Eagles Denied Maximum Points By Tenacious Wasps
By Kevin Prasad on 12 August 2016
Geylang International were held to a gritty 1-1 draw by defending S.League champions, Brunei DPMM at Bedok Stadium on Thursday evening in front of 1,369 fans.
The result was indeed harsh and hard to digest for the Eagles as firstly, Azwan Ali cancelled out Roberto Camarasa’s first-half opener and Geylang are now currently looming in fifth place, with 22 points – a distance away from their ‘3rd place finish’ target.
Missing Mark Hartmann due to an injury, Geylang resulted in deploying Roberto in an advanced role just behind lone striker, Sahil Suhaimi upfront.
The bold tactical approach did pay its dividends, as Roberto gave the Eagles the lead in the fifth minute, as the Spaniard rose highest to nod in Sahil’s corner kick beyond the flailing arms of the Wasps’ custodian, Wardun Yussoff.
The Eagles could have sealed the match in the first half but they were let down by lacklustre finishing and Wardun’s heroics, who looked determined not to concede a second time
It could have been two goals up for the Eagles after a defensive mix-up by DPMM’s defence. However, with Wardun off his line early, Shawal failed to capitalise on the opportunity as his shot was blocked by the former’s legs in the six-yard area.
Sahil was next on 19 minutes, as he showed exquisite control to bring down a lofted ball before hitting a right-footed pile driver which missed the post by inches.
Soon later, in the 35th minute, Stanely curled an audacious attempt from inside the box, but BrIan McClean produced a timely block. 10 minutes later, the winger had another chance with a powerful header, but his effort was duly kept out by Wardun’s spectacular dive.
The game restarted in the second half in the same pace as the first as both teams defended with conviction to prevent the other from scoring.
Carlos Delgado almost doubled Geylang’s lead with his niche free-kick in the 51st minute. His set-piece rifled over the wall and was headed towards the top corner. Nevertheless, Wardun once again executed a spectacular dive to palm away the stinging strike.
Trailing by a goal, the Wasps sourced for the equalizer and brought on their talismanic duo, Azwan Ali and Shahrazen Said for Maududi Hilmi and Adi Said, respectively. The tactical change by Steve Kean, did bring DPMM’s offense to joy as it gave the Wasps, more attacking impetus.
DPMM’s captain, Rosmin Kamis got on the end of a loose ball and took a crack at goal from distance, but the vicious strike flashed past the left post. In the next minute, Hendra Azam unleashed a rocket, which forced Geylang’s glovesman, Syazwan Buhari into an outstretched save.
The visitors finally found the breakthrough in the 71st minute, when both the substitutes combined to net the equalizer. Shahrazen received a long punt and dazzled his way past two Geylang defenders, before squaring a pass to Azwan, whom finessed his attempt from inside the box, past the hapless Syazwan.
The Bruneian counterparts almost overturned the tide and concluded a fairy tale ending, when the Wasps almost stole all three points, nine minutes later due to an unforeseen goalmouth scramble. However, Daniel Bennett was at the right time, right place to diligently hack the ball off the line.
The final whistle soon followed and both teams had to share the spoils after the entertaining attacking waves of two different halves, which was a fair attribution of the game.
Speaking after the game, Geylang International’s Head Coach Hasrin Jailani, was dejected with the point, “We played well in the first half and created a few chances, which we should have put into the net. In the second half, we dipped and their goal came out of the blue. We could have defended better and cleared the ball away, instead of letting it bobble around.”
Geylang International FC will now face Garena Young Lions FC at Jalan Besar Stadium on 18 August 2016, as the Eagles are desperate to return winning ways to attain their target of a podium finish.
Full-Time: Geylang International FC (Roberto Camarasa 5’) 1 – 1 (Azwan Ali 71’) Brunei DPMM FC
EAGLES’ Editor Man Of The Match: Roberto Camarasa
Geylang International FC: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Anders Aplin, Yuki Ichikawa, Isa Halim (C) (Shahfiq Ghani 81’), Daniel Bennett, Faritz Hameed, Stanely Ng, Carlos Delgado (Nor Azli Yusoff 81’), Shawal Anuar, Sahil Suhaimi (Gabriel Quak 73’), Roberto Camarasa
*Photos Courtesy of S.League