Singapore Premier League • June 7, 2014
Pasfield’s Gaffe Gifts Eagles Win
Written By: Kenneth Ho
Geylang International upset the odds as they eked out a 1-0 win over reigning champions Tampines Rovers at Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday evening.
A blunder by debuting Tampines goalkeeper Justin Pasfield decided the fixture in a game which also saw Tampines disallowed a goal by Noh Alam Shah due to an offside infringement.
Despite starting the game by fielding its legion of new foreign signings, the Stags still found Geylang goalkeeper Siddiq Durimi in imperious form as he denied the Tampines a host of chances to score a goal.
In addition to Pasfield, Jacob Butler made his debut in midfield while former Geylang forward Jozef Kaplan made his return to the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League by partnering Aleksandar Duric up front.
The game started at a slow pace as both sides failed to create many chances, although Tampines seemingly enjoyed the greater share of the ball.
Tampines left-back Shaiful Esah had a good go from 25 yards in the second minute as Siddiq had to smother his free kick before the Eagles saw a set piece of their own through Mustaqim Manzur clear the post.
Geylang then had two good chances to pull ahead just before the end of the first-half but failed to make those opportunities count.
An unmarked Leonel Felice first put a shot from an acute angle shot into the side-netting, before he released Ridhuan Muhammad minutes later only to see Pasfield pull off an excellent one-handed save to deny the Geylang skipper.
Coming out from the break, Tampines upped its tempo and started to force Siddiq into action.
The goalkeeper did brilliantly well when he flexed backwards to claw away a rasping effort by Kaplan in the 58th minute but there was more to come, especially after substitute Alam Shah’s goal was disallowed in the 68th minute.
Siddiq was on hand to smother Kaplan’s thunderbolt from distance before making a double-save from point-blank range to deny Alam Shah a goal in the 74th minute. From a Jamil Ali cross, Alam Shah rushed forward to thump a header beyond Siddiq but the latter parried the striker’s attempt before recovering quickly to tip away the follow-up effort.
The Stags were made to pay for those misses, as Pasfield then committed a blunder which ensured he had a nightmarish debut to forget despite putting in a good shift earlier on.
Pasfield had seemed to justify his signing in the 55th minute when he tipped away a scorcher from Aliff Shafaein but that all came to nothing as he failed to dealt cleanly with Yuki Ichikawa.
With no pressure from the opponents, Pasfield uncharacteristically fumbled Ichikawa’s innocuous cross into his own net in the 85th minute.
The Stags tried to pile on the pressure in the remaining time left but Siddiq continued his fine form in front of goal.
In what was essentially the last attack of the game, the Geylang custodian pulled off a save from Fahrudin Mustafic before Mustaqim made a goal line clearance by hacking away Noh Alam’s diving header.
The final whistle came soon after and ensured that Geylang earned its third clean sheet of the season as Tampines failed to close the gap on league leaders Brunei DPMM.