Eagles Start RHB Singapore Cup Journey Against Lao Police
By Eagles Admin on 24 May 2015
Geylang International FC will be keen to get back to winning ways, when they host Laotian outfit, Lao Police FC, in the preliminary round of the ‘RHB Singapore Cup 2015’ tournament at the Bedok Stadium on 26th May 2015.
After last week’s shocking 1-0 defeat to Hougang United in the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League, the Eagles will now turn their attention towards the important RHB Singapore Cup’s fixture and go all guns blazing for the win to qualify for the quarter-finals stage.
In 2015, eight local S.League teams, alongside three invitational clubs will participate and compete in the top domestic club knockout competition for the desirable ‘RHB Singapore Cup’ trophy.
Apart from winning the Singapore Cup in 2009, Geylang has not clinched a top four podium finish in 10 years. This year, Jorg Steinebrunner and his charges would be eager to go the distance in the cup’s journey, but to go one step further than last year, would be the main target for the Eagles.
Last season, the Eagles faced Woodlands Wellington in the preliminary round and advanced with 5-1 score line. Up next in the quarter-finals, they faced a resilient Balestier Khalsa side and the two-legged fixtures concluded at 2-2 on aggregate.
Unfortunately, the Eagles bowed out of the competition with a 5-4 defeat to the Tigers, in penalties and Balestier were eventually crowned champions, after they defeated Home United 3-1 at Jalan Besar Stadium.
This year, the Eagles have bolstered their defence with many new signings such as Hafiz Osman, Syed Thaha, Anaz Hadee, Nor Azli Yussof and even the longest-serving player in the S.League, goalkeeper Yazid Yazin. These experienced players, alongside Kento Fukuda and Yuki Ichikawa, have blossomed into a formidable defensive unit and will be definitely be a force to reckon with, as the Eagles attempt to reach their targeted semi-finals berth.
Geylang’s offensive trio of Jozef Kaplan, Tatsuro Inui and Bruno Castanheira will be looking to ride on their current S.League goal scoring momentum and net more goals in the coveted cup tournament. Eagles’ speedy winger, Hafiz Nor whom has yet to open his goal scoring account in the S.League, would be also hoping to find the back of the net against the physical Laotian side.
Similar to Home United FC, Lao Police, are a uniformed side representing the Police and they are currently plying their trade in the ‘Lao Premier League’ – the highest level football league in Laos.
Lao Police Club have previously, made an appearance in the 2013 edition of the RHB Singapore Cup, but were given the boot by Brunei DPMM in the preliminary round, when the latter netted four goals past them.
The club is currently sitting in third place out of 11 teams, in the Laos Premier League. In addition, the prestigious club has won the ‘Lao Premier League’ championship crown, back in 2012 and they recently also clinched the 2014 ‘Lao FF Cup’ – the biggest domestic cup competition in Laos, with an emphatic come-back performance.
Lao Police, have a number of regulars in the Laos national team and the team will be spearheaded by the Laos’ captain, Visay Phaphouvanin in attack. He will be a definite threat to Geylang with his sharp eye for goal and tricky footwork.
The promising, Tiny Bounmalay and Saychon Khunsamnam are plying their trade for the club too and the duo are arguably the budding stars for the U-23 Laos side participating in the 28th SEA Games, next month.
Eagles Head Coach, Jorg Steinebrunner, who won the Singapore Cup with Tanjong Pagar back in 1998, is keen to get his hands on the trophy once again, but warned his charges that their foreign opponents, should not be taken lightly.
“If the boys (Geylang International) work hard and play to our strengths, we can win the match. However, we shouldn’t underestimate any team in the competition at all times and go up against the opposition with all due respect”, shared the German.
With winning Singapore Cup competition, being one out of two eligible tickets for entry to next year’s AFC competitions, fans can be assured that the Eagles will not want to miss out on any opportunity, that takes them to continental glory.