Geylang International FC

Eagles Stunned By Harimau Muda’s Perseverance

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The hosts, Harimau Muda halted Geylang International’s three-match unbeaten run in the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League, as the hard-working Young Tigers registered a 2-0 victory over the Eagles, at the Hang Jebat Stadium in Malaysia, on Friday evening.

Despite the deficit, the visitors did have their fair chances during the game but were profligate in front of goal as they subsequently suffered their 11th defeat and are one of two sides, to have less than 20 points in the league with a minimum of 20 games played.

Harimau Muda’s top goal scorer, Faizat Ghazli, bagged the first goal of the night before; Arif Anwar converted from the penalty spot, near the end of regulation time, to kill of the Eagles’ hopes of extending a winning streak.

The home side got off to a dream start when Faizat opened the scoring, as early as the fifth minute. Faizat timed his run to meet Akir Bahari’s cross and the former then, executed a fine bullet header into the back of the net, to score his fifth goal of the campaign.

Despite Geylang conceded a goal early in the game, the Eagles were still optimistic and had a glorious attempt to equalize, just minutes later. However, Jozef Kaplan steered his shot well wide of the goal, after being on the receiving end of Anaz Hadee’s pin-point cross.

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15 minutes later, Faizat found himself free in the box, after the Eagles failed to clear a loose ball, but Geylang’s custodian, Yazid Yasin rushed off his line to claim the ball before the striker unleashed a shot.

The Eagles failed to create any more chances in the first half, but showed  desperate signs of hunger in getting into the final third with Tatsuro Inui and Bruno Castanheira trying their utmost best to pose threat in the dying minutes of the first-half, but the time soon expired.

Determined to claim an equaliser, Jorg Steinebrunner made some alterations to his formation during the break. With his changes, Geylang became more attacking-oriented and displayed composure in their build-up plays.

Shortly after the restart, Hafiz Nor came close to equalising when he pounced on a loose ball, before releasing a powerful cannon, that sailed wide off target.

Harimau Muda’s goalkeeper was then called to action when he made a wonderful diving save to keep out a 59th minute strike from Hafiz Nor. Tatsuro Inui was then, quickest to get onto the rebound, but he fired a shot well over the goal and into the stands, despite being unmarked in the box.

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In the 61st minute, Hafiz Nor then spurned another chance to make it 1-1. Bruno Castanheira delivered a low cross into the box for Hafiz. Without any hesitation, the latter unleashed a first-time belter, but unfortunately had his shot blocked by Syawal Nordin’s timely challenge.

Geylang were made to pay for that miss, as Arif Anwar sealed victory for the Malaysian developmental side, on the 81st minute mark. An inch perfect through ball, allowed Arif to escape the clutches of the Eagles’ back-line and was presented with a one-on-one situation with Yazid.

Yazid rushed off his line to cut the shooting angle, but instead brought down Arif in the 18-yard box and the match referee immediately pointed to the spot. The striker picked himself up and made no mistake with the resultant penalty to seal a 2-0 triumph for his side.

With the painful defeat, Geylang continue to languish and be rooted to the bottom of the table 17 points with 20 games played, while, Razip Ismail’s charges remain seventh on the table with 24 points from 21 games played.

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Speaking after the game, Geylang International’s Coach Jorg Steinebrunner, was delighted with the team’s second-half performance but also took note that, his side had made things difficult for themselves by conceding simple goals. “We gave the first goal away, which was very unnecessary. But we got a little bit into the game towards the end of the first-half,” said Steinebrunner.

The German tactician also added confidently, “In the second half, we took control of the game but unfortunately; we could not make full use of our dominance and did not create any clear chances”.

The Eagles will now look forward to their next game and the Eastern Derby, at the Bedok Stadium, on 20th October 2015!

Full Time: Harimau Muda (Faizat Ghazali 5’, Arif Anwar 81’) 2 – 0 Geylang International FC

EAGLES’ Editor Man Of The Match: Syed Thaha                     

Geylang International: Yazid Yasin (GK), Kento Fukada, Nor Azli (Shah Hirul 71’), Hafiz Osman, Syed Thaha (Huzaifah Aziz 66’), Tatsuro Inui, Anaz Hadee, Mustaqim Manzur (Khairulnizam Jumahat 81’), Hafiz Nor, Jozef Kaplan (C), Bruno Castanheira

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