Geylang International FC

Eagles and Tigers Settle For An Agonizing Point

12038633_1146376888710138_1761908568551810171_oGeylang International and Balestier Khalsa played out a pulsating 2-2 draw at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday evening, as both teams shared the spoils, in a goal fest for both the on-site crowd and for those watching on television, back home.

Both sides went onto the pitch gunning for three points for a different reason. For the Tigers, a win would have placed them at second spot and also four points behind league leaders, Brunei DPMM FC. On the other hand, the Eagles desperately required a victory, to climb out of the dreaded bottom spot.

Hafiz Osman’s opener for the Eagles, was duly cancelled out by a brilliant header from Ignatius Ang. Two minutes later, Miroslav Kristic’s stunning strike put Balestier ahead with a 2-1 lead. However, Geylang’s Shah Hirul unleashed a magnificent shot from range, to net the equalizer.

Geylang started the game brightly and broke the deadlock in the 12th minute, with an unsung hero, Hafiz Osman. The Eagles’ volatile centre-back ran from the half way line to beat the offside trap, before latching on to Shah Hirul’s lofted pass, over the back-line. The former, then clinically lobbed his effort over the flailing  Zaiful Nizam, to clinch his first goal of the season.

The Eagles almost doubled their lead through Bruno Castanheira, five minutes later. However, his beautiful effort,  was driven past Nizam, but the shot unfortunately, slammed against the woodwork.

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Geylang were made to rue their glorious chance, as Balestier took advantage, 10 minutes later. The Tigers netted the equalizer and took the lead  with two goals in three minutes, through Ignatius Ang and Miroslav Kristic respectively.

Balestier’s speedy winger, Ignatius Ang  clinched the equalizer, as he neatly flicked on a header from Tarik Camjcanin’s pin-point free-kick delivery into the box. Barely a minute after the restart, Balestier regained possession of the ball and Miroslav Kristic fired a cannon past the Eagles’ Yazid Yazin to establish the Tigers’ 2-1 lead.

However, Geylang showed character and pressed on for the equalizer and the were well rewarded in the 29th minute. The Tigers’ lead only lasted five minutes, as Geylang restored parity via a Shah Hirul 30-yard showstopper, which could very well be a potential ‘Goal Of The Season’ contender.

Just before the half-time break, Mustaqim Manzur had a glorious chance to take the lead for the Eagles, once again. However, his shot blazed well over the bar and did not cause any sort of problem to Zaiful Nizam.

After the restart, chances at goal from either side, doubled. However, it was a goalkeeping master class from both Yazid Yazin and Zaiful Nizam which caused the results to remain stagnant at 2-2 till the final whistle.

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Yazid Yazin made three amazing consecutive saves to prevent two Zulkiffli Hassim attempts in quick succession, and also got a hand to Miroslav Kristic’s pile driver, before Hafiz Osman executed a goal-line clearance with a diving header.

Apart from those saves, Yazid Yazin denied Kristic on two separate occasions as well, as the veteran goalkeeper made sublime diving saves to save the Eagles’ blushes.

On the other hand, Balestier’s Zaiful Nizam also had a fair share of chances to shine, as he pulled off wonderful saves to put a stop to Shawal Anuar’s crosses and also turned down the Eagles’ counter-attacks.

The Eagles could have stolen all three points right at the death when Castanheira raced onto Hafiz Nor’s through ball, but the Japanese-Brazilian was only able to fire his shot into the side netting.

Speaking after the game, Geylang International’s Coach Jorg Steinebrunner, was delighted with the team’s performance. “In the first 20 minutes, defensively we looked good, and we played with some good pace up front, created good chances. If that second goal would have gone in then it’s what we would have deserved,” said Steinebrunner.

The German tactician also added, “According to me, it was two points dropped. Nevertheless, if we continue playing like this, sooner or later, we will get a win to get out of the bottom of the table”

The Eagles will now look forward to their next game against Hougang United , at the Jalan Besar Stadium on 25th September 2015!

Full Time : Balestier Khalsa FC (Ignatius Ang 22’, Miroslav Kristic 24’) 2 – 2 (Hafiz Osman 12’, Shah Hirul 29’) Geylang International FC

EAGLES’ Editor Man Of The Match: Shah Hirul                                       

Geylang International FC: Yazid Yasin (GK), Nor Azli Yusoff, Hafiz Osman (Zulkifli Suzliman 77′), Kento Fukuda, Syed Thaha, Hafiz Nor, Shah Hirul (Khairulnizam Jumahat 64′), Mustaqim Manzur (Tatsuro Inui 77′), Shawal Anuar, Jozef Kaplan (C), Bruno Castanheira

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