Singapore Premier League • July 5, 2018

Decimated Young Lions succumb to Geylang


The hosts could name only five substitutes and went down 3-1 despite a valiant performance

Shawal Anuar opened the scoring in Geylang International FC’s win.

SINGAPORE, 4 JULY 2018 – Geylang International FC overtook Young Lions in the Great Eastern-Hyundai Singapore Premier League (SPL) table to claim seventh spot after beating them 3-1 at Jalan Besar Stadium.

Shawal Anuar had opened the scoring in the first half before Haiqal Pashia equalised for the hosts. However, further goals from Ryan Syaffiq and Fairoz Hasan ensured Geylang went home with three points.

Beset with injuries and suspensions, the Young Lions were billed as underdogs going into this game but did not look the part for most of the match.

They could have gone a goal down in the seventh minute after Shawal won the ball from Adam Hakeem and let fly from distance, but his shot bounced just wide of the post.

However, Young Lions went on the offensive immediately and Haiqal should have at least tested Geylang goalkeeper Basil Chan at the other end as he failed to pull the trigger in time.

Another gilt-edged opportunity came in the 25th minute, after Rusyaidi Salime timed his run to perfection to meet Haiqal’s cross but was unable to find the target.

The biggest miss of the game would arrive five minutes later. Rusyaidi was once again left with only Chan to beat and while he forced the custodian into a fine stop, Naufal Azman looked set to bury the rebound, only for Darren Teh to make a goal-line clearance.

That miss would prove costly in the 38th minute, as Geylang then took the lead through Shawal.

After Hairul had parried Ryan’s effort away, the resulting corner fell for Yeo Hai Ngee to flick on and Shawal was on hand to finish off for his seventh goal of the campaign.

The goal came at a huge cost however, as Shawal seemingly injured himself and was taken off with only three minutes left in regulation time.

In the second half, Geylang suffered a huge let off when Yuki Ichikawa gave the ball away just outside his side’s danger area but Rusyaidi could only find the side netting in the 51st minute.

The Young Lions’ equaliser eventually arrived though, right on the hour mark as Chan failed to intercept Syahrul Sazali’s cut-back and Haiqal was left with an easy tap in.

But parity lasted only for six minutes, with the Eagles going ahead again through Ryan. Collecting Fairoz’s header, the midfielder calmly flicked the ball over two defenders and finished into the bottom right corner from 14 yards.

The Young Lions’ woes were further compounded moments later, as they went a man down after R. Aaravin was sent off for a second bookable offence.

Geylang took advantage and doubled their lead four minutes later with a superb effort by Fairoz, who rifled home a superb dipping volley from distance to make it 3-1.

Young Lions did have the ball in the net almost immediately in response, but Haiqal’s effort was chalked off for offside.

Teh then came to his side’s rescue once again, after Ifwat wriggled free and went for goal from close range only for the Geylang defender to hack the ball away.

The Eagles also had the woodwork to thank f in the 84th minute after Rusyaidi had Chan beaten with his volley, only for it to come crashing off the bar.

Even when Young Lions had a penalty deep in injury time, they still could not score as Ifwat’s effort was thwarted by Chan to leave them win-less in eight matches.

Young Lions will face Home United FC a week later at Bishan Stadium while the Eagles get a short three-day break before facing Hougang United FC at Bedok Stadium.

Young Lions Assistant Coach S. Subramani: “To be honest, we have a very depleted squad but regardless, the boys worked very hard andgave their best. We had many chances and that is football, if you don’t take your chances they will come back to haunt you.

“You all watched the game, they will say we had the better chances; it’s just unfortunate and it boils down to inexperience. Ifwat’s ball was going in, he (Haiqal) should have known that and it was not necessary for the touch. That would have changed the game as it would have been 3-2. I won’t fault the sending off, he (R. Aaravin) was trying to win the ball, the timing was slightly delayed.

“We only had 16 players today (as) we got so many suspensions. These boys, whoever played today, you can see they gave their best. We have to continue doing that, this is an opportunity for them. They have to show to us they deserve to be in the starting 11.”

Geylang Head Coach Hirotaka Usui: “We just got three points but theYoung Lions were better, I think. They had good pressing and the fighting spirit was also good.

“I don’t want to use lucky, but we were just lucky. Our performance was poor… the defense line was too deep, we gave the opponents (too much) time and space.

“The Young Lions have many injured and suspended players, so maybe they (Geylang players) thought this was an easy game for them but this is wrong. We cannot go up (the table) if we play this way.”

Young Lions: Hairul Syirhan (GK), Adam Hakeem, Joshua Pereira (C), Syahrul Sazali, Naufal Azman, Prakash Raj, Haiqal Pashia, R. Aaravin, Rusyaidi Salime, Jacob Mahler, Ifwat Ismail.
Unused subs: Adib Nur Hakim (GK), Amer Hakeem, Syed Firdaus Hassan, Asshukrie Wahid, Amirul Hakim.

Geylang: Basil Chan (GK), Jufri Tah, Darren Teh, Ryan Syaffiq, Azhar Sairudin, Fumiya Kogure, Yeo Hai Ngee (Zulfadli Zainal Abidin 64’), Afiq Yunos, Shawal Anuar (Fuad Ramli 42’), Fairoz Hasan (Zikos Chua 87’), Yuki Ichikawa (C).
Unused subs: Syed Syazwan (GK), Sadiq Rahim, Ryson Yap, Cameron Bell.