Geylang International FC

Mis-firing Eagles downed by Courts Young Lions


Courts Young Lions registered their second win of the S.League season with a convincing 1-0 victory over Geylang International at the Bedok stadium on Wednesday evening.

The Eagles were eager to get back to winning ways after as the new format and third round of matches meant that teams in the bottom half would play each other once to determine the final standings.

The Eagles however, were feeling the pressure as their usual playing style could not find its place and led to the Courts Young Lions threatening their goal with well spaced attacks.

The visitors were rewarded with a well-deserved goal 13 minutes into the second half, through Canadian playmaker, Sherif El-Masri.

The 23 year-old was left with acres of space in the box and connected a pin-point header to Shamil Sharif’s out-swinging free-kick, which eluded the hapless Takuma Ito in the 58th minute of the match.

Despite missing the regular midfield anchorman and international player M.Anumanthan due to a groin injury, Aide Iskandar’s men dominated the bulk of proceedings as the Eagles struggled to find their form from before which saw them defeat teams such as Hougang and Woodlands on their home ground.

The Young Lions could have taken the lead before the half-time interval, but Sahil Suhaimi’s could only agonisingly see his thunderous shot hit the upright in the 37th minute, much to the dismay of the visiting fans.

The Eagles coach V.Kanan brought in Andrew Tan for Duncan Elias after the restart in the hope of providing more creativity in the middle of the park, but he was left frustrated as it did not have the intended effect he had wanted.

The margin could have been bigger if not for the heroics of Geylang’s custodian Takuma Ito who was up to task throughout the match, as he pulled off stunning saves from Sahil and Nur Ridho attempts, both a constant nuisance to the host defence.

It could have been a totally different outcome had captain Jozef Kaplan been clinical in front of goal, missing a sitter from eight yards out after Yasir Hanapi had done all the hard work down the flank and supplying the ball to the middle of the box in the 50th minute.

With the clocks ticking down and trailing by a goal, Kanan pushed central defender Norihiro Kawakami to the attacking third but despite their effort, it was to no avail as the Eagles ended the match empty handed.

Unable to contain his disappointment, Head Coach of the Eagles, Mr. V. Kanan expressed his displeasure with his charges in what he mentioned was the “worst performance of the season so far”.

The head coach expected a much better performance similar to the one against Tanjong Pagar United, where the spoils were shared. “We trained very hard these 2 weeks after the good performance against the Jaguars. A sudden loss like this is never good.”

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