News • June 19, 2016
Rak On The Double As Warriors Notch Long-Awaited Victory
Written by: Sebastian Lim
A double from Nikola Rak on either side of each half helped Warriors FC to a 2-0 win over Geylang International on Wednesday night at Choa Chu Kang Stadium, snapping a nine-match winless run in the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League in the process.
It took the hosts less than a minute to open the scoring as Jonathan Behe did well to beat his man down the left before squaring the ball for a lurking Rak to finish home off the post.
Warriors nearly got a second just minutes later, but Hafiz Nor could only hit a tame shot straight at Syazwan Buhari after a cross from Madhu Mohana was cleared into his path.
At the other end, Geylang conjured their first chance of the night on 11 minutes when Gabriel Quak sprung the offside trap and cut inside with the ball, but saw his effort kept out by the legs of Yazid Yasin.
Warriors continued to threaten and could have gone two goals up in the 24th minute when Madhu rose highest to meet a corner from the right, but sent a header straight at Syazwan.
Syazwan was called into action once again just after the half-hour mark, this time denying a low shot from Behe with his legs.
The final piece of action of the half then came in the 39th minute as Warriors custodian Yazid had to stretch to tip away Sahil Suhaimi’s free-kick from 25 yards out.
The second-half was a stark contrast of the first as chances were far and few between.
Shaiful Esah left Syazwan scrambling with a swerving free-kick in the 61st minute which flew narrowly wide, before Geylang substitute Shawal Anuar’s shot whistled just over the bar.
The visitors edged even closer to an equaliser a minute from time when Shawal stung the palms of Yazid with a fierce shot on the edge of the area, but it was the nine-time league champions who would have the last laugh.
Warriors went on the break immediately after as Hafiz set-up Rak, who curled a low finish from just outside the area beyond Syazwan to seal what was Warriors’ only third victory in the league this season.
Warriors FC coach Razif Onn: “We played quite well today [although] to me, it’s not quite enough yet.
“I don’t want to say it’s the best [performance] because there is no end to it. It does not mean that we win tonight, we played the best football. We are always thinking of playing better football to win more matches.
“When I took over the team we were conceding too many goals. Last week, we worked on defending and it helped us today. There was some chaos in the backline, but I think we did well to hold off the opponent.”
Geylang International coach Hasrin Jailani: “It was a disappointing result, but the second-half performance made up for it. The early goal unsettled us, we didn’t get the composure [we needed] and momentum in the first-half. We came back in the second-half and played better both in defence and attack.
“You win some and you lose some, we just have to get back and stay positive. This game is over and we just have to look forward to the next game.”
Warriors FC: Yazid Yasin (GK), Syaqir Sulaiman (Poh Yi Feng 77’), Kento Fukuda (C), Madhu Mohana, Shaiful Esah, Nikola Rak, Hafiz Nor, Ridhuan Muhammad (Hafsyar Farkhan 80’), Hafiz Osman (Emmeric Ong 83’), Jonathan Behe, Hafiz Sulaiman
Geylang International: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Yuki Ichikawa, Isa Halim (C) (Indra Sahdan 62’), Shariff Samat (Amy Recha 82’), Gabriel Quak, Daniel Bennett, Faritz Hameed, Safirul Sulaiman, Stanely Ng (Shawal Anuar 54’), Carlos Delgado, Sahil Suhaimi