Eagles Stun Wasps To Earn Long Awaited Win
By Kevin Prasad on 1 May 2016
After enduring a winless streak for more than a month, Geylang International have finally returned to winning ways after the Eagles clinched a hard fought 2-1 victory against defending champions, Brunei DPMM at the Bandar Seri Begawan Stadium on Saturday night.
Faritz Hameed was the hero of the night for the Eagles as he struck the winner four minutes from time after a second-half spot-kick conversion by Rafael Ramazotti cancelled out Shawal Anuar’s stunning opener.
Right from the start, it was the hosts, who started probing the Geylang’s goal and had few opportunities at goal within the opening 20 minutes. However, the Eagles’ custodian, Syazwan Buhari was splendid in between the posts, as he got down low and fast to deny multiple attempts.
With an effective ‘soak & strike’ strategy, the men in green and white, earned the elusive opener in the 29th minute. An intelligent flick pass from Sahil Suhaimi, allowed Shawal the time and space to break the deadlock, with a torpedo from inside the box.
The Wasps, almost responded with an instant reply, through their talismanic playmaker, Paulo Sergio. The winger, successfully got on the end of Maududi Hilmi’s cross before unleashing a ferocious header, which slammed off the woodwork and rolled out of play.
Just before the break, DPMM had a glorious chance to equalize but Syazwan once again, singlehandedly kept the Eagles’ lead intact with a terrific block to deny Azwan Ali’s finesse attempt, after a tantalizing run through the Geylang’s backline.
After the restart, Geylang almost doubled their lead through their target-man, Branko Cubrilo. The Croatian forward was put through on goal by Carlos Delgado in the 51st minute. However, Wardun Yusoff was quick to race off his line to half the former’s run with a diving save.
With DPMM, trailing by a goal and with time expiring, Steve Kean introduced some fresh pair of legs to his squad, alongside changing his tactics towards an offensive formation, to ensure the Bruneians go all guns blazing for an equalizer.
The changes did reap it dividends, as Paulo adopted a ‘free role’ in attack, which allowed more running with the ball, and that duly punished the Eagles. With his lightning pace and bag of tricks, the Portuguese star, earned a spot-kick for DPMM, as he was eventually brought down in the penalty box by Faritz.
Shrugging the pressure of his shoulders, the Brazilian towering striker, Rafael stepped up to restore parity, as he duly converted the penalty with a vicious pile driver in the 65th minute.
With both teams levelled with a goal apiece and eagerly looking for the winner in the final 25 minutes, lady luck shone on the Eagles, as Faritz redeemed himself with a late strike, to seal the deal.
In the 86th minute, Geylang were awarded a free-kick at the edge of the box and Carlos hammered an attempt at goal. However, the strike crashed into the DPMM wall and rolled towards the unmarked Faritz, whom then had a go from distance. The long ranged rocket ricocheted off a Bruneian defender, Shahrazen Said, before making its way into the net, to send the bench and a small faction of ‘away’ fans into ecstasy.
After a few nervous minutes, the final whistle was blown to ensure that Geylang ended their winless streak, and most importantly – three points.
Speaking after the game, Geylang International’s Head Coach Hasrin Jailani, was contented in securing his another three points. “It was very hard win for us, it was not easy to come to Brunei and play against a good team,” said Hasrin.
The 40-year-old also added, “I think they came at us in the first-half in the first 20 minutes, but that was the plan, we made sure that we were able to hold them with our defensive organization, before landing the fatal blows.”
Geylang International FC will now face Garena Young Lions FC in their next fixture, at the Bedok Stadium on 05th May 2016!
Full Time: Brunei DPMM FC (Rafael Ramazotti [Pen] 54’) 1 – 2 Geylang International FC (Shawal Anuar 29’, Faritz Hameed 86’)
EAGLES’ Editor Man Of The Match: Daniel Bennett
Geylang International FC: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Yuki Ichikawa, Shariff Samad, Daniel Bennett, Faritz Hameed (C), Safirul Sulaiman, Gabriel Quak (Amy Recha 60’), Carlos Delgado, Shawal Anuar (Nor Azli 78’), Branko Cubrilo, Sahil Suhaimi (Stanely Ng 72’)
*Photos Courtesy of S.League