Singapore Premier League • April 4, 2014
Eagles Soar at Pasir Gudang
Written by: Kenneth Ho
Geylang International continued their fine form under new coach Jorg Steinebrunner as they swept to a 3-0 win over Harimau Muda at Pasir Gudang on Thursday evening.
In a match largely dominated by the Eagles, Muhammad Ridhuan scored one and set up both Leonel Felice and Aliff Shafaein for the other two in a sparkling display.
The visitors came flying out of the blocks and had several early chances to break the deadlock.
Barely two minutes in, Hafiz Nor was played through by Mustaqim Manzur and his drive beat goalkeeper Ramdhan Hamid, but unfortunately it clipped the far post and went out.
Minutes later, Ridhuan got onto the end of Felice’s flick on and nearly found an opening, only for Abdullah Suleiman to get back in time to charge down his shot.
For all their dominance, the Eagles suffered a scare in the 15th minute when Akhir Bahari’s weak free-kick went straight into the arms of Geylang goalkeeper Joey Sim.
All seemed to be under control until the custodian fumbled the ball in front of a lurking Nurshamil Abd Ghani but fortunately, Sim managed to smother the loose ball quickly.
The opener finally arrived five minutes later. Ridhuan, who had been running riot down the right flank all night, used his pace to devastating effect as he drilled a cross past the face of goal for Felice to stab home from close range.
The provider then turned scorer in the 39th minute with a spectacular overhead kick to bag his first goal in the S.League since his return to the domestic scene at the start of the season.
It was nearly 3-0 two minutes later, when Hamqaamal Shah’s free-kick had to be palmed away by Ramdhan.
Despite the two-goal deficit, the Young Tigers showed spirit and nearly pulled one back through winger Shahrul Igwan whose cross-shot was tipped onto the bar by Sim.
The game died down a little after the interval as Geylang sat back to defend their two-goal advantage, with the hosts trying to force a breakthrough
The Young Tigers nearly managed one in the 57th minute, as Nurshamil saw his effort fly inches away from goal. Sim was then called into action ten minutes later to push away Shahrul’s powerful curler.
As the Young Tigers poured forward in search of the elusive goal, Geylang took advantage to conjure some chances of their own.
Felice saw his feeble attempt gathered by substitute goalkeeper Ilham Amirullah, before the custodian had to make a one-handed save to keep out Aliff’s point blank effort on 82 minutes.
The Eagles put the icing on the cake four minutes from regulation time when Ridhuan turned creator again, burning his marker with scorching pace and setting up Aliff to slot home.