Geylang International FC

Eagles Keen To Break Harimau Muda’s Curse

11169622_1061261223888372_3745670443045467118_oGeylang International FC will make their way up north to Malacca, to face Harimau Muda once again at the Hang Jebat Stadium, Malaysia on Friday evening.

Geylang’s game schedule would leave many European professional clubs in dismay, as the Eagles gear up for five crucial fixtures to save their season, in the space of only 15 days.

Nevertheless, a good start is always wanted and the Eagles are ready to break the Hang Jebat Stadium’s curse which inflicted five consecutive defeats and caused their downfall after a bright start to the season.

Geylang had a spell bounding run in the closing stages of the first half of the season, but their hopes of ending the month of ‘May’ unbeaten, were crushed by a defiant Hougang United side in the last game before the mid-season break.

After the season resumed in July, Geylang’s first task was to travel to Malacca to face their Malaysian counterparts. However, the Eagles were taken by surprise, as they crashed to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Malaysian developmental squad.

After that disappointing result against Harimau Muda, the Eagles faltered and were on an eight-game winless streak, before snapping up a their first win in five months, against Courts Young Lions, two weeks ago.

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The Bedok-based club are currently placed in the bottom spot of the table with 17 points from 19 games, whilst the Young Tigers are seated at seventh spot, with 21 points from 20 games.

Apart from Albirex Niigata (S) and Brunei DPMM, Harimau Muda is also one of the teams to have only inflicted a double win over the Eagles, this season. Geylang are eager for revenge and a victory would definitely propel the Eagles out of the rock-bottom spot, as it would also be a morale booster to the team as they prepare for the hectic, yet crucial two weeks of their lives.

Geylang would be relying on their hotshot forwards, Jozef Kaplan and Bruno Castaheira to lead the frontline for the goals. Kaplan has netted 10 goals currently, whilst the hat-trick hero, Bruno Castanheira has six goals to his name. With Kaplan and Castanheira scoring 16 of Geylang’s 21 league goals this season, both forwards aspire to net more goals in the last eight games of the season, to reach their individual targets of 17 and 10 goals, respectively.

The Eagles’ Head Coach would have a full squad at his disposal, as both Yuki Ichikawa and Sevki Sha’ban finally recovers from their knee injuries and are back to battle for a spot in the starting line-up. With no injuries or suspensions, the Eagles would be raring to go as they finally have a full match-fit squad and with fingers crossed, it would last till the season ends.

On paper, Geylang are firm favourites to nick maximum points, but one can never discount Harimau’s young and energetic players. Although they are stuck at the wrong end of the league table, they have shown that they are capable of pushing their opponents to the limit, by also claiming scalps of Home United, Albirex and Warriors.

Razip Ismail’s charges are an adventurous side, streaming forwards in numbers and pack an extra burst of stamina. However, the developmental side tend to leave their backline exposed while they are on the search for goals and adding further concern, would be the painful suspensions of the Young Tigers’ regular starters, Adam Nor and Kenny Pallraj.

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Since the absence of influential playmaker, Adam Nor and midfield dynamo, Pallraj will surely be felt by the Young Tigers, they will need Akhir Bahari and Ridzuan Abdunloh Pula, to step up and fill in the gaps..

One of the more consistent and calm headed defenders, Syawal Nordin will be tasked to show his leadership quality once again, as he will never fail to try and lift up the team’s morale whenever they concede a goal.

The 20-year-old has no issue in tackling the aerial threats in Harimau’s penalty box and sweeping the ball away swiftly from their defensive area.

But one man is not enough to carry the defensive burden of the team and Syawal will be hoping that his teammates step up and put forth a better performance to hopefully end their six-game winless run.

Faizat Ghazali has been getting into the scoresheet, and currently with four goals, expect the young forward to constantly tease the Geylang’s defence with his pace and trickery.

Mathematically, it is impossible for both teams to reach the top half of the table, but they would not throw in the towel, and will challenge themselves to ignite a win to end their respective winless streak and to finish the season as high as possible.

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