Eagles Fall To Cheetahs To Suffer Third Consecutive League Loss
By Kevin Prasad on 19 June 2016
Geylang International FC failed to reduce the gap between them and the other title aspirants in the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League table after narrowly falling to Hougang United FC for the second time this season, this time in a 2-1 score line, at Bedok Stadium on Saturday evening.
A win would have separated the table into two tiers and put the Eagles firmly in fourth place with a sole point behind Home United. However, another loss pushed Geylang down to sixth place, whilst Hougang leapfrogged to third place with 22 points.
The ‘Men in Green & White’ are clearly struggling to hit the goals without a target-man, and would be anxiously awaiting the arrival of their latest Azkals’ star signing, Mark Hartmann, to beef up their attack.
Even though Amy Recha pulled a goal back for the hosts in injury time, second-half goals from Jozef Kaplan and Stipe Plazibat sealed the win for the Cheetahs and condemned the Eagles to their third successive defeat this season.
Geylang started with high intensity from the blocks and came close to breaking the deadlock in the 21st minute. Shawal Anuar picked up a through ball and raced into the box, before firing a stinger towards goal. However, Hougang custodian, Khairulhin Khalid was on par with the effort and produced a magnificent flying save.
The Eagles’ goalkeeper, Syazwan Buhari was also called into action in the 24th minute, when Fumiya Kogure struck a vicious curling free-kick attempt, which the former duly got his body behind the ball.
10 minutes later, Carlos Delgado cleverly lofted a pass in search of Gabriel and the winger dribbled his way to the by-line, before launching a low square pass to Amy Recha, whom unfortunately scoffed his shot from close range.
Three minutes before the break, the Bedok-based club was presented a glorious chance to score, as Gabriel mazed his way past a sea of defenders before taking a crack at goal, which ended straight in Khairulhin’s arms.
Hasrin Jailani’s side started the second half the same way as the first period, as they did not sit back, but instead surged forward for an opening goal.
Geylang was then presented a glorious chance to open the scoring in the 57th minute, when ‘GQ7’ rounded the Cheetahs’ custodian and fired into an empty net. Nevertheless, Faiz Salleh earned the plaudits of the crowd after he placed his body on the line to make an exceptional goal-line clearance.
The Eagles were made to rue their multiple missed chances, after the Cheetahs drew first blood, minutes later.
Against the run of play, the deadlock was broken in the 62nd minute as substitute, Nur Ridho Jafri raced down the flank and delivered a cross towards Jozef, whom turned his marker to slam home his third goal of the season beyond the despairing dive of Syazwan.
The hosts almost equalized with an instant reply as Geylang had two back-to-back golden opportunities within few seconds. Amy unleashed a vicious volley which required Khairulhin to thwart the ball away and then, the former smashed his rebound straight against the crossbar.
A moment of brilliance and pure inspiration from Nur Ridho then saw the visitors grab a two-goal margin in the 85th minute, as his pin-point cross was well met by the onrushing Stipe Plazibat at the back post, to rifle his shot past Syazwan.
With time expiring, Amy managed to reduce the deficit in stoppage time with a well taken strike, which crept in the near post. However, it unfortunately turned out to be only a consolation goal for the hosts, as the final whistle arrived seconds later.
Speaking after the game, Geylang International’s Head Coach Hasrin, was dismayed with the defeat, “It is very simple. If you don’t take your chances and don’t score, you don’t win games. We had four or five opportunities to put the ball in the net; it was not good enough and we deserved to lose today”.
Geylang International FC will now face Home United FC at Bishan Stadium on 24th June 2016, as the Eagles are desperate to winning ways before the start of Round 3.
Full Time : Geylang International FC (Amy Recha 90’) 1 – 2 (Jozef Kaplan 62’, Stipe Plazibat 85’) Hougang United FC
EAGLES’ Editor Man Of The Match: Gabriel Quak
Geylang International FC: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Yuki Ichikawa, Daniel Bennett, Faritz Hameed, Al-Qaasimy Rahman, Safirul Sulaiman, Carlos Delgado, Nor Azli Yusoff (C), Gabriel Quak, Shawal Anuar, Amy Recha
*Photos Courtesy of S.League