectors Slug Out A Thrilling Draw
By Andrew Ang on 16 April 2016
Geylang International and Home United played out a pulsating 2-2 draw at the Jalan Bear Stadium on Friday evening in a goal fest for both the 2.035 spectators and those watching on television back home.
The Bedok-based club recorded their sixth draw out of eight games to conclude the first round of the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League and the stalemate extended the Eagles’ winless run, to five games.
However, this time round, it was different as the Eagles had to fight back from a goal down, twice to claim a hard-earned point. Goals from Stanely Ng and Amy Recha cancelled out Ken Ilso’s strike and an ill-fated own-goal by Al-Qaasimy Rahman respectively, to allow both sides to return home with a solitary point.
In front of boisterous supporting contingents, both teams did not disappoint as they started the game at a frantic pace and exchanged encounters within the opening minutes.
The hosts, clad in green and white attempted to break the deadlock right from the kick-off as Amy Recha mazed his way past the Protectors’ backline, before firing a shot which fizzled narrowly over the bar.
Soon later, Safirul Sulaiman released an audacious 30-yard volley to catch Home custodian Hyrulnizam Juma’at off the line. However, the previous LionsXII goalkeeper showed his quick reflexes with an astounding save to parry the attempt over the bar.
Geylang’s glovesman, Syazwan Buhari also proved his worth when he made three saves within the first 13 minutes, to deny two Khairul Nizam headers and a Ken Ilso volley, from inside the box.
Nevertheless, the Eagles’ defence fell prey to the Protectors’ offense in the 15th minute, as Ken Ilso pounced onto Juma’at Jantan’s deep cross and steered a diving header past Syazwan, to open the scoring.
However, Geylang responded nine minutes later, as the Eagles showed character and duly levelled matters. Stanely Ng was quickest to pounce on Abdil Qaiyyim’s poor clearance and the conscientious attacking midfielder, fired a first-time volley from close range to net the equalizer.
Then again, Home caught the Geylang’s defence off-guard as the Protectors subsequently reclaimed their lead in the 39th minute.
The Bishan based club ended the first-half on a high with a 2-1 lead, as Geylang’s Al-Qaasimy Rahman unfortunately turned Sirina Camara’s teasing low cross, into his own net.
Geylang came out after the break with all guns blazing and restored parity just 38 seconds after the restart, when Amy released a powerful bullet from outside the box into bottom corner of the goal.
Buoyed by their second equalizer, the Eagles continued to pile on the pressure and almost etched their own lead again when Carlos Delgado pounced on a loose ball from a corner and lobbed it to substitute, Yuki Ichikawa, but the towering Japanese defender missed the chance to put the Eagles in front, from close range.
Home also attempted to increase their lead six minutes later, when Ilso met Nizam’s pass, before turning his marker and releasing a stinging shot straight into Syazwan’s gloves.
The tempo of the game took a dip until the final 10 minutes where both sides threatened to find the winner.
Geylang, then introduced Sahil Suhaimi in the dying stages, in a bid to clinch the winner, but when the crafty forward dribbled his way through the sea of red defenders, it was too little too late to release the shot, as Hyrulnizam courageously dived in to block the attempt.
With timing running out, Ilso could have stolen all three points for Home, when the Danish striker release a fierce shot from distance, but it was denied by the woodwork and both sides shared the spoils after a thrilling encounter.
Speaking after the game, Geylang International’s Head Coach Hasrin Jailani, was filled with mixed emotions about his charges, “I think I am contented with the one point today, as we did not manage to play our usual game today.”
The former Singapore international also added, “However, we need to move on from this and start winning to pick up points because when we keep drawing, we lost a lot of points. So to be up there with the best teams now, we need to win and I want to win badly.”
Geylang International FC will now look forward to their next game, an ‘Eastern Derby’ fixture against Tampines Rovers FC at the bestowed, Bedok Stadium on 21st April 2016!
Full Time : Geylang International FC (Stanely Ng 24’, Amy Recha 46’) 2 – 2 (Ken Ilso 15’, [OG] Al-Qaasimy Rahman 39’) Home United FC
EAGLES’ Editor Man Of The Match: Amy Recha
Geylang International FC: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Daniel Bennett, Shariff Samat (Yuki Ichikawa 45’), Faritz Hameed, Al-Qaasimy, Isa Halim (C), Stanely Ng (Sahil Suhaimi 80’), Safirul Sulaiman, Carlos Delgado, Gabriel Quak, Amy Recha
*Photos Courtesy of S.League