Singapore Premier League • August 2, 2018
Anders Aplin fires Geylang to first home win with first pro goal
It was double delight for the Eagles captain as they edged Balestier Khalsa FC 1-0
Aplin could be signing for J2 League side Matsumoto Yamaga FC next week.
SINGAPORE, 1 AUG 2018 – Anders Aplin’s first ever career goal was a winning one as Geylang International FC edged Balestier Khalsa FC 1-0 at Bedok Stadium on Wednesday evening.
The 27-year-old struck in the 73rd minute to help the Eagles earn their first home win in this Great Eastern-Hyundai Singapore Premier League campaign, and he did not care a jolt that it was not the prettiest of strikes.
After Zaiful Nizam had parried Fumiya Kogure’s free-kick onto the bar, the Singapore international reacted the quickest to nod home the rebound.
“I am very happy about the goal, it was our first three points at Bedok Stadium and the boys are very happy about it,” Aplin said.
“I can attribute this to the whole team; we may not be the most experienced or talented team but we worked very hard, so credit to them.”
Indeed, it could have been all so different had Noor Akid Nordin converted his thumping effort on 11 minutes in an otherwise drab affair.
The next chance fell to Afiq Yunos in the 17th minute, but his firm header went straight at Zaiful and that was all the goal-mouth action in the first half.
Balestier’s Huzaifah Aziz curled a free-kick just wide in the second half, while his counterparts Kogure and Yuki Ichikawa followed suit from distance in a game that was screaming for a goal.
Huzaifah even went for a cheeky free-kick from an acute angle, forcing Zainol Gulam into a save at his near post in the 71st minute.
In the end, it was Aplin’s first goal since his professional debut in 2016 that proved to be the difference and allowed Geylang to climb within touching distance of Young Lions and Balestier in the table.
WHAT THEY SAID
Geylang Head Coach Hirotaka Usui: “I must first apologise to the fans and supporters that we took so long to win our first home game. They have waited for four months and I want to thank everyone, especially the players for today’s win. It was good today; everything was good…
“His (Anders’) play was good, he held the ball up well and I didn’t expect him to score today but this is a good present for him. These three months, he worked hard to recover his fitness from injury and this was his reward.
Balestier Head Coach Marko Kraljevic: “In the attacking third, we were not good and that is our biggest problem. Today the quality we needed to make something happen was not good enough.
“We should have gotten a draw but they punished us with our mistake and we did not do the same when they made a mistake, so that is the difference.”
Geylang: Zainol Gulam (GK), Anders Aplin (C), Jufri Taha, Darren Teh, Ryan Syaffiq (Ahmad Zaki 90’+4), Fuad Ramli (Cameron Bell 70’), Fumiya Kogure, Ryson Yap (Azhar Sairudin 70’), Danish Irfan, Afiq Yunos, Yuki Ichikawa.
Unused subs: Basil Chan (GK), Yeo Hai Ngee, Sadiq Rahim, Noor Ariff.
Balestier: Zaiful Nizam (GK) (C), Fadli Kamis, Shaqi Sulaiman, Nurisham Jupri (Akbar Shah 86’), Hazzuwan Halim, Huzaifah Aziz, Sufianto Salleh (Fariz Faizal 70’), Sheikh Abdul Hadi, Ahmad Syahir, Noor Akid Nordin (Dusan Marinkovic 46′), Sanjin Vrebac.
Unused subs: Hafiz Ahmad (GK), Nazri Sabri (GK), Khalili Khalif, Afiq Salman Tan.