Singapore Cup • July 2, 2014

Eagles Fighting For Semi’s Spot


RHB Singapore Cup Quarter-Final Second Leg

Geylang International vs Balestier Khalsa

(July 2, Wednesday, 8.00pm, Jalan Besar Stadium)

(First Leg score: Balestier Khalsa 2-1 Geylang International)

Written by: Muhammad Yazid

Despite Geylang International’s narrow 2-1 defeat to Balestier Khalsa in the first-leg quarter-finals of the RHB Singapore Cup, the Eagles are not throwing in the towel just yet prior to the second-leg which is to take place this Wednesday.

The first-leg tie was a tight affair and the Tigers will have to count themselves fortunate to end the game with a victory having been reduced to ten-man.

Trailing by a goal down at half-time after Emir Lotinac scored an own goal, Marko Kraljevic’s side came on to score two after the restart through Goran Ljubojevic and Kim Minho to seal the victory.

Yusiskandar Yusop’s red card in the first half of the game also means that the defender will be watching the game from the stands, and Poh Yi Feng may be a good replacement for the right-back.

Ljubojevic, Kim and Park Kang Jin will be the ones the Geylang defence would be keeping a close watch on, as the trio’s workrate and chemistry has resulted in goals for the Toa Payoh-based club.

In the heart of defence would beLotinac and Nurullah Hussein are expected to be looking to put a halt to the antics by Leonel Felice and Hafiz Nor.

Felice had a rather quiet game in the first leg after forgetting to lace up his shooting boots, while Hafiz was a livewire for the Geylang side.

Having replaced Aliff Shafaein who is undergoing a two-match suspension after receiving a straight red card in the preliminary round, Hafiz has been fitting into the ‘second striker’ role perfectly, notably after scoring a goal for his side in the first-leg.

On the flanks there should be Ridhuan Muhammad and Mustaqim Manzur – the duo who were constantly running rings around the Balestier defence.

In defence, expect the telepathic understanding between Yuki Ichikawa and Kento Fukuda to result in a rock-solid performance.

Geylang coach Jorg Steinebrunner is looking forward to the return-leg encounter and has been instilling the belief in his side.

“The preparations have been going well so far and I can see the right amount of focus and concentrations from the training sessions,” the German mentioned.

“We need to be confident but also acknowledge that Balestier is a good team.”

When asked if Geylang are going for the kill right from the start or be wary of Balestier’s attacks, Steinebrunner said, “We need to find a good balance by playing our normal game and not think about the score.”

Kraljevic on the other hand is hoping that his side would maintain the lead throughout the second-leg.

“It is another 90-minute game and a long way to go,” he commented.

“We are in the driving seat now and of course it is better to go to the second leg with the advantage.”

Suspensions: Aliff Shafaein (Geylang International), Yusiskandar Yusop (Balestier Khalsa)

Geylang International – LLLDD

28/6/14    Balestier Khalsa 2-1 Geylang International (RHB Singapore Cup Quarter-Final First Leg)

23/6/14    Hougang United 2-0 Geylang International

19/6/14    Geylang International 2-3 Harimau Muda

14/6/14    Brunei DPMM 0-0 Geylang International

9/6/14      Courts Young Lions 0-0 Geylang International

Balestier Khalsa – WLWDD

28/6/14    Balestier Khalsa 2-1 Geylang International (RHB Singapore Cup Quarter-Final First Leg)

24/6/14    Balestier Khalsa 0-2 Tampines Rovers

20/6/14    Balestier Khalsa 3-0 Home United

12/6/14    Warriors FC 1-1 Balestier Khalsa

8/6/14      Balestier Khalsa 1-1 Albirex Niigata (S)