League Cup • July 9, 2014

Coaches Agree Geylang Deserved Win


Written By: Kenneth Ho

Tampines Rovers crashed to a 2-1 defeat by Geylang International on Monday evening in the Group B opening match of the StarHub League Cup 2014, and both coaches agreed that the result was fair.

Despite going down to a 9th minute goal, Geylang International coach Jorg Steinebrunner felt that his charges took a while to settle into the game but when they eventually did, the goals came along with a deserved win.

“It took the boys 20 minutes to get going in the first half but after that we took the initiative, we were aggressive and we looked better on the ball and I think towards the end of the half I think we should have already scored,” Steinebrunner said.

“We regrouped in the break, and I told the boys we could still do this and I think in the second half it was one-way traffic. In my opinion I think we got what we deserved.”

Tampines coach Rafi Ali agreed with Steinebrunner’s assessment, and admitted that he was not surprised by the two second-half goals by Geylang which saw the Eagles make a comeback to win the game.

“We lost because Geylang wanted it more,” Rafi asserted. “We started off very well, and the first goal looked very comfortable and we let them into game with our mistakes.”

“It was during the first half, after the first 20 minutes that we start to see all these casual lazy passes which went astray. These are the type of things which will kill your confidence and momentum when everybody is going forward. That is the result of why we lost today, but I hope they learn from this.”

The result was of much joy to Geylang, especially since they just crashed out of the RHB Singapore Cup in the quarter-finals on penalties to Balestier Khalsa.

“I am happy after overcoming the  disappointment of coming out of the Singapore Cup when everybody thought we should have gone through considering our performances,” Steinebrunner expressed.

“Coming back from 1-0 down against Tampines, who at the moment are one of the best teams in the league shows how much character the team has.”

Both clubs each has one more game to play, with Warriors FC being the opponents and the coaches have outlined their target.

For Rafi, a win was imperative next but he was adamant that his charges had to learn from their mistakes in the defeat to Geylang.

“I told the boys to take this as a lesson to never put it in their head that they have won before the final whistle, and never to take your foot off the gas pedal,” the Tampines coach shared.

Geylang on the other hand stand a good chance of qualifying for the next round now, but Steinebrunner still wanted his team to get a credible result against the Warriors next.

“I think we stand a good chance but we still have to play one more game, but at the moment we are just very happy with the performance and the result. No matter what happens, we still want to play the Warriors and get a result,” he stated.