Geylang International FC

Eagles’ wings clipped despite perseverance

Photo by Singapore

Photo by Singapore

The quarter-final second leg of RHB Singapore Cup between Home United FC and Geylang International FC kicked off on 29th July, 8pm in Bishan stadium. Protectors entered the second leg with two goals lead over Eagles from the first leg. Both teams fought hard for the last of four tickets into the semi-final.

The match was off to an exciting start with early challenge at the 1st minute as freekick was awarded to Eagles after Protectors’ 2-on-1 aggressive pressure brought Stefan Milojevic down. The freekick taken by Jozef Kaplan went loose and headed straight to the wall.

Despite several attempts at goal by both teams, Protectors went closest to scoring at  the 7th minute as Masrezwan Masturi fired a shot which was nicely blocked by Nori Kawakami. Subsequently, Jozef’s attempt at goal was denied prematurely by Noh Rahman as he cleared the ball off the right of box.

13 minutes into the match, Indra Sahdan tried to head the ball down the centre, however was cleared off skilfully by the Eagles. Firdaus Idros then headed the stray ball immediately to Ismail Yunos who deflected it into the goal, successfully scoring the opening goal of the night.

Protectors’ pressing game placed good pressure as they dominated Eagles’ half of pitch. Short passes were played and denied Eagles of the ball. Eagles defended well and in a breakthrough, Stefan Milojevic met the ball by Duncan Elias and fired the ball right past Shahril Jantan, scoring the equaliser at 34th minute.

However, the score was brought up to 2-1 just one minute later as Firdaus’ shot finds the back of net after Masrezwan passed the ball in from the right flank.

Eagles was awarded a penalty at the 43rd minute after Milojevic was tripped in a scramble by Noh and Ismail in the right corner of the box. However, Jozef’s spot kick to the right was saved as it rebounded off Shahril’s glove.

Half time score stood at 2-1.

Extending the lead for Protectors, Indra played the ball from Masrezwan and converted it into a goal, bringing the score up to 3-1 at 49th minute.

Eagles looked set to close up the gap when Khairulnizam Jumahat’s cross was met by Wahyudi Wahid’s header. However, Shahril extended his right hand up in reflex and denied Eagles of the attempt.

The second half saw Eagles pushed hard in their defense. At the 62nd minute, Protectors’ Jordan Webb played in from the left flank and attempted a shot at goal which sent the ball over the bar. Webb chose power over accuracy after Eagles’ relentless pressure.

Eagles put in their second goal at the 70th minute as Jozef fired the shot in close range after breaking down Protectors’ tight defense which cleared off Eagles’ two attempts at goal just moments before.

Closest to scoring again was Protectors’ Song Ui Young when his header hit the crossbar at the 74th minute. Eagles persevered to put up strong defense and denied further goals from Protectors.

With 3 minutes added time, full time score stood at 3-2.

The conclusion of the two legs at quarter-final saw Protectors booking a spot at the semi-final with an aggregate score of 5-2.

Despite going down by one goal to Protectors in the match, Eagles’ coach Kanan was proud of his players and credited them for ‘not giving up till the end’. With the early exit, Kanan expressed that Eagles will then continue to concentrate on S-league matches.

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