Singapore Premier League • October 17, 2015
Razip Pleased To Finally Get Long-Awaited Three Points
Written by: Shawn Lim
Harimau Muda coach Razip Ismail wore a smile on his face after his side ended their five-game winless run with a convincing victory on Friday night.
An early goal from Faizat Ghazali in the fifth minute and Arif Anwar’s penalty in the 81st minute secured the important 2-0 win for the Young Tigers at Hang Jebat Stadium against Geylang International.
Razip was delighted with how his side dominated the match in the first half and the way they defended when the Eagles came at them in the second half in search of an equaliser.
However, the former Malaysian international also expressed his concerns with how the Young Tigers failed to kill the game off despite having a plethora of goal-scoring opportunities.
“I am very very happy with the result because we have not gotten the three points in a long time,” said Razip.
“Tonight, I thought we deserved the win and I am also very happy with the way we played.
“However, we missed a lot of chances and sitters because at 1-0, the game is still not safe yet and anything can happen.
“Maybe my players took it lightly, but I think the second half we defended very well because the opponents up the tempo of the game.
“We should have scored one or two more to kill the game but at the end of the day, the clean sheet and the three points was more important than anything else.”
The victory was also pleasing for Razip because Young Tigers came into the game without key players like tireless midfielder Kenny Pallraj and influential playmaker Adam Nor.
However, the 53-year-old was quick to insist that his team was well prepared to cope with their absence.
“We are used to missing some key players before this, but I think we prepared ourselves well when we knew we were going to miss Kenny (Pallraj) and Adam (Nor),” asserted Razip.
“I am not too worried about missing players because it gives me a chance to try out other players who are eager to perform.”
Meanwhile, Geylang coach Jorg Steinebrunner was left to rue his side’s poor start to the game, which set them on course for a defeat in spite of an improved second-half performance.
“We gave the first goal away, which was very unnecessary. But we got a little bit into the game towards the end of the first-half,” said the German.
“In the second half, we took control of the game but unfortunately; we could not make full use of our dominance and did not create any clear chances.
“We played with a good tempo and build up play nicely, but our positioning in the final third and in the box let us down.
“We had a few good shots and could have made better decisions because we played too many long balls in the first-half, especially on the left side.
“We made the switch – Jozef (Kaplan) in the middle and (Tatsuro) Inui on the left side – at half-time and that move paid dividends for us in the second-half because we started playing football.”
Despite the defeat that left the Eagles rooted to the bottom of the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League table, Steinebrunner was able to take some positives away from the game.
“Even after the second goal, we carried on and our heads didn’t go down. It wasn’t like we were trying to give up,” said the 43-year-old.
“We still had time to get a goal and that shows good character and attitude of the team. We can be very happy with our second-half performance and build on it.”