Geylang International FC

Eagles Crash To Defeat To Tigers


Geylang International FC (Eagles) valiantly battled it out with Balestier Khalsa FC (Tigers), however, the latter went on to clinch their first victory of the season with a 2-1 score line at the Toa Payoh Stadium on 6 March 2015.

Both teams needed a win to propel themselves up the table after being winless in their respective opening fixtures last week. Despite playing their first away fixture of the season, Eagles were still optimistic of securing a victory against the reigning RHB Singapore Cup winners, Balestier Khalsa.

The Eagles showed no signs of intimidation of playing away from Bedok, as they started the game by stringing together some successful passes and eventually dominating the ball possession in the opening minutes of the game.

Geylang International’s playmaker, Tatsuro Inui registered the game’s first shot with an ambitious effort from outside the penalty box. Unfortunately, it sailed wide and gave no problem to Balestier Halas’s custodian, Zaiful Nizam.

Most of the action came from the offensive half of the Eagles, led by the fleet-footed Hafiz Nor and hard working Bruno Castanheira. The duo orchestrated several goal-scoring opportunities, but the Eagles were just unfortunate in not being able to convert any of the chances.

On the other half of the pitch, Geylang ‘s goalkeeper, Yazid Yazin continued his commanding presence, by coming out several times to claim long and deep crosses from the opponents. However soon enough, Yazid Yazin was called into action as he made a remarkable save to stop Tigers’ Miroslav Kristic’s 30-yard wonderful free-kick attempt.

Soon later, Balestier Khalsa made a surprising yet effectual substitution on the 26th minute, by bringing on Yusiskandar Yusop for Hanafi Salleh. That player switch triggered a tactical change and the home side started to attack more freely.

Both teams started to rain shots and crosses towards goal, in search for the opening goal and the lead. With that said, lady luck was certainly shining on Tigers’ Robert Pericic as he broke the deadlock on the 43rd minute. His powerful shot took a wicked deflection off Hafiz Osman before ending up in the back of the net, to establish a 1-0 lead for Balestier Khalsa.

Many spectators would have believed that Pericic’s goal concluded the first-half action with only a minute remaining. However, Eagles’ captain fantastic Josef Kaplan, had other tricks up his sleeve.

Playing into the first-half injury time, Geylang International pressed forward in numbers and caused Balestier Khalsa’s defence to clear the ball frantically yet weakly. To sum it all, off all people, the poor clearance resulted in a rebound which fell to Jozef Kaplan whom hammered a volley in spectacular fashion to grab Eagles’ much wanted equalizing goal just before the break.

With the second-half underway, Tatsuro Inui continued to threatened the Tigers’ goal with his set-piece and corner-kick deliveries. However, Zaiful Nizam was there time and time again to put a stop to those potential goal-bound efforts.

With the game becoming more aggressive with every minute passing, two Geylang players, Hafiz Osman and Nor Azli were on the receiving end of crunching challenges and had to be replaced with Khairulnizam Jumahat and Syed Thaha respectively.

On the 69th minute, Tatsuro Inui latched onto a beautiful through ball from Yuki Ichikawa. With an excellent first touch to control the ball, a nifty body feint to turn his defenders, Inui then released a rocket which scorched well over the bar.

With Geylang failing to convert their goal attempt, Balestier then took the opportunity to display their offensive prowess with Ahmad Syahir’s and Fadhil Noh’s introduction as substitutes in the last quarter of the game.

The substitution and tactical move by Tigers’ Marko Kralijevic paid dividends when, Ahmad Syahir picked up a loose ball, dazzled his way into the penalty box and delivered a looping cross to the far post. Needless for any invitation, Miroslav Kristic whom was unmarked sneaked up at the back post to score a terrific diving header on the 78th minute, to put Balestier Khalsa in the lead once again.

With 10 minutes left on the clock, the Eagles piled on the pressure, including a inspirational substitution to bring in experienced Mustaqim Manzur on the 81st minute was not enough for Geylang International to score another equalizer. Despite four minutes of additional time, the match ended 2-1 in favour of the home team, Balestier Khalsa who have successfully registered their first win.

Geylang International FC will now look forward to their next fixture against Hougang United FC at Bedok Stadium on 12 March 2015 and are looking forward to grab their first three points of the season.

Full Time : Balestier Khalsa FC (Robert Pericic 43′, Miroslav Kristic 78′) 2 – 1 Geylang International FC (Jozef Kaplan 45′)

EAGLES’ Editor Man Of The Match: Tatsuro Inui

Geylang International FC: Yazid Yazin (GK), Yuki Ichikawa, Kento Fukuda, Anaz Hadee, Tatsuro Inui, Hafiz Nor, Shah Hirul (81’ Mustaqim Manzur), Hafiz Osman (48’ Khairulnizam Jumahat), Josef Kaplan (C), Bruno Castanheira, Nor Azli (60’ Syed Thaha)

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