Singapore Premier League • March 20, 2014

Eagles and Young Lions Search for Valuable Points


Geylang International vs Courts Young Lions

(March 20, Thursday, 7.30pm, Bedok Stadium)

Written by: Phoon Jia Hui

Three straight losses certainly does not bode well for Geylang International but they will have an opportunity to pick up their first win of the season at home against the Courts Young Lions on Thursday evening.

After defeats to Warriors FC and Home United in their opening two matches, the Bedok-based side fell 3-0 to reigning champions Tampines Rovers on Sunday night as they remain rooted at the bottom of the table.

A lengthy injury list has already forced Geylang head coach Vedhamuthu Kanan to deploy goalkeeper Siddiq Durimi in central defence in the Tampines defeat with Japanese defensive duo Kento Fukuda and Yuki Ichikawa out injured.

Further up the pitch, Leonel Felice has hardly impressed despite opening his account against the Protectors. Despite high expectations of him since his return to the league, skipper Ridhuan Muhammad is also another one who has failed to live up to his billing and is struggling for form.

On the other hand, Aide Iskandar’s side picked up their first point of the season as they put up a spirited showing to hold Woodlands Wellington to a 2-2 draw last week.

Midfielder Shamil Sharif fired the Young Lions into the lead twice, but were pegged back by goals from Milos Jevtic and Rosman Sulaiman on both occasions as they shared the spoils.

While he expressed disappointment that his side only managed a draw, Aide found positives from the game.

“We should have gotten all three points because we did play well. The two set-piece goals we conceded cost us two valuable points,” the ex-international said.

“We are slowly improving. This year’s team is better than last year’s and we are slowly improving this season. We lost badly in our first game [to Balestier] but we gave a very good fight against Tampines and now we have gotten our first point of the season.

“It’s never going to be easy so we need to keep working hard. We need to learn and grow, and achieve more points.”

Key Men To Watch

Geylang International: Siddiq Durimi

Despite being deployed as a centre-back in their defeat to Tampines, Geylang second-choice goalkeeper Siddiq hardly put a foot wrong but was helpless to prevent the three goals conceded.

With a thin squad like Geylang’s, his versatility will come in handy especially as the season goes on when injuries and suspensions begin to hit them.

Courts Young Lions: Shamil Sharif

The Courts Young Lions midfielder scored his first goals of the season to help his side earn their first point of the season in a 2-2 draw with Woodlands Wellington in their last game.

A hardworking player, he has the ability to dictate play and score spectacular goals as evidenced in the opener against the Rams when he struck a first-time effort which beat a rooted Yazid Yasin.

Geylang International – LLLDW

16/3/14          Tampines Rovers 3-0 Geylang International

1/3/14            Home United 4-1 Geylang International

23/2/14          Warriors 2-1 Geylang International

6/11/13          Brunei DPMM 2-2 Geylang International

29/10/13       Hougang United 1-4 Geylang International

Courts Young Lions – DLLWW

13/3/14         Courts Young Lions 2-2 Woodlands Wellington

1/3/14           Tampines Rovers 3-2 Courts Young Lions

23/2/14         Courts Young Lions 0-4 Balestier Khalsa

5/11/13         Courts Young Lions 2-0 Hougang United

31/10/13      Courts Young Lions 2-1 Warriors FC

Head to Head (S.League)

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