Singapore Premier League • July 15, 2018

Behe the hero as Warriors down Geylang to end losing run


The Frenchman struck the only goal of the game to give his side their first win in four games

Warriors FC top scorer Jonathan Behe struck the only goal of the game.

SINGAPORE, 15 JULY 2018 – A lone strike from Jonathan Behe inside the opening 10 minutes separated Warriors FC from Geylang International FC at the Bedok Stadium in the Great Eastern-Hyundai Singapore Premier League on Sunday.

The victory was only the Warriors’ fourth of the season and ended a run of three straight defeats, while also moving them into fifth ahead of Balestier Khalsa FC on goal difference.

The Eagles stay in eighth spot, two points below the Young Lions who had leapfrogged them in the table on Saturday.

Ryan Syaffiq wasted the opportunity to break the deadlock early on after Fairoz Hasan set him up on nine minutes, screwing his shot wide.

The hosts paid the price for that miss as the Warriors went down the other end to open the scoring a minute later.

The striker earned a corner off Yuki Ichikawa and from Shamil Sharif’s subsequent delivery, the Frenchman rose highest to head the ball in.

Shamil could have added another just a couple of minutes later, but his curler from the edge of the area was pushed onto the woodwork by Geylang custodian Zainol Gulam.

Behe then saw a header easily saved by Zainol, while Ryan wasted another opportunity at the other end on 30 minutes.

Zainol then produced three stops in a three-minute spell to keep his side in the game, with the pick of it being a save at full stretch to tip away Shamil’s curling effort on 39 minutes.

The second half picked up where the first ended, with Zainol by far the busiest player on the pitch.

He was at full stretch to tip Sahil’s free-kick wide on 47 minutes, before stopping Behe seven minutes later after the Warriors top scorer made a wonderful run into the box.

But the tide soon turned and the Eagles began to threaten, with Fairoz Hasan spurning an opportunity from an unmarked position after being found by Afiq Yunos.

The Eagles kept up the pressure and Warriors needed Mukundan Maran to bail them out with a splendid save after substitute Anders Aplin turned Tajeli Salamat and fired a powerful effort on goal.

Kogure then tested the young Warriors goalkeeper with a free-kick from 25 yards out, which the 20-year-old impressively held on to at full stretch.

Try as they might, Geylang were unable to find a breakthrough as Mukundan dealt with the aerial balls lofted his way authoritatively.

There was time for late drama as Warriors debutant Khairul Nizam was shown a straight red for a poor challenge on Ryson Yap barely ten minutes after coming on, souring an otherwise happy night for the visitors.

Geylang goalkeeper Zainol Gulam: “Luck wasn’t on our side. We had chances in the second half and created five to six; maybe it was meant to be for us to lose, but we definitely kept pushing. We will try not to let (the defeat) affect us. We’ve been working as a team, improving a lot after the first round.

“This is a new team and some of the players weren’t even playing much this year, so we should be proud and continue working hard.”

Warriors goalkeeper Mukundan Maran: “The last few minutes were very pressurising as they threw everyone up front including their defenders, but we managed to keep sturdy and get the win.

“The senior players keep telling me that I’m only as good as the last game and whatever I’ve done today, it’s to help the team win. I’ll take it in my stride and move on to the next game.”

Geylang: Zainol Gulam (GK), Jufri Taha, Zulfadli Zainal Abidin, Darren Teh, Ryan Syaffiq (Anders Aplin 65′), Azhar Sairudin (Ryson Yap 65′), Fumiay Kogure, Yeo Hai Ngee (Fuad Ramli 46′), Afiq Yunos, Fairoz Hasan, Yuki Ichikawa (C).
Unused subs: Basil Chan (GK), Sadiq Abdul Rahim, Ahmad Zaki, Zikos Chua.

Warriors: Mukundan Maran (GK), Kento Fukuda (C), Ammirul Emmran (Ismadi Mukhtar 64′), Shamil Sharif, Jonathan Behe, Sahil Suhaimi (Khairul Nizam 82′), HAfiz Sulaiman, Fadhil Noh (Suria Prakash 72′), Poh Yi Feng, Firdaus Kasman, Tajeli Salamat.
Unused subs: Hyrulnizam Juma’at (GK), Delwinder Singh, Emmeric Ong, Daniel Shafiq.