Singapore Premier League • April 18, 2014

Geylang Fight Back To Draw With Tigers


Written by: Kenneth Ho

Jorg Steinebrunner maintained his unbeaten record as Geylang International coach after his team came back from a goal down to earn a 1-1 draw with Balestier Khalsa at Toa Payoh Stadium on Thursday evening.

Goran Ljubojevic gave the hosts the lead just after the half-hour mark but Leonel Felice scored his fifth goal in six games to cancel out the former’s effort.

In the opening 30 minutes, there was not much separating both sides even though Geylang enjoyed the better chances.

Hafiz Nor could have opened the scoring early on but he lashed his shot into the side netting despite being unmarked.

Mustaqim Manzur was next to have a shot at goal after Felice swung in a brilliant cross that found the forward unmarked at the far post but Mustaqim saw his shot come off the woodwork.

Balestier soon made them pay for those misses as they scored the opener soon after.

While Geylang goalkeeper Joey Sim was forced to push away Paul Cunningham’s 25-yard curling free kick in the 30th minute, there was nothing he could do about Ljubojevic’s opener five minutes later.

Cunningham was involved again as his flick on found the Croatian in close range and the striker coolly dispatched past Sim to score his sixth goal of the season.

However, the Eagles nearly equalised before the break through a superb effort by Felice.

Hafiz Nor picked out the Argentinean with his cross and Felice attempted a spectacular overhead volley with his back to goal but he was desperately unlucky as his attempt rattled the woodwork before bouncing away from goal.

The match restarted at a slow pace and nothing of note happened until play was stopped just before the hour mark as the lightning warning system went on.

The unexpected break seemed to have revitalised both sides, as they started to create more meaningful attempts and caused both teams’ goalkeepers to become relatively busy.

Immediately after kick off, Hafiz sent a belter flying towards goal from 20 yards out, but Balestier custodian Zaiful Nizam was able to smother the ball.

Just moments later, Sim inexplicably hit the ball into Ljubojevic’s path from 15 yards out but the striker rushed his first-time shot as it curled away from the open goal as Sim could only look on helplessly.

At the other end, Zaiful had to hoof away Mustaqim’s free kick after the latter attempted a thunderous effort from distance.

Balestier would have two more attempts to secure the second goal thereafter but Ljubojevic blazed his effort over the bar, while Cunningham pulled out a decent save from Sim with his grounder.

It was the Tigers’ turn to suffer for their profligacy as Geylang then made a comeback through Felice in the 79th minute.

Mustaqim’s corner into the box was cleared by a defender but it landed for Yuki Ichikawa to knock back into the danger area, and Felice quickly pounced onto the ball to score the equaliser for the visitors.

There was to be no other actions, as both side saw out the match to take home a point each.