Geylang And Hougang Settle For Goalless Stalemate
By Eagles Admin on 12 March 2015
The 2015 ‘SG50’ Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League campaign saw its first goalless fixture as both Geylang International and Hougang United drew blanks at Bedok Stadium on 12 March 2015.
A win for either team would have seen them escalate in the league standings, but a lack of creativity in the attacking department resulted in both teams sharing the spoils to end the game at 0 – 0.
The hosts, Geylang started the fixture slightly more dangerous in the opening phases of the game as they dominated possession and almost broke the deadlock early in the game.
A minute into the game, Eagles’ skipper, Jozef Kaplan pounced onto Hougang’s failed clearance from a throw-in, to only have his close-range shot unfortunately denied by the post.
Eagles’ tricky speedster, Hafiz Nor also contributed to the attacks but his shots from the edge of the box could not find the goal and blazed over the bar.
Minutes later, Cheetah’s captain, Nurhilmi Jasni missed a chance to get on the score sheet when he sent his shot from a free-kick rebound, over the bar and into the stands.
At the half-hour mark, Hafiz Nor dazzled his way past three defenders before releasing a through ball to Syed Thaha, whose effort was calmly saved by Cheetahs’ custodian, Ridhuan Barudin.
With five minutes before the end of the first half, Hougang had another chance with playmaker, Shunsuke Nakatake setting up Matthew Abraham outside the box. Regretfully, Matthew’s outer-foot effort goes narrowly wide.
The Eagles too had their moment, with the last attack of the first half, as Bruno Castanheira’s attempt, after a nod down by Hafiz Osman was duly cleared by the Hougang resilient defence.
The Cheetahs started the second half hungrier as they created a few opportunities and pressed forward right from the restart. Fairoz Hasan and Nurhilmi Jasni both had chances outside the box, but once again, they over-hit their attempts without troubling Eagles’ goalkeeper, Yazid Yazin.
The game also saw Hougang’s Renshi Yamaguchi and Matthew Abraham being cautioned with yellow cards in the space of two minutes, for their late challenges on Kento Fukuda and Yuki Ichikawa, respectively.
Eagles’ coach, Jorg Steinbrunner then made two substitutions to introduce Shah Hirul and Shawal Anuar into the game for Hafiz Nor and Mustaqim Manzur respectively. He then, tweaked his formation from a 4-2-3-1 to a traditional 4-4-2 formation which would reaped its dividends in the next few minutes.
Jozef Kaplan was presented a hat-trick of golden opportunities to snatch a potential winning goal. However, the Slovakian winger got his angles wrong as he headed Yuki Ichikawa’s wonderful delivery a few inches away from goal before his two other powerful goal bound attempts were successfully denied by the heroics of Ridhuan Barudin.
Despite the increased pace of the second 45 minutes, both sides were unable to convert any goalmouth opportunities, and the match ended the same way it had started.
Geylang coach Jorg Steinbrunner was disenchanted with the dull draw but was happy with his team’s performance.
“I am disappointed that we did not win the game despite a much improved performance than against Balestier Khalsa by having more ball possession and shots at goal. For me, it is not one point gained, but instead two points lost as we did all we can but just could not find the back of the net. Nevertheless, it is our first clean sheet and we will take it from here.”
Geylang International FC will now look forward to their next fixture against Tampines Rovers FC at Jalan Besar Stadium on 3 April 2015 and are looking forward to get their first victory of the season.
Full Time : Geylang International FC 0 – 0 Hougang United FC
EAGLES’ Editor Man Of The Match: Jozef Kaplan
Geylang International FC: Yazid Yazin (GK), Yuki Ichikawa, Kento Fukuda, Anaz Hadee, Mustaqim Manzur (82’ Shawal Anuar), Syed Thaha, Tatsuro Inui, Hafiz Nor (71’ Shah Hirul), Hafiz Osman, Jozef Kaplan (C), Bruno Castanheira