Eagles Upset Warriors With Late Goal To Reach League Cup’s Plate Final
By Kevin Prasad on 26 July 2016
Geylang International FC stunned Warriors FC with a ‘Hart-Breaker’ goal to reach ‘The New Paper’ League Cup’s Plate Finals, as the Eagles soared past the Rhinos with a 1-0 victory, on Monday evening at Bedok Stadium.
Mark Hartmann’s injury-time winner – a splendid free-kick, proved to be the difference in the much anticipated encounter, as Geylang marched on to another ‘back-to-back’ triumph.
Geylang enjoyed several chances in the first-half, and should have went into the break with the lead.
In the 19th minute, Shawal Anuar turned his marker and drove in a low cross into the box, and the onrushing Carlos Delgado unleashed a bullet, which narrowly shaved the post.
Soon later, Shawal once again tormented the Rhinos’ defence with his speed and guile, as the stalwart unleashed a belter from an acute angle, but Warriors’ custodian, Basil Chan was very alert to make a save.
10 minutes before the first-half expired, Stanely Ng dazzled his way to the by-line before releasing a delightful cross to Shawal, whom unfortunately, ballooned his unmarked header.
The visitors, had a wonderful chance to open the scoring through Hafiz Rahim’s curling free-kick attempt, but the Eagles’ young custodian, Hairul Syirhan produced a magnificent dying save, to ensure it remain goalless at half-time.
After the break, the Eagles were hungry for the opener, and Geylang came really close through Hartmann’s blistering free-kick and Delgado’s half-volley in the space of three minutes. However, Chan produced splendid diving saves to parry the attempts away to safety.
In the 62nd minute, the Rhinos nearly found the breakthrough through Kento Fukuda’s header from a set-piece situation. Then again, Geylang’s captain, Isa Halim was there to save the Eagles’ blushes as he made an exceptional goal-line clearance, to deny the opener.
Soon later, Chan was called into action once again, and this time, he executed a magnificent goal-line stop, to reject Stanely’s close range header from Hartmann’s pin-point cross.
With both teams vying for ball possession and shots on target, chances were at premium for the remaining 20 minutes of the game.
With the game seemingly destined for a goalless draw and a penalty shootout to determine a winner after the full-time, Hartmann had other ideas, as he intelligently drew a foul at the edge of the box, deep into injury time.
The colossal striker, then picked himself up and lined up behind the ball as the kick-taker of virtually the last kick of the game. The Filipino forward then poised himself, before hammering a thunderous strike over the wall and into the bottom corner, despite the despairing dive of Chan, to net his fourth goal in five games.
The goal right at the death, sent the crowd into ecstasy and certainly broke the hearts of the Warriors as the final whistle followed soon after. The Eagles will now have a chance to collect some kind of silverware and are in the Plate Final against Hougang United, happening this Saturday evening at Jalan Besar Stadium.
Speaking after the game, Geylang’s Head Coach, Hasrin Jailani was elated with the victory and is ready for Hougang United FC, “I told the players to push up more, with some urgency in the second-half. We defended well and create more chances, but we left it late to seal victory. Now what’s left for us, is to go and try to win it against the Cheetahs. Something is better than nothing, as least we are in the Plate Final, so let’s see how it goes on Saturday.”
Full Time : Geylang International FC (Mark Hartmann 90’) 1 – 0 Warriors FC
EAGLES’ Editor Man Of The Match: Mark Hartmann
Geylang International FC: Hairul Syirhan (GK), Anders Aplin, Yuki Ichikawa, Shariff Samat, B.Jeevakumaran (Al-Qaasimy Rahman 65′), Isa Halim (C), Carlos Delgado (Nor Azli Yusoff 65′), Shawal Anuar, Stanely Ng, Umar Akhbar (Hairy Jamal 78′), Mark Hartmann
*Photos Courtesy of S.League