Eagles Kickstart TNP League Cup Journey With A Win Against Tigers
By Kevin Prasad on 11 July 2017
Geylang International recorded a comfortable 2-0 victory over Balestier Khalsa in their first, The New Paper (TNP) League Cup Group B fixture, at Toa Payoh Stadium on Saturday night.
Amy Recha put the Eagles in the driving seat after half an hour into the game, before Ricardo Sendra added the ‘icing on the cake’ in the second-half, to ensure Geylang extend their unbeaten streak to four games, under the reigns of now Head Coach, Noor Ali.
The first chance of the game occurred in the 17th minute, and it fell in the hands of Gabriel Quak, who unleashed a belter from the edge of the penalty box, but the attempt was well handled by Zaiful Nizam
Just moments later, Balestier’s Raihan Rahman had time and space at his disposal as he tried to catch Syazwan Buhari at his far post, but his cheeky finish went way wide.
In the 29th minute, Amy almost opened the scoring with a strike that glided inches away from the post, after latching onto Shawal Anuar’s deep cross.
Two minutes later, the Eagles drew first blood as the same duo, replicated their play but this successfully, with a well-timed header to steer home Shawal’s pin-point cross into the back of the net.
Balestier were trying to find the equaliser but Geylang’s backline remained stubborn in the defensive third, not allowing them any space or chance till the half-time whistle.
The ‘greenwhitearmy’ started the second-half the way they ended the first, and the visitors doubled their lead, four minutes after the restart. The Eagles’ Argentinian midfield maestro, Sendra met Gabriel’s delightful cross with a splendid header from close range to give Geylang a two-goal cushion.
With another defeat looming, the Tigers pushed numbers forward in an attempt to cut the deficit and possibly net the equalizer. In the 55th minute, substitute Hazzuwan Halim pitched in a cross for Jonathan Tan, but the latter’s header went wide.
Raihan continued to be a menace for Geylang, as his ambitious 40-yard free-kick landed on the roof of the net. In the 75th minute, Ashrul Syafeeq once again found himself in a scoring position from Hazzuwan’s corner-kick, but the Tigers’ defender failed to register an attempt on target.
Geylang dominated possession and majority proceedings, whilst Balestier huffed and puffed to conjure a goal with the remaining time on the clock. However, time soon run out for the Tigers as Geylang collected the three points to start their TNP League Cup 2017 campaign on a good note, and will now be gunning for the Stags’ scalps on Tuesday evening at Jurong West Stadium.
Speaking after the game, Noor Ali, whom was delighted with the result, “’m very impressed tonight; they players worked very hard and I see a lot of good attitude from certain players. I have to mention Gabriel, he has created three goals for me in the last two games. I want them to keep this standard of play and I may give a few players a chance against Tampines Rovers next.”
Full Time : Balestier Khalsa FC 0 – 2 (Amy Recha 30’, Ricardo Sendra 49’) Geylang International FC
EAGLES’ Editor Man Of The Match: Nor Azli Yusoff
Geylang International FC: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Al-Qaasimy Rahman (Faritz Hameed 46’), Yuki Ichikawa, Anders Aplin, Safirul Sulaiman, Shawal Anuar, Ricardo Sendra, Nor Azli Yusoff (C), Noor Ariff (Asshukrie Wahid 78’), Gabriel Quak, Amy Recha (Ifwat Ismail 70’)
*Photos Courtesy of S.League