Eagles Crumble Under ‘Eastern Derby’ Pressure From Stags
By Kevin Prasad on 10 April 2017
Geylang International found themselves in a very unfamiliar situation on Saturday evening, as they were ripped apart by, ‘Eastern Derby’ rivals, Tampines Rovers, 4-0 at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
A brace each from Ryutaro Megumi and Yasir Hanapi, was enough to land the ‘knockout-punch’, whilst condemning the Eagles to a cruel second defeat of the season.
Despite a cagey opening marked by several robust challenges and skied attempts, the Stags found some joy by causing all sorts of problems to the Eagles’ back-line with multiple crosses from the left and right flanks.
The first clear-cut opportunity of the game fell to Tampines, in the 16th minute when Ivan Dzoni was poised to draw first blood with a diving header. Yet, the inch-perfect cross by Shakir Hamzah, was stupendously blocked by Yuki Ichikawa, to prevent an early goal.
Nur Amin Mailk – who was deputising for the injured Syazwan Buhari in the Geylang goal, was called into action in the 34th minute. The young custodian, produced two brilliant saves in quick succession, to deny Shahdan Sulaiman’s free-kick and Megumi’s following rebound volley.
However, the sweet start for Amin, took a drastic twist when he conceded barely 60 seconds, after the double-save. Megumi mazed his way into the box and launched a piledriver towards goal. Amin dived accurately towards his left, but a wicked deflection of Al-Qassimy, sent the ball the other way and gave the Stags, a much sought after – opening goal.
Geylang ‘huffed and puffed’ to net the equalizer before the break, but the last chance of the half, fell to Safirul Sulaiman, whose 25-yard rocket was clinically punched clear by Tampines goalkeeper Joey Sim.
Argentine midfielder, Ricardo Sendra was then handed his S.League debut as he stepped in for Gabriel Quak, shortly after the second-half commenced.
Nevertheless, five minutes later, Tampines doubled their advantage with a trademark curler from Yasir. Megumi’s sprinted down the right flank and picked out the ex-Eagle, whom finessed a first-time shot into the back of the net.
Desperate to get a goal and possibly reduce the deficit, Geylang sent on Stanely Ng for Shahfiq Ghani. The nifty footwork of Stanely, was indeed quite a demanding task to contain, as Shadan almost conceded a penalty with a reckless foul, on the substitute. However, the referee awarded a free-kick, instead and Victor Coto came very close in banging the 20-yard set-piece, but it sailed agonizingly wide.
With the Eagles pushing bodies forward to grab a goal back, Tampines capitalized on the numerical advantage in their offensive-third, as the Stags bagged two more goals in the space of nine minutes.
Yasir, doubled his goal-tally of the night and extended the Stags’ lead to three goals in the 81st minute, with a sublime swerving left-footed strike which crashed against the inside of the post.
Then, the ‘star-of-the-night’ Megumi provided the icing on the cake for Tampines deep into ‘injury-time’, with a splendid solo run past two Geylang defenders, before chipping the ball, past the hapless Amin.
Speaking after the game, Geylang International’s Head Coach Hasrin Jailani, was furious with his players, “We played a very bad game tonight and there are no excuses for this defeat. We did not have a good first-half; then in the second-half we tried to come back in the first few minutes, but it was not good enough,” said Hasrin.
The ex-Singapore international also added, “It is a bitter pill to swallow, as the result [4-0], is not acceptable against our players’ capabilities. Nevertheless, we just have to keep going forward, rectify our mistakes and bounce back stronger.”
Geylang International FC will now look forward to their next game against Garena Young Lions at the Jalan Besar Stadium on 15th April 2017!
Full Time : Geylang International FC 0 – 4 (Ryutaro Megumi 36’, 90’ & Yasir Hanapi 61’, 81’) Tampines Rovers FC
EAGLES’ Editor Man Of The Match: Yuki Ichikawa
Geylang International FC: Nur Amin Malik (GK), Al-Qaasimy Rahman, Yuki Ichikawa, Anders Aplin, Faritz Hameed, Gabriel Quak (Ricardo Sendra 54’), Shahfiq Ghani (Stanely Ng 62’), Isa Halim (C), Safirul Sulaiman, Amy Recha (Darren Teh 83’), Victor Coto
*Photos Courtesy of S.League