News • August 19, 2016

Eagles Overcome Young Lions To Keep Top-Three Hopes Alive


Written by: Ryan Low

Geylang International are now just three points off third-placed Hougang United after beating Garena Young Lions 2-0 via two second-half goals at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Thursday night.

A howler from Young Lions goalkeeper Fashah Iskandar and a late header from substitute Stanely Ng proved to be the difference between the two sides as Geylang picked up their sixth win of the season.

Young Lions actually started off as the better of the two sides with Ashrul Syafeeq producing a fine header from Christopher van Huizen’s inswinging corner, but Geylang custodian Syazwan Buhari was equal to the task.

Geylang then started to get a foothold on the game with Shawal Anuar at the end of several opportunities, but the 25-year-old was unable to finish them off.

Switching from a 3-5-2 to a 4-4-2 formation just before half time, the Eagles began to play better and almost scored three minutes into the second half.

Yuki Ichikawa connected well with Gabriel Quak’s corner, but Fashah did well to get a hand on it before Joshua Pereira managed to head off the line.

Hasrin Jailani’s side was not to be denied for long though as they duly opened the scoring in the 50th minute.

Quak got his head to Shawal’s cross from the left byline, but the effort looked harmless until Fashah contrived to fumble the ball over the line.

The Young Lions came back strongly into the game, but were unable to find the cutting edge upfront.

The developmental outfit came the closest on 74 minutes when Amirul Adli looked odds-on to score after getting to the end of Jonathan Tan’s inswinging corner, but his resulting shot was met with a brave block by Geylang defender Al-Qaasimy Rahman.

Geylang would go on to seal the victory eight minutes later through substitute Ng. The 24-year-old – who came on in the 72nd minute for a tiring Quak – reacted well in the box to nod home Safirul Sulaiman’s teasing free kick and kill off any hopes of a Young Lions comeback.

The defeat meant the Young Lions stayed rooted to the foot of the table, five points adrift of eight-placed Balestier Khalsa.

Garena Young Lions coach Patrick Hesse: “Just like last week against Albirex (Niigata) (S), the first half was good (ended 0-0) but we conceded immediately into the second half.

“It was a stupid goal and that made it difficult for us to come back. The boys fought to finish the game 1-1, but the number of fouls which they conceded is incredible. We gave them five, six, seven opportunities from free kicks and we know they are accurate on set pieces.

“Let’s not forget a year ago these boys were still playing in the Prime League. It’s difficult for them to step up to this level in such a short time.”

Geylang International coach Hasrin Jailani: “It wasn’t a good first half from us and Young Lions controlled the game. Whatever I tried did not work out, so I made some tactical changes.

“In the second half, we came back stronger and we needed that little bit of the luck to score the first goal. The most important thing was that we scored and a win is a win.

“Every game from now is very important because we are trying to finish in third place. Hougang have it in their own hands, but for us we just have to keep winning games.”

Garena Young Lions: Fashah Iskandar (GK), Rusyaidi Salime, Amirul Adli, Ashrul Syafeeq, Dhukhilan Jeevamani, Joshua Pereira, Firdaus Kasman (C) (Gareth Low 85’), Christopher van Huizen (Hami Syahin 65’), Adam Swandi, Jonathan Tan (Shafeeq Faruk 82’), Ryan Syaffiq

Geylang International: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Anders Aplin (Daniel Bennett 46’), Yuki Ichikawa, Gabriel Quak (Stanely Ng 72’), Faritz Hameed, Safirul Sulaiman, Al-Qaasimy Rahman, Carlos Delgado (Isa Halim 79’), Nor Azli Yusoff (C), Shawal Anuar, Sahil Suhaimi