Geylang International FC

Eagles Return To Winning Ways With Kaplan’s Late Goal

11885031_1126638134017347_8358107339103245921_oAfter five consecutive defeats in all competitions, Geylang International finally returned back to their winning ways, with a 1-0 victory over Global FC in the first leg of the ‘RHB Singapore Cup 2015’ Quarter-Finals fixture, at the Jalan Besar Stadium (JBS), on Thursday evening.

Going into the game, Geylang were the clear underdogs, as they failed to register a point in their last four S.League matches, whilst the high-flying Global, had chained a 14-game unbeaten streak in all competitions, from April.

However, that was not how things panned out, as a superb strike from Jozef Kaplan in the 87th minute, allowed the Eagles to celebrate a much deserved victory and also take a one-goal lead when they host the People’s Club at Bedok Stadium on Sunday evening, for the second leg.

Despite being hit by a few injury concerns to their regular starters, Geylang were determined to go all out in attack, to get the first goal. The Eagles’ sheer perseverance, generated three glorious opportunities in the opening 15 minutes, but the men in green and white failed to convert their chances.

The Eagles’ first chance came in the 6th minute when Hafiz Nor delivered a low cross towards the on-rushing Shawal Anuar. However, the young starlet’s shot, glazed past the goal by only a few inches.

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The next two chances were seconds apart as Shawal Anuar picked up Mustaqim Manzur’s low free-kick shot and re-directed it with a powerful shot. However, the former’s effort crashed against the crossbar. With the ball in play and an open goal just two yards away, Kento Fukuda pounced onto the rebound, but the Japanese defender’s header unfortunately, sailed over the bar.

In the 26th minute, Global had their best chance before the break through their captain, Misagh Bahadoran whom skipped past three Geylang defenders, before firing a pile-driver, which swerved narrowly wide of Yazid Yazin’s goal.

Geylang continued to dominate proceedings as Global slowly got a grip on the game, before the half time whistle was blown.

After the break, the rejuvenated Philippines side started to turn up the heat as they created five chances in the short span of 10 minutes. In the 46th minute, Masaki Yanagawa’s close range effort was cleared off the line by Hafiz Osman, before Matthew Hartmann unleashed a belter, which flew way over the goal.

Moments later,  Mark Hartmann’s curling effort was heroically headed away by Hafiz Osman and following the corner-kick, Bahadoran’s executed an acrobatic volley, which forced Yazid to make a spectacular save.

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Geylang’s custodian, was called into action once again in the 55th minute, as he brilliantly parried away Jason De Jong’s blistering cannon to safety.

Yazid, the longest serving goalkeeper in the S.League, showcased his worth and experience, when he executed a fantastic diving save in the 62nd minute, to palm away Matthew Hartmann’s bullet from distance.

With Yazid singlehandedly keeping the Eagles at bay, Tatsuro Inui came really close in netting the opener in the 71st minute. However, once again, the goalpost denied the Eagles a goal, as the Japanese playmaker’s shot from 25 yards, slammed against the post and went out of play instead.

With the clock ticking towards full-time, the game looked to be heading for a goalless stalemate. However, over 1000 spectators were off their seats when the Geylang forward, Jozef Kaplan, unleashed a screamer past Roland Sadia, into the bottom right corner, to seal the  win for the Eagles.

Geylang’s Head Coach, Jorg Steinebrunner, was delighted with the win and shared, “In all our past four games, we had chances, but we didn’t convert it to goals. However, today the boys kept it simple and it was simple, clean football from the back, which ensured the victory.”

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Jorg, who won the Singapore Cup with Tanjong Pagar United back in 1998, also shared, “We are not a team that are just going to sit back and defend in the next fixture. I will still stick to my offensive approach, as we definitely will want to play our style of football and we’re never going to park the bus at Bedok.”

Full Time : Global FC 0 – 1 (Jozef Kaplan 87’) Geylang International FC

EAGLES’ Editor Man Of The Match: Jozef Kaplan

Geylang International FC: Yazid Yasin (GK), Khairulnizam Jumahat, Hafiz Osman, Kento Fukuda, Anaz Hadee, Nor Azli Yusoff, Mustaqim Manzur (Shah Hirul 67′), Hafiz Nor, Tatsuro Inui (Bruno Castanheira 86′), Shawal Anuar, Jozef Kaplan (C)

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