Singapore Premier League • June 8, 2014

Eagles Aim To Down Young Lions Again


Courts Young Lions vs Geylang International

(June 9, Monday, 7.30pm, Jalan Besar Stadium)

Written by: Phoon Jia Hui

It was in the reverse fixture of this clash where Jorg Steinebrunner made his debut as head coach of Geylang International as he led his side to a narrow 1-0 win over the Courts Young Lions at Bedok Stadium.

That was the start of a seven-match unbeaten run as the Eagles earned three victories along the way and even held leaders Brunei DPMM to a 1-1 draw.

However, they recently went on a three-match losing streak in the league before coming out of the cold with a 5-1 thumping of Woodlands Wellington in the RHB Singapore Cup Preliminary Round.

Things got even better for them as they beat defending champions Tampines Rovers 1-0 at the same venue in their last game with Yuki Ichikawa scoring the only goal of that match.

The Eagles have grown from strength to strength under the German who took over predecessor V. Kanan and find themselves just three points adrift of seventh-placed Balestier Khalsa, who have played a game more.

For the Young Lions, they have put in decent performances this term but certain results have not gone their way.

They were scheduled to play Woodlands Wellington in their last game but that was postponed due to some of the players’ involvement with the national team. As such, they will definitely be raring to go for this one as they look to notch their third win of the season.

Young Lions coach Aide Iskandar will be hoping for a steady backline with captain Al-Qaasimy Rahman and Delwinder Singh at the back, while hard-tackling midfielder M. Anumanthan will continue to play a pivotal role in the middle of the park.

Upfront, starlet Sahil Suhaimi will lead their attack with Jordan Webb and Sherif El-Masri expected to provide the ammunition to the Singapore U-23 international.

But it will not be an easy task for Al-Qaasimy and co as they face the threat from Eagles’ hardworking forward Leonel Felice who has six goal to his name thus far.

Geylang’s midfield is also littered with talents as captain Ridhuan Muhammad will continue in his role alongside Aliff Shafaein and Hafiz Nor.

Playmaker Aliff provides Geylang with the creativity while Hafiz is capable of causing damage down either flank with his bursting runs and deadly crosses into the penalty area.

Suspension: Franco Chivilo (Geylang International).

Key Men To Watch

Courts Young Lions: Sahil Suhaimi

Undoubtedly the brightest spark in the Young Lions squad this year, Sahil has made up for lost time.

It took him seven matches into the season before he made his first appearance for the team after failing to pass his mandatory fitness test.

Despite that, he showed no signs of rustiness and is the current top-scorer for the team with five goals scored. His pace and nifty footwork has the ability to trouble defences and Hougang United can testify to that, as Sahil scored two individualistic goals against the Cheetahs.

Geylang International: Yuki Ichikawa

Yuki Ichikawa scored the winner when Geylang beat Tampines Rovers 1-0 last Friday, but it was his defending which stood out most.

Slotting in alongside compatriot Kento Fukuda at the back, the Japanese was immense. Strong in the air, he was also dangerous when it came to attacking set-pieces.

Ichikawa was moved to right-back in the second-half to counter the inward runs of Jozef Kaplan and he did a good job in managing to keep the former Geylang captain quiet.

Courts Young Lions – LLDWL

23/5/14    Courts Young Lions 1-2 Tampines Rovers

15/5/14    Balestier Khalsa 3-1 Courts Young Lions

7/5/14      Courts Young Lions 1-1 Home United

2/5/14      Hougang United 0-3 Courts Young Lions

24/4/14    Courts Young Lions 2-3 Warriors FC

Geylang International – WWLLL

6/6/14       Geylang International 1-0 Tampines Rovers

27/5/14    Woodlands Wellington 1-5 Geylang International (RHB Singapore Cup)

22/5/14    Geylang International 1-4 Home United

16/5/14    Geylang International 0-1 Warriors FC

8/5/14       Albirex Niigata (S) 4-2 Geylang International

Head to Head (S.League)

20/3/14    Geylang International 1-0 Courts Young Lions

24/10/13  Geylang International 1-0 Courts Young Lions

18/9/13    Geylang International 0-1 Courts Young Lions

3/5/13      Courts Young Lions 0-1 Geylang International

23/9/12    Geylang International 2-0 Courts Young Lions

12/4/12    Courts Young Lions 0-2 Geylang International

13/8/11    Geylang International 1-0 Courts Young Lions

9/5/11      Courts Young Lions 3-3 Geylang International

3/3/11      Courts Young Lions 3-2 Geylang International