Singapore Premier League • June 20, 2014
Plucky Harimau Snatches Last-Gasp Victory
Written by: Muhammad Yazid
Geylang International were left licking their wounds as they fell 3-2 to Harimau Muda in a Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League game at Bedok Stadium on Thursday evening.
Leading 2-0 at half-time thanks to goals by Shahrul Igwan and Syawal Nordin, Harimau surrendered their advantage in the final ten minutes of the game as Leonel Felice pulled one back before Kento Fukuda scored what seemed was the leveller for Geylang.
But there was still time for more as the visitors’ substitute Ramzi Sufian struck in the dying minutes to claim a crucial winner as the Young Tigers snatch their third win of the season.
Geylang seemed effective in building up play right from defence in the first-half but struggled to create chances once the ball reached the final third.
Making good use of the flanks, wingers Mustaqim Manzur and Ridhuan Muhammad were constantly in good positions to cross the ball to the danger area to find targetman Felice.
However, the Argentine found it difficult to hit the back of the net in the first half as Harimau’s centre-backs Syawal and Abdullah Suleiman stood their ground and denied the forward on several occasions.
Harimau on the other hand were making good use of the opportunities they had.
The first chance of the game fell to the visitors came midway through the first half as Ramzi Haziq’s left-footed attempt from eight yards out was parried away by the Eagles goalkeeper Siddiq Durimi.
The Young Tigers took the lead in the 38th minute after Igwan found himself in a one-on-one situation before coolly slotting the ball past the hapless Siddiq.
Razip Ismail’s charges doubled their lead three minutes before the break. Igwan turned from scorer to provider as he whipped in a wicked ball into the penalty area and Syawal blasted it home after the Geylang defence failed to clear their lines.
Jorg Steinebrunner’s side were keen in getting back into the game after the restart but things was not smooth sailing for his side.
An unmarked Yuki Ichikawa volleyed the ball agonizingly wide from twelve yards after Mustaqim’s header perfectly found the Japanese.
On the hour mark, Ridhuan sprinted on the right side before intelligently laying a low cross for Aliff Shafaein to strike the ball but it flew straight into Ilham Amirullah’s palms instead.
With twenty minutes to go, the speedy Hafiz Nor was introduced to the game and he added sparks in attack. The former Tanjong Pagar United’s players had a go at goal within minutes of coming on but his shot was fisted away by Ilham.
The Eagles were then granted with a well-deserved goal eight minutes from time when the referee pointed to the spot after Ichikawa was brought down in the penalty area.
Felice stepped up to convert the ensuing penalty, sending Ilham the wrong way to give Geylang a glimmer of hope in the closing stages.
Three minutes later, Fukuda made it 2-2 when he rose the highest to nod home a corner from Mustaqim.
However, Harimau shockingly put their noses in front once more in injury time as super-sub Ramzi Sufian received a through ball from the left before placing it past Siddiq.
The victory saw the Malaysians go level on points with Courts Young Lions on nine points although they still trail by goal difference, while the Eagles failed to overtake Balestier Khalsa in the league table as they remain on eighth spot.