Eagles Barren Run Continues At The Hands Of Warriors
By Andrew Ang on 16 June 2016
Geylang International FC suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Warriors FC on Wednesday night, at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium.
A double from Nikola Rak, with his first being in the opening minute and the second right at the death, condemned the Eagles to their fourth loss of the S.League season.
It was certainly a much needed three points for the Rhinos, as it recorded their first win in 10 games and was also Razif Onn’s maiden victory after he took over from Jorg Steinebrunner last month.
The hosts, got off to a dream start as the Rhinos drew first blood within 57 seconds. Jonathan Behe shielded the ball well before relaying a square pass to Rak, whom smashed home the opener, from close range.
Warriors, almost doubled their lead instantly, when Hafiz Nor struck a fierce pile-driver towards goal, but fortunately Syazwan Buhari produced a fine save.
Having experienced a reality check within the first few minutes, the Eagles set foot forward in search of an equalizer. In the 11th minute, Gabriel Quak raced down the flank and successfully rounded Yazid Yazin in the box.
However, the winger’s touch was a tad too far and had to re-position himself before firing, which allowed Yazid to recover with a diligent save to parry the ball away to safety.
Syazwan saved the Eagles’ blushes, as his goalkeeping heroics denied clear-cut strikes from Behe and Madhu Mohana on two separate occasions.
The last chance of the first-half fell to Sahil Suhaimi. The nippy forward unleashed a rocket free-kick attempt towards goal. Nevertheless, the Warriors’ custodian made a terrific one-handed save, to stop the 30-yard strike from going in.
After the break, the Eagles chased the game and tried their best to restore parity, but were unable to break down a superb Warriors defence, which transformed into a 5-4-1 from their orthodox 4-5-1 formation.
It was a fairly industrious performance from both sides then on, as the tackles and challenges flew in, while chances were rare.
Geylang adopted an offensive approach towards the second 45 minutes, as the Eagles introduced three strikers, Shawal Anuar, Indra Sahdan and Amy Recha into the game, but were still unable to find the net.
In the 63rd minute, Gabriel drove in a low cross towards Sahil, whom was unmarked inside the box. However, the Geylang’s forward completely scuffed his shot, despite being only five yards away from goal.
A few minutes later, Daniel Bennett lofted the ball into the box for Shawal Anuar, but under tight marking from Kento Fukuda, the striker hooked his shot way over the bar.
With 10 minutes remaining, Geylang’s Japanese lanky defender Yuki Ichikawa, was instructed to play as a forward to hold up and win headers. Then again, the Eagles could not get the ball successfully to their ‘big men’, as Warriors closed their counterparts swiftly. The Bedok-based club, then poured the numbers upfront and pressed forward ruthlessly, to deploy an all-out attack contingency plan.
Shawal nearly pulled a goal back for the visitors, two minutes from time. The substitute, chested down a loose ball before thumping a ferocious volley, which Yazid was on par with a fantastic flying save.
Breathing a huge sigh of relief, the Warriors then found themselves on an counter-attack, whilst the Eagles were caught on the back foot with only three defenders facing the ‘blitzkrieg’ of five opposing Rhinos.
An intelligent pass by Hafiz towards Rak, allowed the latter the time and space to turn his marker before rifling his strike beyond the flailing Syazwan, and into the bottom left corner, moments before the match referee blew the final whistle.
Speaking after the game, Geylang International’s Head Coach Hasrin Jailani, was saddened with the result, “It was a disappointing result, but the second-half performance made up for it. The early goal unsettled us, we didn’t get the composure [we needed] and momentum in the first-half. We came back in the second-half and played better both in defence and attack,” said Hasrin.
The 40-year-old also added, “You win some and you lose some, we just have to get back and stay positive. This game is over and we just have to look forward to the next game.”
Geylang International FC will now face Hougang United back at Bedok Stadium aka the Eagles’ Nest on 18th June 2016.
Full Time: Warriors FC (Nikola Rak 1’, 90’) 2 – 0 Geylang International FC
EAGLES’ Editor Man Of The Match: Gabriel Quak
Geylang International FC: Syazwan Buhari, Faritz Hameed, Shariff Samat (Amy Recha 82′), Yuki Ichikawa, Daniel Bennett, Isa Halim (Indra Sahdan Daud 62′), Stanely Ng (Shawal Anuar 54′), Carlos Delgado, Safirul Sulaiman, Gabriel Quak, Sahil Suhaimi
*Photos Courtesy of S.League