Rejuvenated Eagles Ready for Albirex Showdown
By Eagles Admin on 7 April 2015
After clinching their first victory last week, Geylang International would be eager to extend their winning streak against the high-flying Albirex Niigata (S) at Jurong East Stadium on 8th April 2015.
However, the Eagles will face an uphill task, going up against White Swans whom have only conceded twice in the last five matches. Albirex also managed to keep their third clean sheet in a row, which many clubs would be envious of, at this stage of the competition.
Albirex currently sits in 2nd place of the table whilst the Eagles are in the 7th spot but with a game in hand. Both teams are keen for a win to propel themselves up the league table. For Geylang especially, a victory would escalate them out of the ‘bottom-half’ and into the top five standings.
All eyes will be on both teams’ front men as both players have done well to pit themselves against Brunei DPMM’s Rafael Ramazotti for the ‘Top Goalscorer’ award, who currently has six goals to his name.
Geylang’s captain fantastic, Jozef Kaplan and Albirex’s Atsushi Kawata share the spoils with three goals apiece. With both forwards scoring in their last respective fixture, the supporters at Jurong East Stadium, this Wednesday could be set for a possible goal-fest spectacle.
Indeed, it rained goals during last season’s encounters, with Albirex coming out tops on both occasions. The White Swans cruised to a 4-2 victory at Jurong East Stadium in May and overturned a three-goal deficit to earn a 4-3 win at Bedok Stadium in August against the hapless Eagles.
This time round, galvanized by their recent hard-fought victories, both teams will be pecking at each other, neck to neck for a possible favourable outcome.
The lethal partnership of Shotaro Ihata, Rion Taki and Atsushi Kawata will be supported by J-League experienced, Fumiya Kogure who came to the S-League this year from the senior, Albirex Niigata squad. Coach Tatsuya Okuyama will be looking to the quartet, to possibly clip the wings of the Eagles.
On the other hand, the Eagles have a fully fit squad to choose from except for the sole suspension of Nor Azli. Jozef Kaplan and Bruno Castanheira will be looking forward to add to their personal goal tallies against Albirex after nipping the win against Tampines Rovers. Japanese defensive duo, Kento Fukuda and Yuki Ichikawa will also be on hand to provide the defensive steel against the Albirex’s blitzkrieg attacks.
Geylang’s custodian and the longest-serving player in the S.League, Yazid Yazin knows better than to underestimate the White Swans and calls on his team-mates to maintain their concentration after their first win.
“Everyone was happy with our first victory as we put in a lot of hard work in trainings and played according to instructions,” he explained.
“Nevertheless, we (Geylang) have to focus against them (Albirex) and are currently working on the team’s formation and shape to hopefully nullify Albirex offense.”
When asked about Albirex’s red hot form of victories and clean-sheets, the 36-year-old, experienced goalkeeper asserted, “If we (Geylang) are discipline and stick to our game-plan, we can get something out of the game as Geylang goes out every game, giving their best to win.”