Geylang International FC

Hardworking Eagles down by rampant Protectors


Jalan Besar stadium was the site of the revival of the RHB Singapore Cup once more as Geylang International FC faced off with Home United FC in an eagerly anticipated quarter finals game on the 23rd of July 2013.

The last time these two sides met in the Great Eastern Yeo’s S-League, controversial decisions saw Home United claim a 2-1 victory at the Bishan stadium. This match was an opportunity for the Eagles to take revenge on the Protectors. Geylang International FC were on the back of a 1-0 defeat by Brunei DPMM and were relishing the chance to get back to winning ways.

Home United FC were also on the back of a 2-1 home defeat to Balestier Khalsa FC in the S-league and also needed a change in fortunes to move forward in the RHB Singapore cup.

The game started with the Home side kicking things off, almost immediately claiming a set piece with their fast paced play. Geylang International FC were looking to use the pace in the team to break open the Home United defence. Jozef Kaplan was looking lively as he dropped to the midfield area on occasions and made lung-busting runs forward.

Home United FC, on the other hand, were trying to slow the play down as they attempted to dictate the play in midfield. The Home United forwards were making incisive runs to beat the backline as the midfielders attempted to thread slick through balls into the Geylang International penalty box.

Both teams were clearly putting 100% into the game as emotions ran high during the game. Hard tackles and fouls were breaking into small scuffles, which the referee himself had to break up. Geylang International FC were finding it hard to break forward because of the extremely high line the Home United side were playing.

The Home United side was dominating the midfield as even the forwards were dropping back to midfield to take back possession of the ball. When it looked as if the teams were going to head back into the dressing rooms all square, the breakthrough finally came from the away side in the 45th minute of play.

Great build-up play saw the Home United forwards break forward with pace as the Eagles midfield tried to drop back into the penalty box. A good low cross from the wing found it’s way to the number 10 forward, Hafiz Rahim as he slotted home a shot with power and accuracy past Geylang shot stopper Takuma Ito, making it 1-0 to Home United FC.

The second half saw more the same type of play as Home United still poured numbers forward in an attempt to coop the Geylang side in their own half, limiting their offensive moves. The Eagles had clearly learnt from their mistakes in the first half as they too now boasted a much higher line.

Home United FC were passing their way out of trouble as they managed to perform near-perfect 1-2 passing to break their way out of crowded situations, also using the same technique to beat the Eagles’ backline. The Protectors were also looking dangerous on free kick set pieces around the 20-30 yard range.

The Geylang forwards did have good opportunities when they broke quickly from their own half. Exceptional defending from the Home United backline saw the score remain at 1-0 to the away side.

Defensive woes deepened for the Eagles, as a lofted goal kick from Sharil Jantan found its way deep into the Geylang half. Firdaus Idros was the target man as a low cross found it’s way to his feet, as he calmly fired the ball into the back of the net, giving the away side a 2-goal cushion.

The constant pressure from the Home united players was proving to be the difference as Geylang International were unable to click into gear, as they were never given a moment’s rest when they were in possession. The hardworking Geylang International FC players were throwing everything forward in an attempt to get the goal, but a stout Home United defence were having a very good game as they constantly repelled the Eagles.

A red card in the final 15 minutes did not help the eagles as Yasir Hanapi collected his second booking of the evening; this effectively sealed the victory for the away side as they now had a numerical advantage of the under-performing Eagles.

In the end, there was nothing the hardworking Eagles could do to overturn the tie as they stumbled to a 2-0 defeat at the first leg of the tie. The second leg of the match will be played next Monday on the 29th of June.

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