Geylang International FC

Eagles Lost Against Global, But Won The Hearts Of Many

Jalan Besar Stadium was the location of a heart-breaking eight-goal thriller for Geylang International on Wednesday night as they crashed out of the RHB Singapore Cup, drawing 4-4 on the night and losing 3-2 on penalties, to Philippines outfit Global Cebu FC.

Despite the elimination in the ‘Preliminary Round’ of the coveted cup tournament, the Eagles could still hold their heads up high, as the fans gave a standing ovation for Geylang’s spirited performance and the ‘greenwhitearmy’ certainly gave Global, a run for their money.

The hosts, started off brightly with an unorthodox yet speedy, 5-3-2 formation and that tactic endorsed by Caretaker Coach Noor Ali paid its dividends, as Yuki Ichikawa gave Geylang the early lead.

In the 15th minute, Ichikawa out jumped Global custodian Patrick Deyto, and nodded home Safirul Sulaiman’s deep cross, to break the deadlock.

However, Geylang’s joy was short-lived and the players’ smiles were wiped off, as their 1-0 lead was erased towards the end of the first-half.

Global’s target-man, Darryl Roberts netted twice to give the ‘People’s Club’ their first lead in the game. It all began in the 20th minute, when Roberts steered home the equalizer from point-blank range, after connecting well with Misagh Bahadoran’s fierce pile driver.

15 minutes later, Global were awarded a penalty-kick as Al-Qaasimy allegedly brought down Roberts in the box. The Trinidadian international then picked himself up and successfully converted the spot-kick, to give Global the advantage, with his second of the night.

With the game approaching half-time, Geylang sprung another surprise – an emphatic equalizer in the dying seconds of the first 45 minutes. Al-Qassimy picked up a loose ball and raced into the box unmarked, but instead of having a crack at goal, he intelligently teed up Victor Coto, whom fired a bullet into the bottom corner.

After the break, both teams emerged from the tunnel energized and determined to get a goal, to attain the sought after lead. Despite Geylang adopting an offensive approach with surging runs on the flanks, it was Global, whom regained the lead once again through another penalty.

Safirul was penalized for a handball off Hikaru Minegishi’s rocket in the box in the 53rd minute. Global’s Japanese winger then stepped up and released a rocket towards goal from the penalty-spot. However, this time round, Syazwan guessed the right way and executed an amazing block with his left glove. Nevertheless, Roberts was quickest to react, as he slammed home the rebound for his hat-trick.

The Philippine giants then extended their lead to 4-2, in the 75th minute, when scorer turned provider, as Roberts cheekily back-heeled a pass to Mario Clarino, whom finessed a shot into the back of the net.

With a 4-2 deficit, many would not expect the Bedok-based club to turn the tide with only 10 minutes left to play. Nevertheless, Geylang showcased their class as their persistence finally paid off with two late goals.

In the 83rd minute, Faritz Hameed was brought down in the box after a dazzling dribble on the by-line. With a lifeline at stake, Gabriel Quak coolly dispatched his spot kick into the top left corner of Deyto’s goal. With only a goal down, bodies were pushed forward for the decisive equalizer.

True enough, the high-tenacity football by Geylang was well rewarded when Anders Aplin floated in a delightful ball into the box towards Ricardo Sendra. The latter then made no mistake few yards away from goal, as he stabbed home the equalizer to bring the house down, right at the death.

With the game concluded at 4-4, it was certainly a commendable effort by the Eagles to net four goals in a single match. Moreover, to add to the positives, Geylang simply played an entertaining and enthusiastic brand of football, much to the delight of everyone present at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

Both teams were neck and neck in terms of possession during extra-time, as neither side had a chance at goal, and both sets of players went down with cramps on multiple occasions. Just as the game was about to proceed to a penalty-shootout, Sendra lashed a belter from 20 yards out in the 119th minute, but the ‘possible winner’, unfortunately crashed off the crossbar and the game eventually went down to a decider – spot-kicks.

Shahfiq Ghani and Safirul successfully converted their attempts, whilst Faritz and Sendra, unfortunately had their spot-kicks saved by the flailing Deyto.

Minegishi was presented a wonderful chance to seal the deal for Global, after Roberts, Wesley Dos Santos and Paolo Bugas slammed their attempts into the back of the net. However, the speed demon crashed his shot against the crossbar.

That miss allowed Geylang back into the game, leaving Gabriel a chance to make it 3-3. However, the pressure was too much to handle, as ‘GQ7’ rifled his shot wide, giving Global a chance to live another day in the RHB Singapore Cup 2017 campaign.

Speaking after the game, Noor Ali, was impressed with his charges, “The performance was fantastic because the boys put in their 100 percent and we played better than our last game. The boys worked their socks off and it is indeed hard to accept defeat through a penalty-shootout. Nevertheless, we would want to bring the same momentum into our S.League and League Cup games.”

Full Time : Geylang International FC (Yuki Ichikawa 15’, Victor Coto 45’, Gabriel Quak {P} 83’, Ricardo Sendra 90’) 4 – 4 (Darryl Roberts 19’, 37’ {P}, 50’, Mario Clarino 75’) Global Cebu FC

EAGLES’ Editor Man Of The Match: Isa Halim                                         

Geylang International FC: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Anders Aplin, Yuki Ichikawa, Faritz Hameed, Al-Qaasimy Rahman, Safirul Sulaiman, Isa Halim (C), Shawal Anuar (Gabriel Quak 28’), Ricardo Sendra, Amy Recha (Shahfiq Ghani 62’), Victor Coto

*Photos Courtesy of S.League

Join us on Facebook

Like Us

Follow us on Twitter