Eagles Soar The Skies With 3 Points, 2 Goals & 1 Clean Sheet
By Kevin Prasad on 26 February 2016
Geylang International registered their first victory of the 2016 Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League season, as they comfortably defeated Garena Young Lions, 2-0 at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Thursday evening.
Once again, Geylang’s Head Coach Hasrin Jailani displayed his tactical prowess by unleashing Faritz Hameed as an unorthodox right winger, instead of the conventional right-back role.
The bold move certainly paid its dividends, as Faritz set up Branko Cubrilo to open the scoring in the first-half with a pin-point cross, before getting his name on the scoresheet after the restart, with a simple tap in from close range.
The visitors, started the ball rolling very impressively, as they maintained the organisation of their 4-3-3 formation, whilst pressing hard and high at the Young Lions’ backline.
The first real chance of the game came in the 13th minute, when Safirul Sulaiman picked up a weak clearance, outside the box and unleashed a belter with his second touch. However, the shot from distance landed straight into the hands of Young Lions’ custodian, Zharfan Rohaizad
A minute later, Faritz picked up a wonderful long range pass from Carlos Delgado and sprinted towards the penalty box. After a marauding run on the right, Faritz then played in a low cross into the path of Branko, who then got ahead of his marker, to score his first-ever S.League goal, with a simple tap-in.
Motivated with the Eagles breaking the deadlock, Stanely Ng almost doubled their lead with a stupendous shot inside the box, minutes later. Unfortunately, Zharfan was once again in the way, as he produced a stunning save to parry the attempt away, for a corner-kick.
Branko could have added more goals to his name on the scoresheet, with three individual attempts in the space of 11 minutes. However, the colossal forward’s attempts was off-target, as he was constantly hounded by Young Lions’ defenders, each time he received the ball.
The hosts were then presented a glorious chance just before the break, to restore parity. Mulhelmy Suhaimi pounced on a loose ball and fired a low pile driver, which was duly saved by Syazwan Buhari, to ensure the Eagles went into the dressing rooms at half-time with a sole goal advantage.
Shortly after the restart, Geylang started to turn up the heat as nippy winger, Gabriel Quak was introduced for Taufiq Ghani. The Eagles’ ‘super-sub’ almost made an immediate impact, when he picked up a loose ball, at the by-line and slammed a shot into the net. Nonetheless, the celebrations were short-lived, as the linesman raised his flag to disallow the goal, because the ball initially went out of play.
Soon later, a perfect counter-attacking move, spearheaded by ‘GQ7’, doubled the Eagles’ lead. With the speed and guile of Gabriel, the former LionsXII player, found space to tee up Faritz inside the box, with a marvellous pass. Faritz, whose last S.League goal dates back to 2009, then darted into the box to bang home the Eagles’ second goal, with a sliding finish.
Despite trailing by two goals, Garena Young Lions did not give up and nearly grabbed a consolation through their skipper, Firdaus Kasman. Nevertheless, Syazwan was hungry for his first clean sheet of the season and he produced a fine fingertip save, to deny the long range bullet.
The men in green and white slowly regained control of the game with confident passing. Executing the ‘tiki-taka’ in the dying stages of the game, Geylang could have extended the lead with more goals. However, Sahil Suhaimi, Gabriel, Faritz and Al-Qaasimy missed glorious clear-cut chances. Nonetheless, time soon expired and the Eagles clinched their first three points of 2016.
Speaking after the game, Geylang International’s Hasrin, was contented in securing his first three points as a first-time S.League Head Coach. “I am relieved that we got three points. Honestly, the scoreline is not important. A win is a win for me, and we have to keep up this winning momentum,” said Hasrin.
The 40-year-old also added, “I know that we patiently created chances and we could have scored more goals. Nevertheless, we will work on the finishing in trainings and gear up for our next home game against the Tigers”
Geylang International FC will now face Balestier Khalsa in their next fixture, at the Bedok Stadium on 3rd March 2016!
Full Time : Garena Young Lions FC 0 – 2 Geylang International FC (Branko Cubrilo 14’, Faritz Hameed 66’)
EAGLES’ Editor Man Of The Match: Faritz Hameed
Geylang International FC: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Yuki Ichikawa, Daniel Bennett, Faritz Hameed, Safirul Sulaiman, Stanley Ng, Branko Cubrilo (Sahil Suhaimi 78’), Al-Qaasimy Rahman, Carlos Delgado, Nor Azli Yussof (C) (Isa Halim 80’), Taufiq Ghani (Gabriel Quak 52’)
*Photos Courtesy of S.League