Geylang International FC

Kaplan’s Late Goal Rescues A Point For Eagles

11705493_1135273559820471_6646886062348060163_oGeylang International FC and Warriors FC shared the spoils in an entertaining 1-1 draw, as both teams dished out a succulent show of football at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium on Saturday night.

Hafiz Rahim gave the Rhinos the lead in the second-half, as he fired home from close range to open the scoring, in the 58th minute. However, Geylang’s captain, Jozef Kaplan came to the Eagles’ rescue as he scored a last-minute equalizer, to salvage a deserved point for the Bedok-based club.

Geylang came into the game following six consecutive defeats, and the Eagles badly needed a result to get their season back on track.

The motivation to perform served the home team well, as they dominated the game right from the start with good passing and penetration through the flanks by Hafiz Nor and Shawal Anuar.

Geylang were presented the first, real chance at goal in the 22nd minute, when Jozef Kaplan executed a superb volley from outside the box. The audacious shot unfortunately, slammed against the crossbar, but the Eagles’ young starlet, Shawal Anuar was quick to react and then pounced on the rebound with an acrobatic volley. However, that attempt, struck the post too, and rolled out of play.

A few minutes later, Warriors had a wonderful chance to take the lead with Hafiz Rahim’s delightful cross to Fazrul Nawaz. Then again, despite being unmarked, the Singapore International player, missed his header attempt from close range.

Just before the break, the Rhinos, then had another chance in the 31st minute, through Hafiz Rahim. The tricky attacker, collected a pass from a short corner, then side-stepped Mustaqim Manzur, before pulling the trigger, from outside the box. Fortunately, the bullet attempt did not gave any problems to Yazid Yazin, as the effort, ballooned over the bar.

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After the break, both teams came out determined to score goals and it was a fairly industrious performance from both sides then on, as the tackles and challenges flew in, while chances were at a premium.

Seven minutes in the second-half, Geylang, once again sadly let a golden chance go to waste in the 52nd minute.  A delightful through ball from the back, sent Hafiz Nor sprinting from the half-way line towards the goal. Hafiz Nor took a delicate first-touch and skipped past the goalkeeper’s flailing challenge. However, the speed demon, failed to bury his attempt into the empty net, as Warriors’ Marcus Wheeler made a timely goal-line clearance, to keep the Rhinos at bay.

The Eagles were left to rue their missed chances, as Warriors then went ahead, six minutes later. A superb cross from Kevin McCann, was meagrely cleared by Mustaqim Manzur and the ball fell kindly for Hafiz Rahim, whom slammed his effort into the net, to break the deadlock.

Geylang almost replied instantaneously in the 71st minute, when Shah Hirul picked up a weak defensive clearance by the Warriors and returned it with a thunderous pile-driver which unfortunately, crashed against the post once again.

Geylang then, tried their very best to chase the game with offensive mind-set substitutions, as the Eagles introduced Tatsuro Inui, Shafeeq Faruk and Huzaifah Abdul Aziz for Khairulnizam Jumahat, Syed Thaha and Shawal Anuar, respectively.

With a hat-trick of shots hitting the post, the elusive goal and equalizer, came in the dying minute of the game. A long ball was flicked on towards Shafeeq Faruk by Bruno Castanheira, and the Eagles’ Prime League striker outpaced Irwan Shah down the by-line, to set Kaplan up for a simple tap-in.

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However, the drama did not end as the Warriors had two more splendid attempts to restore their lead, in stoppage time. Nevertheless, the ‘superhero of the day’, Yazid Yazin made two exceptional saves against Pejic’s close range cannon and Fazrul Nawaz’s stinging effort, to end the Eagles’ losing streak and also bring back the much deserved point back to Bedok Stadium.

Speaking after the game, Geylang International’s Coach Jorg Steinebrunner, was pleased with the team’s performance. “There’s nothing to get carried away though. Definitely, we didn’t play like a team who have not had success for quite a number of games. The players were confident. It’s a good performance and a good point, but we need to keep working hard,” said Steinebrunner.

The German tactician also added, “Our equaliser was more than deserved and I am going to be very bold and come out to say that, the only team that should have won today, was us (Geylang International).”

The Eagles will now look forward to their next game against Home United , at the Bedok Stadium on 11th September 2015!

Full Time : Warriors FC (Hafiz Rahim 58’) 1 – 1 (Jozef Kaplan 90’) Geylang International FC

EAGLES’ Editor Man Of The Match: Jozef Kaplan                                    

Geylang International FC: Yazid Yasin, Khairulnizam Jumahat (Tatsuro Inui 73′), Nor Azli Yusoff, Hafiz Osman, Syed Thaha (Shafeeq Faruk 80′), Shah Hirul, Mustaqim Manzur, Hafiz Nor, Jozef Kaplan (C), Shawal Anuar (Huzaifah Aziz 83′), Bruno Castanheira.

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