Eagles soar to an emphatic win over Harimau Muda
By Deepanraj Ganesan on 3 April 2014
Geylang International continued their impressive run under head coach Jorg Steinebrunner as they cruised to an emphatic 3-0 victory over Harimau Muda at the Pasir Gudang Stadium. First half goals from Leonel Felice and Ridhuan Muhammad were capped off by a late effort from Aliff Shafaein in the second half, in what was the Eagles’ biggest victory this season.
The Eagles started brightly, getting at the Harimau Muda side from the kickoff. Playing at high intensity, it was no surprise that the first clear chance came as early as the third minute. Mustaqim Manzur played the ball through to Hafiz Nor and the winger’s shot almost gave his side the lead, only to skid past the right post. Another chance was spurned for the Eagles in the opening minutes as Ridhuan Muhammad was found via a Leonel Felice’s flick on. Just before the captain could get his shot way however, a Harimau Muda defender closed the shot down for a corner.
Relentless pressure from the Eagles, and it soon paid off.
Ridhuan Muhammad was played through down the right flank and using his superior speed, he found time and space to play an inviting cross into the box. An invitation duly accepted by the Argentinean forward Leonel Felice, who stabbed the ball into the net to claim his third goal of the season. 1-0 to the Eagles and they never looked back.
Geylang International looked to double their advantage and were always susceptible to a counter attack. However, a well marshalled defence by Kento Fukuda and Joaquin Lopez had no trouble swatting the odd attack by the Harimau Muda side. The second goal came in spectacular fashion for the Eagles from Captain Marvel, Ridhuan Muhammad.
As the ball was flicked on by Leonel Felice, the former Singapore national team winger rose to execute an excellent overhead kick to double the Eages’ lead and to register his first goal for the club since his return from a stint in Indonesia.
The Eagles still found time in the first half to see Hamqammal Shah’s free kick tipped over by the Harimau Muda custodian. As the referee blew for the break, Geylang International held a well deserved 2-0 lead over Harimau Muda.
The second half saw less intense action as Harimau Muda resorted to a more aggressive approach which took the pace out of the match. Leonel Felice found himself the target of several unwarranted physical challenges as the home side looked to force themselves back into the tie. The Eagles’ wasted several chances before substitute Aliff Shafaein scored the third and final goal for the away side.
Ridhuan Muhammad once again the man of the moment as he left his defender for dead with his pace before crossing for an unmarked Aliff Shafaein. The latter, calmly controlled the ball before shooting into an empty net to seal the tie at 3-0.
The match also saw the return of Fabian Kwok. The midfielder came on to replace Leonel Felice and turned in a tidy performance.
Eagles’ head coach, Jorg Steinebrunner was pleased with his side’s performance. Speaking to the Geylang International media team, he said: “I am very pleased with the whole performance because we kept a clean sheet and scored three very good goals.”
The win comes as another boost for the squad’s morale but coach Jorg was not willing to get carried away and felt his side can do better. “A good performance but we still have many things to work on and we will improve as each game goes,” said the German.
A second victory in three games for the head coach, who remains undefeated. These are bright times for Eagles’ as they continue to turn in impressive performances after a bad start to the season.
FINAL SCORE: Harimau Muda 0-3 Geylang International (21′ Leonel Felice, 40′ Ridhuan Muhammad, 86′ Aliff Shafaein)
Geylang International Team Line Up: Joey Sim, Yuki Ichikawa, Kento Fukuda, Joaquin Lopez, Hamqammal Shah , Hafiz Nor (75’ Aliff Shafaein), Franco Chivilo, Shah Hirul, Mustaqim Manzur (87’ Jalal Jasim), Ridhuan Muhammad, Leonel Felice (79′ Fabian Kwok)