Eagles End Winless Streak Against Tigers
By Kevin Prasad on 28 May 2017
Geylang International returned to winning ways on Friday evening with a 1-0 win over Balestier Khalsa at Jalan Besar Stadium in a tight game.
Having shared the points in their previous match with a 1-1 draw to Hougang United, they bounced back against the Tigers as Ricardo Sendra notched the winner, just before the break to condemn their opponents to a painful defeat.
The game got off to a slow start but it was the ‘greenwhitearmy’ whom retained most of the ball possession, as the Eagles tried to patiently build up passes behind the enemy lines.
The Bedok-based club had their first sniff at goal in the 14th minute when Sendra’s pile driver from the edge of the box, made Zaiful Nizam worked hard, as the latter parried away the shot with a fine dive.
10 minutes later, Stanely Ng mazed his way to the left-flank’s by-line and squared a pass to Victor Coto. However, the Costa Rican’s fiery shot went straight to Zaiful’s gloves.
Geylang could have grabbed the lead when Stanely dropped his shoulders and turned his marker, before firing a tame effort at goal, but Balestier’s goalkeeper was equal to the task in the 37th minute.
Nevertheless, the deadlock was broken in the 41st minute, as Sendra latched onto a long punt from defence and unleashed a spectacular finesse shot beyond Zaiful from just inside the area.
After the break, Balestier introduced fresh legs, altered their formation towards an offensive set-up and attempted to clinch the equalizer.
Syazwan Buhari, whom was hardly tested, came into action thrice in the space of three minutes. In the 51st minute, Tajeli Selamat was put through on goal, but Syazwan’s right glove denied the attempt. Soon later, the quick-reflexes of the Geylang’s custodian denied bullets from Kyaw Chit and Raihan Rahman.
With the 1-0 lead still intact, the Eagles slowly regained dominance of the match and pressed on for the ‘knockout blow’ – the second goal.
The Eagles’ Argentine midfielder, Sendra almost netted his hat trick, but he scoffed two wonderful chances in the 67th and 74th, after being well set-up by Stanely and Shahfiq Ghani, respectively.
Substitute Gabriel Quak, was then guilty of missing a gilt-edged opportunity in the 84th minute when the unmarked winger’s strike smashed against the side-netting instead.
The miss almost changed a victory into a stalemate, as Balestier had a rare foray up front, as they were gifted a chance when Kyaw Naing launched a cross into the back-post area, but there was no Balestier players at the right time and right place.
Despite three minutes of added time, Balestier were unable to conjure up much beyond that as the Eagles held on for their first win in four matches as they leapfrogged Hougang United to go fifth with 14 points from 10 fixtures.
Speaking after the game, Geylang International’s Head Coach Hasrin Jailani, was contented in securing his another three points. “It’s a good three points after not winning the last few games. I can see the players trying very hard to score, but we were not composed in front of goal and wasted too many chances,” said Hasrin.
Geylang International FC will now face Warriors FC in their next fixture, at the Jalan Besar Stadium on 16th June 2016!
Full Time: Balestier Khalsa FC 0 – 1 Geylang International FC (Ricardo Sendra 41’)
EAGLES’ Editor Man Of The Match: Syazwan Buhari
Geylang International FC: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Faritz Hameed, Yuki Ichikawa, Al-Qaasimy Rahman, Safirul Sulaiman, Amy Recha (Anders Aplin 58’), Isa Halim (C), Ricardo Sendra, Stanely Ng (Ashraf Razali 89’), Shahfiq Ghani (Gabriel Quak 79’), Victor Coto
*Photos Courtesy of S.League