Match Report: Geylang International 2-2 Pro Duta
By Andrew Ang on 8 March 2014
It was all square at the Bedok Stadium as Geylang International played host to a 2-2 draw against Indonesian side Pro Duta FC in an international friendly match. A strong first half performance saw the Eagles go into the half-time break holding a two goal lead, courtesy of goals from Hamqammal Shah and Aliff Shafaein. However, Pro Duta managed to salvage a draw with a late double from Rachmad Hidayat.
Geylang International named Siddiq Durimi at the heart of the defence to partner Joaquin Lopez while Prime League starlet Muhammad Haziq started in centre midfield. Jonathan Tan also made a start on the left flank for the Eagles. Pro Duta, reigning champions of the Indonesian Premier League, were playing their first pre-season fixture of the season.
The home side started strongly with neat passes exchanged between the midfield and attack and it was no surprise when the first offensive set piece of the match went their way, as early as the second minute. But Mustaqim Manzur’s resulting corner failed to trouble the away side.
Geylang registered their first shot of the match, albeit in spectacular fashion. Arriving on the end of a cross, Leonel Felice attempted an overhead kick towards goal. His effort, doing little to disturb the opposition custodian as it sailed over the bar.
The Argentinean forward was at it again a few minutes later. Strong hold up play from Leonel Felice resulted in a free kick awarded to the home side. Aliff Shafaein stepped up to take the set piece but the Indonesian cleared the ball away for a corner.
Only a temporary respite for the away side as it turned out.
An in swinging corner from Mustaqim Manzur was cleverly headed in at the near post by Hamqammal Shah to give Geylang a 1-0 lead.
The second goal for the Eagles arrived right after. Forward Leonel Felice overpowered the opposing defenders and broke free of his markers before hitting a powerful cross into the box. Arriving on the end of his cross was Aliff Shafaein. The latter tapping the ball into the net to give Geylang International two goals in as many minutes.
It could have gotten worse for a rattled Pro Duta FC but Mustaqim Manzur spurned a good chance after failing to connect with his header after a sumptuous cross from winger Jonathan Tan. Leonel Felice also had a good chance to score. A misplaced pass from the opposition resulted in Leonel breaking through on goal, but the forward’s shot failed to hit the target.
In what a good first half for the Eagles, there was one note of negativity. Defender Khairulnizam Jumahat, forced off after an injury as he was replaced by Wyldan Wisam.
As the referee called time on the first 45 minutes, Geylang International held a deserved 2-0 lead over Pro Duta FC.
Head Coach V. Kanan rang the changes in the second half as he blooded Prime league players, Hyder Ismail, Chen Peng , and Syafiq Iderus amongst others.
The Prime league players held their own and the home side almost had a third goal. Mustaqim Manzur broke free on the right wing and squared the ball for forward, Leonel Felice. The striker’s effort came back off the right post.
As the match trickled down to the last 10 minutes, Geylang International was made to pay for the missed opportunities. A neat play outside the box and a through ball saw Pro Duta’s No. 8 Rachmad Hidayat finish past Joey Sim to set up a nervy finish.
As the away side chased for an eventual equalizer, Geylang almost put the game to bed. Seizing the abundance of space on the right flank, Hyder Ismail evaded the wing before he hit a shot. His pile driver, hit the post, to the annoyance of the Prime League midfielder.
In the next attack, Pro Duta grabbed their equalizer.
After winning a free kick, outside the box after a foul, Rachmad Hidayat lined up a free kick in the 87th minute. Geylang goalkeeper, Joey Sim could do little to stop the midfielder’s effort as the ball flew into the back of the net.
The referee blew the final whistle and as both teams exchanged pleasantries after the match, the score line stood at 2-2.
Speaking to the Geylang International Media Team after the match, Pro Duta FC coach, Alfredo Gonzalez expressed his pleasure at the result. He said: “We travelled here in the morning today and it was our first pre-season match so I am happy with the result.”
Meanwhile, Geylang International head coach, Vedhamuthu Kanan explained the purpose of the friendly, saying, “We needed this fixture to give the squad some match practice during the 2 weeks break ahead of our match with Tampines Rovers.”
When asked about the inclusion of Prime league players, Kanan added: “I saw some good players from the Prime League today.” Singling out Hyder Ismail, Muhammad Haziq and Syafiq Iderus, he said: “They are raw but they can step up and play in the S.League if needed and they showed it today. “
FINAL SCORE: Geylang International FC (Hamqammal Shah 16′, Aliff Shafaein 17′) 2–2 Pro Duta FC (Rachmad Hidayat 80′, 87′)
Geylang International Line-up: Joey Sim, Khairulnizam Jumahat (Wyldan Wisam 43′), Siddiq Durimi (Aslam Ismail 68′), Joaquin Lopez, Hamqammal Shah (Syafiq Iderus 58′), Muhd Haziq, Franco Chivilo, Mustaqim Manzur (Hyder Ismail 58′), Aliff Shafaein (Jalal Jasim 45′), Jonathan Tan (Chen Peng 45′), Leonel Felice