Geylang International FC

Eagles crash to a big defeat

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Geylang International suffered a 4-1 defeat to Home United last night at the Bedok Stadium with the Uniform side condemning the Eagles to their third straight loss. Perhaps a hint of déjà vu with Geylang falling to a defeat in the reverse fixture at Bishan Stadium earlier this season, but the score line was the only similarity between both games. Since the arrival of Jorg Steinebrunner, the Eagles have shown more bite and style in their performances and it was another case of that once again.

Despite being hit with news before kick-off that regular starter, midfielder Fabian Kwok had developed a stomach bug, his replacement Shah Hirul along with his teammates got off to a splendid start.

In what was essentially the first real opportunity of the match, the Eagles took the lead. After a free kick from Mustaqim Manzur was swung in, Home United cleared the ball from the box but it only fell to Franco outside the box. The Argentinian slipped Aliff Shafaein down the left flank and the nimble forward played in a sumptuous cross for Kento Fukuda who had stayed up after the initial free kick. The Japanese stabbed the ball into the net and wheeled away in sheer delight having given his side the lead.

Home United, and in particular Lee Kwan Woo went on a mini onslaught to recover the deficit. Joey Sim had to be at his best, as he prevented Lee on two occasions, with outstanding saves.

After Joey’s heroics however, it was a phase which Eagles would rue after the match. In a space of seven minutes, Geylang managed to spurn three good chances to add to their lead. First, a Aliff Shafaein cross found Ridhuan in the box. With his first touch, the captain shot towards goal only for Home United’s Shahril Jantan to palm it away. Then, it was Aliff Shafaein who was on the end of a flowing counter attack from the Eagles, but the forward failed to steer his effort on target with only the keeper to beat, albeit from an acute angle.

Next, Leonel Felice jumped highest in the box to meet Mustaqim Manzur’s corner. His header, however missing the goal by the smallest of margins as it went out of play. Three chances gone begging, and the Eagles were made to pay almost immediately and in swift fashion.

Unmarked from a corner was Home United’s Kwon Dakyung as he thumped his header for the equaliser. Within minutes, it was Fazrul Nawaz who was awarded plenty of time outside the box to manoeuvre as he slammed his shot past Joey Sim to give Home United the lead.

It was to be more misery just before the half time as Kwon Dakyung grabbed his second of the night, capitalising on Joey Sim’s failure to get to the ball after the keeper had come out to collect from the free kick. As both teams headed into the tunnel, Home United had the 3-1 lead.

The second half saw the Eagles push for a goal to get back into the tie but just could not muster their way past a resilient Home United backline. As Geylang International shifted to a 3-5-2 to go on the attack, Home United took advantage. After a swift counter attack, Joey Sim got his hands to a shot but could do little as he watched Fazrul Nawaz tap into an empty net to seal the nail in the coffin at 4-1.

After the match, a downcast Jorg Steinebrunner agreed when it was suggested that the failure to convert chances after going 1-0 up had cost his side dearly. Speaking to Eagles TV, he said: “You are spot on. After going 1-0, we could have scored at least another two goals. We didn’t score and gave the first two goals away.”

The German also suggested that reinforcements could come in during the June transfer window to bolster his squad and crucially address the goals that his side has been lacking. He added: “The build-up is there, now we have to work on the finishing and we will try to get a foreign striker in the transfer window, someone who can fill this gap.”

Full Time: Geylang International FC (16′ Kento Fukuda) 1-4 Home United FC (30′,41′ Kwon Dakyung, 37′,89′ Fazrul Nawaz)

First Eleven: Joey Sim, Khairulnizam Jumahat (67′ Hafiz Nor), Yuki Ichikawa, Kento Fukuda, Jalal Jasim (38′ Hamqammal Shah), Ridhuan Muhammad (C), Shah Hirul (71′ Joaquin Lopez), Franco Chivilo, Mustaqim Manzur, Aliff Shafaein, Leonel Felice

Eagles TV Man-of-the-Match: Franco Chivilo

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