Geylang International FC

Jozef Kaplan inspires Eagles comeback against the Tigers

Jozef Kaplan inspires amazing Eagles comeback against the Tigers

It was a heart-stopping moment when Geylang International’s Jozef Kaplan beautifully seized the moment to score a goal at the 86th minute, changing the outcome of the match to a draw of 2-2 against Balestier Khalsa FC tonight at Bedok Stadium.

Having been beaten by Balestier with a score of 1-0 in the previous time where both teams had faced off, the Eagles, having gained more experience in the last three months, were not about to allow history to repeat itself easily.

It was two different halves.The hope of having their rivals finally have a good taste of their claws seemed bleak in the first half for the Eagles. As they assumed a tight defense throughout the match, their hard pursuit of the Tigers did not go unnoticed. Their efforts seemed to have to double up though as their turnovers were frequent in the first half of the game.

A kick from Tigers No. 7 Ruhaizad Ismail had Tigers No. 5 Paul Cunningham converting it into a goal by nodding the ball past the goalkeeper. A second goal by the Tigers was made shortly after at the 26th minute. Tigers no. 9 Jung Heebong, with Eagles No. 8 Jalal hot on his heels, was forced to make a quick decision as he turned with his back facing the opponent to protect possession of the ball. A straight pass was fired to Tigers No. 15 Kim Minho and he finished the deed well with a goal scored at mid-range. The fans were left breathless with amazement.

The score for the end of the first half was 2-0.

“The first half we had possession, but we made two silly mistakes- we allowed them to score two goals. We (were) going into the second half, (and) I told my players we (had) to gamble. We played 4-3-3. It paid a lot of dividends. The players worked very hard,” said Eagles Coach, Kanan Vedhamuthu.

The pressure was on as Geylang was given a second quarter to turn the tables around. The goal that they desperately needed came at the 57th minute when Eagles No. 14 Wahyudi Wahid fired the ball in the foal at the goal mouth. The ball hit the top of the goal post and landed over the goal line, creating a frenzy of cheers from the Eagles fans as they had waited patiently but surely for this moment to come. The Eagles remained hungry for the second goal that would even out the score, but the situation did not prove easy for them. It was rough play between both of the teams as they raced back and forth the field, creating many moments where they could have enforced a difference to the score.

A red card was awarded to Balestier No. 6 Ridwan Jamil at the 75th minute after he attained his second yellow card for obviously pushing a player down. Things heated up even more from there.

The momentary dry spell came to an end eventually at the 86th minute. It was a heart-stopping moment as Wahyudi passed the ball into the the middle of the action at the goal mouth, where Eagles No. 25 Ahmad Khidir  jumped in the air to kick the ball towards the goal and captain Jozef Kaplan converted it beautifully into the second goal of the night for the Eagles at close range. The torrent of happiness that followed up was evident among the players and fans alike.

The next goal by either teams was crucial as sure it would have determined the winner, but both the Eagles and Tigers were strong enough to hold up their end, leading to a a final draw of 2-2. Even so, Eagles’ Jozef Kaplan mentioned that he was proud of his team as they showed character and a fighting spirit to the end.

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