League Cup • July 19, 2014
Steinebrunner: We Showed Our True Ability
Written by: Muhammad Yazid
Geylang International entered the top-four of the StarHub League Cup after claiming a 3-1 victory over Albirex Niigata (S) in the quarter-finals.
It was a game filled with end-to-end action and in most periods of the game, no one could have been able to predict the outcome of the game, including Geylang’s coach Jorg Steinebrunner.
“It was a good and entertaining game from both teams,” he said before going on to express his happiness at the result. “Everybody played their hearts out and that is something I rely on for every game.”
“We showed everybody that we can also play good football and that we have good strength upfront. We also showcased our character and unity on the field. That was why we won the game.
“Full credits to the team and the coaching staff for the support. Everything just clicked on well tonight.”
There was not a thing which displeased the German as he also believed that his side reduced Albirex’s chances of equalising.
“Albirex is a team which has good ball possession and I admit they had more of it today but we dealt with that well enough as we set-up by being tight and compact whenever they have the ball.
“We knew that they were going to push us after their first goal, but there were not many clear-cut chances for them as we were still very solid.”
The gaffer was particularly contented with the decision-making skills of his players.
“We knew how to make good decisions, essentially in the last 25 minutes because we needed to be smart and try to save energy,” Steinebrunner mentioned.
“We were good in closing things down when possible and going forward to exploit spaces.
“Like I said, my players know when to go forward and when to slow down. There has to be enough numbers behind the ball when two or three players start penetrating.”
His counterpart, Tatsuyuki Okuyama was disheartened after his team’s exit in the competition.
“I think we were very close to clinching an equaliser,” he shared.
“We played badly in the first half and many players were down when Geylang pressed on us. But at half-time, I talked to them and eventually our opponents got tired in the second half.
“We managed well but just could not get the needed goals.”
The Japanese also felt that his charges needd to convert more shots into target.
“Our shooting has to improve. We have to score whenever we shoot,” he emphasised.
Although Albirex only have the S.League to play for currently, Okuyama does not think that his team is sliding down the ranks in terms of quality performance.
“The League Cup and Singapore Cup are painful because once we lose a game, we are out of the whole competition. But even though we do not have any Cup competition to play for, I believe that my team is not getting worst.”