Eagles And White Swans Battle For League Cup Final’s Spot
By Eagles Admin on 5 July 2015
Geylang International and Albirex Niigata (S) are ready to lock horns in ‘The New Paper (TNP) League Cup 2015 Semi-final round at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Sunday evening, after relishing impressive runs each.
Geylang managed to secure seven points out of a possible nine, to top Group A. Their valiant efforts earned themselves a 4-0 win and a 2-2 draw against Singapore Recreation Club and Hougang United respectively, in their opening two fixtures.
The Eagles had to face reigning League Cup champions, Brunei DPMM in their last Group A encounter, a game in which the winners will only qualify to the Semi-Finals, and many would have expected the latter to triumph, without any worries.
However, Geylang displayed a giant-killing performance to claim victory and seal qualification over the Bruneians, as the Eagles comfortably brushed the Wasps aside in a score line of 4-2.
That was Geylang’s first win over DPMM in 12 competitive matches, and the latest victory was something which uplifted the players’ morale and confidence.
Meanwhile over at Albirex, the White Swans have won all their 2015 League Cup games and also topped Group C, following comfortable back-to-back 2-0 victories against both GFA Sporting Westlake and Home United.
The Jurong East based club are currently the only team to have not conceded a goal in the 2015 TNP League Cup, whilst Geylang are the only team to have scored 10 goals in the group-stages of the competition.
What happens when a unstoppable force meets an immovable object ? That will be the question that precedes this mouth-watering clash.
The White Swans have been displaying good performances week in, week out and Coach Tatsuyuki Okuyama targets the League Cup title, after being in pole position in Group C. With more than a week’s rest, the White Swans will be spearheaded by their attacking trio, Atsushi Kawata, Rion Taki and Shotaro Ihata to get the goals and possibly lead Albirex to another League Cup title, since their last championship was earned back in 2011.
On the other hand, Geylang have been running riot with their attacking quartet being in red-hot form in the competition. Both Hafiz Nor and Bruno Castanheira have notched respective hat-tricks against SRC and DPMM. Buoyed with confidence, the offensive cast of Hafiz, Bruno, Tatsuro Inui and Jozef Kaplan will be looking to seal the win with their great chemistry upfront.
Alongside Tatsuro and Bruno, Yuki Ichikawa and Kento Fukuda, will also be coming up against their former club, Albirex. Hence, the White Swans, will be fully aware of the Japanese quartet’s individual strengths and weaknesses.
Nevertheless, Geylang do have the upper hand going into this match as the Eagles possess a superior winning record at the Jalan Besar Stadium since the start of 2014.
Geylang have lost only once, drew three and won 12 games in the span of 16 matches played on the artificial turf. Adding on, the ‘Pride of the East’ will be keen to extend their unbeaten streak to 10 games after the tantalizing fixture with Albirex.
The two teams did face off in the Quarter-Finals of the tournament last season and the Eagles prevailed with a 3-1 victory, but went on to be defeated by eventual champions, DPMM on penalties in the last four. However, this time round, it would be an even exhilarating fixture, as both teams are on quest for silverware and a spot in the Grand Finals.
Eagles’ Head Coach Jorg Steinebrunner was delighted with the win against the Wasps, but was quick to point out that he wants to take one game at a time, before thinking about winning the Cup.
“There’s no point dreaming about the final and then losing the semi-final. We’re not going to look at the second step before completing the first,” said the 43-year-old German.
This pulsating fixture is certainly an a match not to be missed, by the ardent fans and zealous supporters all around Singapore as both teams will be gunning for a win whilst wearing their hearts on their sleeves.