Singapore Premier League • April 27, 2014

Eagles Held By Brave Rams


Written By: Kenneth Ho

Woodlands Wellington grabbed a point after holding Geylang International to a 1-1 draw at Bedok Stadium on Saturday evening.

Kento Fukuda put the hosts ahead in the first half with a header but Woodlands managed to equalise against the Eagles with a well-taken goal by Moon Soon Ho.

The game ended in a draw but in truth Geylang spurned several opportunities to score which would have seen them attain maximum points.

Chances were few and far between in the first half, as both teams’ defence were unrelenting and yielded little space.

Aside from a shot by Shafuan Sutohmoh which flashed wide of the post, Woodlands had no other attempts to speak of before the break.

Geylang on the other hand had sight of goal on a few occasions.

In the 14th minute, Geylang had a great chance to grab the lead when Mustaqim Manzur played a ball over the top for Hafiz Noor to latch onto.

Spotting the onrushing Woodlands goalkeeper Yazid Yasin off his line, Hafiz attempted a half-volley but his touch was too heavy as the shot went over the bar.

Mustaqim and Leonel Felice also saw their respective headers from Ridhuan Muhammad’s crosses sail harmlessly over the crossbar.

The Eagles then grabbed the lead via a goal from Fukuda, as he rose the highest to direct Mustaqim’s swinging free kick past Yazid five minutes before the break.

The Japanese nearly replicated his effort three minutes later but this time his header narrowly missed its target, much to the relief of the Ram’s custodian.

The game restarted in the second half in the same pace as the first as both teams defended with conviction to prevent the other from scoring.

In the 55th minute and against the run of play, the visitors found themselves on the scoreboard as a dreadful mistake from the Eagles custodian Joey Sim proved to be their undoing.

His tame clearance to Atsushi Shimon caught the entire Eagles back-line exposed and the Japanese quickly fed the ball to Chang Jo Yoon who squared the ball to Moon and allowed him to duly slot home the equaliser.

In response and being urged on by the home support, the hosts began piling the pressure on the Rams’ defence.

Mustaqim nearly grabbed a spectacular goal when his wickedly curling free kick down the left channel crashed off the bar before Yazid was called upon to push behind the midfielder’s 25-yard fierce drive.

They came even closer when Hafiz got onto the end of a long ball from his goalkeeper to face Yazid alone. However, the latter managed to take the sting off Hafiz’s shot before Shimono hurriedly cleared the ball.

The Rams nearly sneaked in the winner just before the end but Sim produced a stupendous effort to save substitute Farouq Farkhan’s volley to leave both sides with a point apiece.