Geylang International FC

Eagles Robbed Of A Victory Against Young Tigers

11154710_1061260257221802_8554432039092316343_oGeylang International were left kicking themselves as a second-half comeback from Harimau Muda, denied the Eagles the chance to claim three points at Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday evening.

Geylang led 1-0, going into the half-time break thanks to Jozef Kaplan’s splendid penalty conversion. However, the Eagles then conceded two goals in the final 15 minutes, to allow the Young Tigers to walk away 2-1 victors, for the second time this season.

Razip Ismail’s charges celebrated joyously as the Malaysians had extended their unbeaten streak to five games whilst registering four victories along the way. With that  emphatic win, the Young Tigers have also leapfrogged the Eagles, to seventh spot in the S.League standings. For Geylang, the disappointing result meant they were pegged down to eighth place, with 12 points from 12 games.

However, according to Geylang’s Head Coach, Jorg Steinebrunner, both the Harimau Muda goals were controversially scored after incidents which appeared to be fouls. Steinebrunner, then made no bones about referee Muhd Syahir’s poor decisions and accused him of giving the visitors a ‘helping hand’.

Nevertheless, Geylang got into the driving seat as early as the 8th minute, with Bruno Castanheira spearheading the Eagles’ attack.  The blonde dyed hair striker, met Tatsuro Inui’s sumptuous cross with an outstanding volley. However, the effort was well parried away by Harimau’s goalkeeper, Ilham Amirullah.

Geylang continued to press forward in search for an opener and were given a chance to do so as Hafiz Nor won a penalty in the16th minute. After a neat one-two exchange with Anaz Hadee, Hafiz skipped past Annas Rahmat with a feint, but the quick feet was too much to handle and Azrul Nizam brought down the winger in the box, with a reckless challenge.

Geylang’s captain, Jozef Kaplan then stepped up and calmly drilled the spot-kick to the bottom left corner, to break the deadlock and establish Geylang’s lead.

Approximately 10 minutes later, the Eagles had two wonderful chances on separate occasions, to extend their lead. However, Shahrul Igwan prevented Yuki Ichikawa’s back flick header with a goal-line clearance, whilst, Ilham produced an exceptional finger-tip save to push away Anaz Hadee’s ambitious yet cheeky 40-yard lobbing attempt.

Harimau Muda gradually settled into the game and did had their fair share of chances, before the break. However, the Eagles’ goalkeeper, Yazid Yazin was the sole difference between an attempt and a goal. The S.League veteran, executed a fine save to keep out Adam Nor’s 30-yard stunning volley, in the 37th minute, before producing a magnificent save with his legs to deny Syahrul Azwari’s blistering shot, in the 44th minute.

After the break, Geylang introduced Shawal Anaur , as he replaced the injured Bruno Castanheira. The young starlet immediately sprung into action with his lightning speed and skilful footwork. The fleet-footed winger, turned up the crowd with his dazzling trickery and in the 58th minute, he found Inui with a trick pass into the box, but the latter failed to find anyone with an audacious back-heel.

With both teams trying to find the back of the net, for respective reasons, the thick of the action once again returned to Yazid Yazin. The Eagles’ custodian pulled off his best save of the night in the 63rd minute, by stopping Adam’s header from point blank range after meeting Irfan Zakaria’s corner-kick delivery.

After that exceptional save, the nightmare for the Eagles began. It started off with Syafwan Syahlan netting the equalizer for the Young Tigers in the 74th minute. The Malaysian striker, pounced onto a deflected rebound from Arif Anwar’s low cross and then, striked it beyond the arms of Yazid from a tight angle inside the six-yard box.

Harimau Muda, then turned the tide and completed their comeback in the 83rd minute. In a bid to clear Syahrul Azwari’s splendid cross, Kento Fukuda inadvertently diverted his header past the flailing Yazid and into the back of his own net.

A shell-shocked Geylang, then pushed men forward in search of an equaliser in a desperate attempt, but instead the Eagles’ misery continued as Hafiz Osman was shown a straight red card in the final minute, for an elbow on Annas Rahmat.

Jorg Steinebrunner, was furious as he fired that Harimau’s lead should not have stood as there were apparent fouls not called on his players, in the build-up to Harimau’s two goals, “The first goal, it was a clear free kick on Kento not given. As for the second, the goalkeeper gets charged in the five-metre box a metre in front of the line,”

The German coach also added, “we have lost the game not because Harimau were the better team, but because the referee has given a helping hand. I’m actually fed up with all these things and hearing the fourth officials’ excuses.”

Geylang International FC will now look forward to next Thursday’s fixture against Tampines Rovers FC at the Jurong West Stadium. With the same character and commitment, the Eagles may be able to clinch three points to propel them out of the bottom-half of the table.

Full Time : Geylang International FC (Jozef Kaplan {Penalty} 16’) 1 – 2 (Syafwan Syahlan 74’, Kento Fukuda {Own Goal 83’) Harimau Muda

EAGLES’ Editor Man Of The Match: Hafiz Nor

Geylang International FC: Yazid Yazin (GK), Yuki Ichikawa, Kento Fukuda, Anaz Hadee (Zulkifli Suzliman 69’) Syed Thaha, Tatsuro Inui, Hafiz Nor, Hafiz Osman, Jozef Kaplan (C), Bruno Castanheira (Shawal Anuar 45’), Nor Azli (Mustaqim Manzur 83’)

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