Eagles Leave It Late To End Winless Run By Shocking Protectors
By Kevin Prasad on 24 June 2016
After enduring a winless streak for three consecutive league games, Geylang International FC have finally claimed a hard fought 2-1 win against Home United FC at Bishan Stadium on Thursday evening.
Two amazing goals right at the death, helped the Eagles secure a vital victory over the feisty Protectors, to conclude the ‘Round 2’ S.League fixtures.
Shahrin Saberin drew first blood early in the second half for the hosts, but Sahil Suhaimi and Gabriel Quak each struck in a four-minute span before time expired, to overturn the odds and register three points for the Bedok-based club.
The amazing comeback triumph allows the Eagles move up to fifth place in the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League table, a point adrift of the Protectors whom remain in third place with 22 points.
Both sides had already played each other once this season and with the game ending in a 2-2 stalemate, another tight game was expected again.
With that in mind, the Protectors looked to start quickly and the game’s first opportunity fell for the hosts in just the first minute when Ken Ilso fired a powerful drive towards the top corner, but Syazwan Buhari flew high to parry away the attempt.
Moments later, the Eagles custodian put his body on the line and made two terrific back-to-back saves from close range, to deny the Protectors the lead.
Syazwan was then called into action in the 27th minute and 39th minute again, when he splendidly rejected Ilso’s and Zulfahmi Arifin’s ferocious free-kicks respectively, with timely dives.
Displaying a strong resistance to the Protectors’ offense, the Eagles had their first sight at goal one minute before the half-time interval, and it was certainly one attempt, Faritz Hameed would want to forget.
An intelligent quick free-kick from the centre-circle sent Faritz through on goal alone. However, instead of picking his spot early or rounding the goalkeeper, the makeshift winger’s touch was a tad too heavy and that allowed the Zulfairuz Rudy the time, to cut down the shot’s angle.
After the break, the visitors went all guns blazing and had another golden opportunity to take the lead in the 47th minute with Carlos Delgado’s free-kick strike. The dangerous attempt clearly rifled past the Protectors’ glovesman, but unfortunately it crashed against the post and went out of play.
Soon later, the Protectors finally broke the deadlock in the 50th minute, when Khairul Nizam headed down a corner-kick towards Shahrin Saberin, whom was at the right time, right place to slam home the opener, with a stunning half-volley.
Geylang could have pulled level five minutes later, when Gabriel found himself unmarked 20 yards outside of the box, but fired an effort that sailed narrowly over the bar.
Sahil was next to try his luck a while later, when he dazzled his way into the 18-yard box from the right flank, but instead took an extra touch, which caused him to get dispossessed, just before registering a clear shot at goal.
Syazwan displayed a stand-out performance, and deserved plaudits for his goal-line heroics to deny Home from extending their lead. The custodian whom recently signed a sponsorship deal with APD, continued to impress as he produced a top notch save to deny Ambroise Begue’s point-blank rocket in the 87th minute.
A minute later down at the other end, the tactical change to deploy Yuki Ichikawa as a centre-forward paid its dividends. A towering header by Japanese in the box allowed, Sahil to pounce on the rebound and levelled matters with a looping header over the Protectors’ custodian.
Buoyed by the equalizer, Geylang were not done yet as they surged forward for a ‘winning goal’. True enough, it was indeed a fairy-tale ending for the Eagles, when Shariff Samat rose highest to knock down Faritz’s cross into the path of ‘GQ7’, whom slotted the winner with his first touch, in the dying seconds of the game.
Speaking after the game, Geylang International’s Hasrin, was in mixed emotions as he was not delighted with the performance, but still managed to pick up the three points. “If we looked at the game, I don’t think we played well. The first half was rubbish, even the second half we were not in control, till we got the equalizer,” said Hasrin.
The 40-year-old also added, “I personally felt a draw would have been good. I consider myself very lucky but it is a very important victory as it ends our winless streak and also acts as a morale-booster for the next Singapore Cup game against Albirex.”
Geylang International FC will now face current S.League leaders and defending double Cup Champions, Albirex Niigata (S) FC in a two-legged affair of the RHB Singapore Cup Quarter-Finals, at the Jurong East Stadium on 28th June 2016!
Full Time : Home United FC (Shahrin Saberin 50’) 1 – 2 Geylang International FC (Sahil Suhaimi 88’, Gabriel Quak 90’)
EAGLES’ Editor Man Of The Match: Syazwan Buhari
Geylang International FC: Syazwan Buhari, Al-Qaasimy Rahman, Daniel Bennett, Yuki Ichikawa, Brandon Koh (Isa Halim 46′), Carlos Delgado (Stanely Ng 66′), Nor Azli Yusoff (Shariff Samat 79′), Faritz Hameed, Sahil Suhaimi, Gabriel Quak, Amy Recha.
*Photos Courtesy Of S.League