Geylang International FC

Eagles Fall Short Against White Swans

12193628_1164800046867822_2789563635995128299_nGeylang International crashed to a 2-0 defeat to Albirex Niigata (S) on Monday evening at the Jurong East Stadium, as the Japanese side returned to winning ways after going five games without one.

Albirex left it late to seal all three points as an own goal by Geylang’s Syed Thaha gave the hosts the lead, before the White Swans’ substitute Yusuke Mukai sealed the victory. The two goals in the last quarter of the game, condemned the Eagles to their third consecutive defeat.

The highly anticipated match, kicked-off with both sides determined to etch a victory to end their winless run. It was a fairly industrious performance from both sides as the tackles and challenges flew in, while chances were rare throughout.

Despite playing away from home, the visitors had their first real attempt on goal, courtesy of Jozef Kaplan. The Eagles’ skipper unleashed a low free-kick under the Albirex’s wall, but the White Swans’ custodian Yosuke Nozawa calmly gathered the attempt.

Soon later, Jozef was quick to pounce on Takahiro Saito’s defensive error, but the Slovakian forward, squandered a decent opportunity for the Eagles to take the lead, as the shot was fired straight to Yosuke’s arms.

Albirex, then saw three goal scoring chances go begging, before the first-half expired, as Fumiya Kogure’s fierce shot from inside the box, slammed against the woodwork in the 6th minute, whilst Yazid Yazin produced two magnificent saves to deny Rion Taki’s diving header and Kogure’s splendid lobbing effort, shortly after.

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After the restart, both teams went into over-drive and were determined to draw first blood.

However, the White Swans were presented with another two glorious opportunities. Yet again, the veteran goalkeeper, Yazid Yazin executed two terrific diving saves in the space of few minutes, to first deny Kento Nagasaki’s rocket from inside the box and Rion Taki’s header, which was destined for the top corner.

However, despite Geylang’s compact defence and goalkeeping heroics, the resistance gave way in the 76th minute. Albirex finally broke the deadlock, when Itsuki Yamada lifted the ball over the onrushing Yazid from a tight angle and despite Syed Thaha’s best efforts, he charged back towards his goal, but the Eagles defender could only nod the ball into his own net.

The Eagles were stunned and barely had a chance to recover from the shock, when the White Swans extended their lead in the 80th minute. Yusuke Mukai rose the highest to plant a firm header past Yazid Yazin from an Albirex corner, to seal the deal for the White Swans, in the process of notching his first goal of the season.

Despite conceding late in the game, the Eagles chased the game and tried their best offensively, but just could not break down a superb Albirex wall of defence.

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Geylang were then presented a last chance to grab a consolation goal, with only a few seconds left, before the final whistle. However, Kaplan sent another low free-kick effort, straight into the gloves of Nozawa as the Eagles suffered another painful victory on the road.

Speaking after the game, Geylang International’s Coach Jorg Steinebrunner, was delighted with the team’s performance. “It was a very harsh result because we didn’t give much away defensively for 75 minutes. In some occasions, we needed some cutting edge and better decision making in the final third,” said Steinebrunner.

The German tactician also added, “Generally, it was a good performance. I think character-wise and mentality-wise, the boys have given their all.”

The Eagles will now look forward to their next game against Home United, at the Jalan Besar Stadium on 30th October 2015!

Full Time: Albirex Niigata (S) FC (Syed Thaha {OG} 76’, Yusuke Mukai 80’) 2 – 0 Geylang International FC

EAGLES’ Editor Man Of The Match: Jozef Kaplan                                    

Geylang International FC: Yazid Yasin (GK), Yuki Ichikawa, Kento Fukuda, Syed Thaha (Huzaifah Aziz 86’), Hafiz Osman, Nor Azli (Shawal Anuar 77’), Tatsuro Inui, Anaz Hadee (Zulkifli Suzliman 68’), Hafiz Nor, Jozef Kaplan (C), Bruno Castanheira

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