League Cup • July 8, 2014
Eagles Claim Priceless Victory Over Stags
Written By: Kenneth Ho
Geylang International came back from a goal down to triumph over Tampines Rovers, as they kicked off their Starhub League Cup 2014 campaign with a 2-1 victory at Jalan Besar on Monday evening.
Geylang’s former captain and striker Jozef Kaplan returned to haunt his old club with a 9th minute strike, but Mustaqim Manzur and Leonel Felice scored a goal each in the second half to gift the Eagles the three points.
With only one more game against Warriors FC left to play in Group D, Jorg Steinebrunner’s side have given themselves a great chance of qualifying for the next round.
Geylang had started captain Ridhuan Muhammad in right-back as opposed to his traditional role on the flank, and the move could have been interpreted as a tactical move to stifle the Stags’ attack.
However, it went all awry for the Eagles as they conceded an early goal after they failed to clear their lines from a corner and saw the ball fell kindly for Kaplan to slot home.
The Eagles tried to peg Tampines back and were winning the aerial battles in the box, but headers by Leonel and debutant Thorsten Schneider failed to trouble Tampines goalkeeper Justin Pasfield
Schneider was guilty of missing a glorious opportunity in the 27th minute when he headed over from three yards out after being on the receiving end of a Aliff Shafaein cross.
The Eagles were not only dangerous on the aerial front, but also from distance as Pasfield had to stretch and parry over a Haifz Nor thunderbolt in the 39th minute.
Coming out from the break, the hosts were frustrated by Tampines’ defence as they resorted to shot from distances to try and force their way through. However, those shots more often than not failed to trouble Pasfied.
It looked like it was not to be the hosts’ day on the hour mark, when Felice saw his point-blank header smothered by Pasfield but then Mustaqim struck soon to put to bed such thoughts.
Bulldozing his way through Tampines right back Anaz Hadee, Mustaqim then lobbed over an onrushing Pasfield to level things for his side in the 71st minute.
The Stags had barely recovered from conceding when they were dealt another blow by Geylang’s front man Leonel five minutes later.
Shafaein was the creator as he cut back the ball for the Argentinean to hit a sweetly-struck shot which swerved past Pasfield. That gave the Eagles the lead with only 14 minutes of play left.
Tampines had a good chance to equalise before the end but Kunihiro Yamashita was unable to direct his shot on target after getting onto the end of Kaplan’s corner and that saw Stags started their League Cup campaign with a defeat.