Geylang International FC

Eagles Frustrated At Stalemate Against Young Lions

12190797_1169937756354051_2988205616273743917_nGeylang International winning streak came to an end when the Eagles and Courts Young Lions shared the spoils with a 2-2 score line at the Jalan Besar Stadium, on Friday evening. The Eagles were also extremely frustrated for allowing a 2-0 lead slip out of their hands against a gutsy Young Lions side, in the last 20 minutes of the game.

Geylang had established a two-goal lead after strikes from Bruno Castanheira and Shawal Anuar on either side of half-time, but Irfan Fandi’s pot-shot reduced the deficit in the 73rd minute before an unfortunate own goal by Huzaifah Abdul Aziz, meant the fixture ended in a dead heat.

A win against the Singapore developmental side, would have propelled the Eagles to over the Young Lions and also ensure that the Bedok-based club do not end their season as wooden spoonists. However, due to the unfortunate draw, Geylang are still placed in ninth spot and are still four points ahead of bottom spot, Hougang United, with two remaining games, for both teams.

The Eagles started the brighter of the two as they took the game to the hosts with multiple attempts at goal, but all efforts blazed over the bar.

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However, in the 24th minute, Geylang’s splendid counter-attacking display broke the deadlock as three Japanese players combined to give the Eagles the lead. Kento Fukuda clearance from a Young Lions’ corner- kick found Tatusro Inui, whom sprinted 40 yards before relaying a visionary pass to Bruno Castanheira. The Eagles’ Samba Boy, then made no mistake as he slammed home the opener from 20 yards out.

Soon later, Young Lions’ Sherif El-Masri had a glorious chance to equalize before the half-time break. However, the Canadian-born winger’s free-kick in the 31st minute, was terrifically saved by Yazid Yazin.

In the second-half, Young Lions were determined to etch a comeback as Fadli Kamis, Taufik Suparno, Amy Recha and Irfan Fandi were awarded a couple of decent opportunities due to their perseverance  in front of goal.

Nevertheless, despite the constant attack from CYL, it was the Eagles who doubled the lead on the 62nd minute. Hafiz Nor’s spirited run down the flank gave the winger enough space to execute a low cross into the box. Shawal Anuar, was to quickest to pounce as he smashed the ball into the net for a two-goal lead.

Geylang were focused to extend their lead, but multiple attempts from Shah Hirul and Jozef Kaplan sailed off target. On the other hand, the Young Lions applied immense pressure from the top as they searched for goals.

Buoyed by their home support and crowd of more than 2000 spectators, the Young Lions’ stepped up to the plate and Geylang’s resistance fell in the 73rd minute, albeit to a controversial decision.

Geylang’s Huzaifah Abdul Aziz attempted a clearance, but Amy Recha stretched his arms out to block the attempt and the ball eventually fell to his feet. Despite numerous raised hands to alert the match referee about the handball, the game went on uninterrupted. The double substitution before half-time finally paid off when Amy released Irfan inside the box, whom then executed a stunning effort past the flailing Yazid.

The goal rejuvenated the Young Lions and they almost pulled level four minutes later when Afiq Noor dazzled his way to the edge of the box and fired off a fierce drive which was duly parried away to safety by Yazid.

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The Young Lions continued to pile pressure on and with a little bit of fortune, they were rewarded with an equalizer. Taufik Suparno’s 78th minute cross, unfortunately bounced off Huzaifah and snuck over the line despite a desperate dive from Yazid.

With scores levelled at two apiece, both teams had one last shot to grab the winner. However, both Jordan Webb and Jozef Kaplan shots at the respective goals were duly saved by the opposing custodian.

Soon later, the final whistle was blown and an all too familiar feeling swept across the entire Geylang team, who dropped to their knees as the referee pointed to the center circle, as they knew they had just lost two points.

Speaking after the game, Geylang International’s Coach Jorg Steinebrunner, was delighted with the team’s performance but was also disappointed with the final result. “I honestly am going to say that I liked the speed, pace and accuracy for Bruno’s goal. The second one, where we attack the flanks and Hafiz (Nor) went down, put a great cross and Shawal finished it off,” said Steinebrunner.

However, the German tactician also added regretfully, “It’s very disappointing that at the end of the day, we lost two points”.

The Eagles will now look forward to their next game against Hougang United, at the Bedok Stadium on 09th November 2015!

Full Time: Courts Young Lions (Irfan Fandi 73’, Huzaifah Abdul Aziz {OG} 79’) 2 – 2 (Bruno Castanheira 24’, Shawal Anuar 63’) Geylang International FC

EAGLES’ Editor Man Of The Match: Shawal Anuar

Geylang International FC: Yazid Yasin (GK), Kento Fukuda, Syed Thaha (Huzaifah Aziz 55′), Hafiz Osman, Nor Azli, Yuki Ichikawa, Tatsuro Inui (Shah Hirul 59′), Shawal Anuar (Khairulnizam Jumahat 90′), Hafiz Nor, Jozef Kaplan (C), Bruno Castanheira

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