News • July 9, 2017

The New Paper League Cup 2017: Eagles Make Light Work Of Tigers



Written by: Ryan Low

Geylang International got off to a good start in their bid to win The New Paper League Cup as they easily dispatched Balestier Khalsa 2-0 in a Group B clash at Toa Payoh Stadium on Saturday night.

Goals from Amy Recha and Ricardo Sendra in each half consigned Balestier to their 10th game without a win in all competitions.

Geylang dominated the first half-hour, with Gabriel Quak initially testing Zaiful Nizam with a powerful shot from range.

There was a warning sign for Balestier in the 29th minute as Amy fired wide after some good wing play by Shawal Anuar.

However, the Tigers failed to heed that as both players combined again for the opening goal two minutes later.

Shawal’s inch-perfect cross from the right teed up Amy to nod into the bottom right corner past a rooted Zaiful.

Balestier did go close to equalising just before the break, but Raihan Rahman’s 30-yard free kick landed just wide of the left-hand post.

The visitors would go on to double their advantage four minutes after the restart, with Argentinian playmaker Sendra heading home Quak’s inswinging cross to the far post.

The Tigers did fashion out a few openings to pull one back thereafter, but was unable to test Geylang custodian Syazwan Buhari.

In the 55th minute, substitute Hazzuwan Halim put in a great right-wing cross for Jonathan Tan but the latter’s header flew just wide of the right-hand post.

14 minutes later, Raihan’s ambitious 40-yard free kick landed just over. Then in the 75th minute, Ashrul Syafeeq just failed to put his header from Hazzuwan’s corner on target.

Time soon run out for Marko Kraljevic’s side as Geylang collected the three points to start their The New Paper League Cup campaign on a good note.

Balestier Khalsa Head Coach Marko Kraljevic: “Geylang were the better team, we were second best in everything – the second balls, the passing, we were not even close. Hazzuwan came in, gave good penetration and crosses but we still didn’t have clear chances.

“The two goals we conceded were schoolboy errors. Those were good crosses, but we never mark the player twice in the six-yard box. We face Brunei DPMM next and it won’t be easy because they have gotten the winning mentality back.”

Geylang International Head Coach Noor Ali: “I’m very impressed tonight; they players worked very hard and I see a lot of good attitude from certain players. I have to mention Gabriel, he has created three goals for me in the last two games.

“It’s not easy to play Balestier, they have good speed with the three Myanmarese players and Hazzuwan who came on as a substitute, so I’m happy with the performance. I want them to keep this standard of play and I may give a few players a chance against Tampines Rovers next.”

Balestier Khalsa: Zaiful Nizam (GK, C), Tajeli Selamat (Hanafi Salleh 68’), Ashrul Syafeeq, Sheikh Abdul Hadi, Ahmad Syahir, Shah Hirul (Huzaifah Aziz 74’), Raihan Rahman, Kyaw Zayar Win, Nanda Linn Kyaw Chit (Hazzuwan Halim 46’), Jonathan Tan, Aung Kyaw Naing

Geylang International: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Al-Qaasimy Rahman (Faritz Hameed 46’), Yuki Ichikawa, Anders Aplin, Safirul Sulaiman, Shawal Anuar, Ricardo Sendra, Nor Azli Yusoff (C), Noor Ariff (Asshukrie Wahid 78’), Gabriel Quak, Amy Recha (Ifwat Ismail 70’)