Singapore Premier League • September 19, 2015

Eagles Inseparable From Tigers Once Again


Written by: Nigel Chin

Shah Hirul’s wondergoal rescued a point for Geylang International on Friday evening as they battled to a 2-2 draw against Balestier Khalsa.

Both sides were inseparable once again, with it being the second time this season that a match between the Eagles and Tigers have ended 2-2.

In the first match-up, it was Balestier who raced to a 2-0 lead in the first half before Geylang made a comeback.

However, it was different this time around, with the Eagles drawing the first blood after just 12 minutes. The goal came from an unlikely source in Hafiz Osman.

Sent through on goal by an incisive Hirul pass, the centre-back made no mistake with his finish by stabbing the ball past the onrushing Zaiful Nizam for the opener.

The lead lasted for just 10 minutes however, as Balestier took the lead with two goals in three minutes.

The first came in the 22nd minute, with Ignatius Ang flicking Tarik Cmajcanin’s free-kick into the far end of the post with his head despite facing away from it.

Two minutes later, the Tigers took the lead via a superb goal from Miroslav Kristic.

Receiving the ball 25 yards out, the Croatian ran across the pitch before finding space to rifle a shot into the bottom corner which Geylang custodian Yazid Yasin could not prevent from going in.

The Eagles could have felt aggrieved, having hit the crossbar through Bruno Castanheira just minutes before conceding both goals.

But they did not let their heads drop, and managed to pull back the equaliser thanks to a wonder goal from Hirul.

Getting the ball 30 yards away from goal, the midfielder slammed home a powerful effort that went in off the crossbar.

The visitors could have taken the lead once again on the stroke of half-time when Shawal Anuar skipped past two challenges before advancing into the box, only for the winger to be stopped in his tracks by the brilliant Zaiful.

Five minutes after the restart, Balestier were denied by three consecutive saves from Yazid.

The goalkeeper somehow managed to prevent two Zulkiffli Hassim attempts in quick succession, and got a hand to Jozef Kaplan’s rebound before Hafiz Osman headed it off the line.

Yazid then tipped away Kristic’s shot from range, before Zaiful stopped Shawal once again after Kaplan played the youngster through.

Kaplan then wasted a great opportunity in the 73rd minute, this time after Shawal pulled the ball back from the byline brilliantly.

In injury time, Castanheira could have sealed the win for the Eagles, but fired wide agonisingly after latching onto a beautiful Hafiz Nor through ball.

Balestier Khalsa: Zaiful Nizam (GK)(C), Hanafi Salleh, Emir lotinac, Igor Cerina, Nurullah Hussein, Ridwan Jamil (Akbar Shah Zainudeen 73’), Jonathan Xu, Tarik Cmajcanin, Zulkiffli Hassim, Ignatius Ang (Hazzuwan Halim 72’), Miroslav Kristic

Geylang International: Yazid Yasin (GK), Nor Azli, Hafiz Osman (Zulkifli Suzliman 77’), Kento Fukuda, Syed Thaha, Hafiz Nor, Shah Hirul (Khairulnizam Jumahat 63’), Mustaqim Manzur (Tatsuro Inui 77’), Shawal Anuar, Jozef Kaplan (C), Bruno Castanheira