News • October 15, 2016
Comeback Victory Keeps Eagles In AFC Cup Qualification Hunt
Written by: Ryan Low
Geylang International have closed in within a point of the current second-highest local team Hougang United, after a superb 2-1 comeback win against Warriors FC at Bedok Stadium on Friday night.
The Warriors had taken a shock lead early in the second half via Fazli Jaffar, but Geylang managed to turn things around thereafter via two quick-fire goals from Amy Recha and Sahil Suhaimi.
The Eagles had dominated proceedings in the first half, but was unable to beat Warriors goalkeeper Yazid Yasin on several one-on-one situations.
Then shortly after the break, Shahfiq Ghani’s free kick from just outside the box beat Yazid but the right-hand post.
The Warriors rode their luck and managed to break the deadlock against the run of play on 52 minutes.
Ridhuan Muhammad’s looping cross into the area eluded everyone in the box, except Fazli who needed just one touch to guide home an elegant left-footed volley into the bottom right corner.
The game was then halted for an hour due to the Lightning Warning System (LWS) being switched on, with Geylang settling back in the better of the two sides.
The Eagles threw more bodies forward in search of the equaliser and finally got it in the 73rd minute. Sahil’s inswinging corner picked out Amy, who directed a neat header past the helpless Yazin.
That gave them the impetus to finish forward for the winner, which they scored just four minutes later.
Provider turned goal scorer as Sahil stepped up from 25 yards out to curl home a rasping free-kick into the bottom left corner and send the home fans wild.
Jonathan Behe then had an excellent opportunity to put the Warriors back level on 84 minutes, but the French forward somehow volleyed Fazli’s left-wing cross over from two yards out.
Geylang held on for the morale-boosting win, which put them level on points with Home and just one point behind Hougang.
It looks like an intriguing end to the season, with all three teams jostling to finish as the second-highest local team, which ensures qualification to next season’s AFC Cup.
Geylang International coach Hasrin Jailani: “The break (due to LWS) was a lifeline given to us; we had time to regroup and change our formation. We threw three upfront and thankfully it worked for us.
“We knew that a draw is not good and a loss would put us as good as out of the equation to qualify for AFC Cup. Now we just need to focus on ourselves and it’s good that we’re facing Hougang and Home next; it’s a straightforward equation for us in terms of what we need to do.”
Warriors FC head coach Razif Onn: “We were controlling the game well, even though Geylang have so many good attackers. But like I mentioned before, you cannot afford to have lapses in football.
“The two goals came in a space of four minutes and that’s not unacceptable. I don’t blame the one-hour break because it affected both teams. It was more because of our lack of concentration and the way we set up for set pieces.”
Geylang International: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Yuki Ichikawa, Isa Halim (C), Shariff Samat, Daniel Bennett, Faritz Hameed, Shahfiq Ghani (Mark Hartmann 66’), Amy Recha, Nor Azli Yusoff (Gabriel Quak 64’), Shawal Anuar (Anders Aplin 66’), Sahil Suhaimi
Warriors FC: Yazid Yasin (GK, C), Zulfadli Zainal Abidin, Kento Fukuda, Madhu Mohana, Poh Yi Feng, Nikola Rak, Ridhuan Muhammad, Hafiz Osman, Fazli Jaffar, Hafiz Rahim, Jonathan Behe