Singapore Premier League • June 20, 2014

Razip Praises Excellent Display in Geylang Win

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Written by: Muhammad Yazid

Harimau Muda coach Razip Ismail exploded into raptures of joy after witnessing his side grabbing a late winner against Geylang International in their Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League tie at Bedok Stadium on Thursday evening.

“We deserved the three points,” said Razip. “We had a comfortable lead in the first half but our opponents gave us a very tough time.

“Credits to all my players who fought till the end and managed to get the winner. The way they all played from the first to the final whistle was excellent.”

While analysing the way the game penned down, Razip recalled the heartbreak his side faced months ago when they were leading 2-0 at half-time and lost the game 3-2 to Tampines Rovers.

“That game was such a disappointment but that experience has helped us overcome this game because of the similarity of the situation,” he explained.

“To be honest, I was worried at 2-2 and I knew the opponents were coming at us to grab the winner.

“But we have already learnt our lesson from the Tampines game, and I am happy we managed to get the win although we had a scare.”

Despite the victory, the gaffer was still not very pleased with a few key areas in his side.

“Our defending needs to improve because when we are under a lot of pressure, we become disorganised and make mistakes,” Razip mentioned.

“Our finishing also has to improve; we need to be sharp in front of goal. We must create chances, and score from them.”

His counterpart, Jorg Steinebrunner questioned his charges’ first-half performance when they were trailing by two goals.

“In the first half, why did not we play the way we did in the second half? We were second best in the first half and deserved nothing; it was an off-day,” Steinebrunner voiced out.

“It was only the second half when we showed our true colours and came back, it was all Geylang.”

The German referred to the first-half situation as a ‘wake-up call’ and explained what caused his team to be on the backfoot in the first half.

“We did not take things for granted or underestimate them. Harimau is a good team and what happened was that we gave them space and they hurt us; especially the second goal when we were ball-watching,” he said.

“We knew we can play better than them at half-time but we did not do the things which made us good in the last three months.

“I told them to go out and take things on their own hands, and that was what they did.”

The ex-Woodlands Wellington tactician then shared his thoughts about how his team failed to gain something out of the game.

“When you come back from 2-0 down to 2-2 you should be smart to throw the game, not lose it like we did,” he mentioned.

“We need to focus for 90 minutes. At 2-2, we wanted to look for the winner to make it 3-2, but we opened up behind.”