Eagles Eye Strong September Finish
Geylang International vs Home United
(23 September, Saturday, 7.30pm, Jalan Besar Stadium)
Written by: Phoon Jia Hui
In-form Geylang International will be looking to end September on a high when they take on title hopefuls Home United at Jalan Besar Stadium on Saturday night.
The Eagles, who beat Warriors FC 2-0 in their last game, are unbeaten this month with three victories in as many games as they also picked up victories over Hougang United and Balestier Khalsa.
Since taking over from the reins from Hasrin Jailani, head coach Noor Ali’s record has been remarkable too, with Geylang being on the losing end just three times in 12 matches.
Noor Ali is therefore optimistic as they head into this encounter against the Protectors.
“I don’t think we have won three games in a row this season so I’m surprised,” Noor Ali said after their win over Warriors.
“I’m happy we have managed to keep three clean sheets in a row, I believe goalkeeper Syazwan (Buhari) will feel the same after conceding so many goals.
“But it’s a team effort. It’s not only the defence but everyone who has worked together as a team. You can’t win games with only the four or five defenders - you need everyone to defend as a team, it’s a different kind of football these days.
“I like what i see from the team right now, it’s still a transition for me so understandably a few players feel motivated and wanna prove something and it’s good to see them working hard. Hopefully the boys can continue this performance going forward.”
Geylang currently sit fifth in the standings on 30 points but trail Warriors only on goal difference.
With a chance to return to fourth however, Noor Ali believes a top-three finish is still attainable.
“For me, it’s still open - we can still finish in the top three,” he enthused.
“I will gladly take on any local team, the hardest team to beat in the league at the moment is definitely Albirex. You need a complete team to beat them but let’s see. I have my own targets and I want the club to do well this season. After all, I’m a former Geylang player and I want to see them back at the top again."
Home meanwhile, saw their title hopes slowly fade away after held to a 1-1 draw by leaders Albirex Niigata (S) on Tuesday.
They now find themselves in third - 16 points off the pace with four games in hand - but head coach Aidil Sharin says they are not going to give up without a fight.
“There’s still a few more games left in the league and anything can happen,” he said.
“We are definitely not going to throw in the towel just yet. We are not going to give up which is the mentality of this club.”
While Aidil will welcome defender Abdil Qaiyyim back from suspension, he will be without the services of Song Uiyoung (suspension) and Khairul Nizam who picked up a knee injury against the White Swans.
Suspensions: Nor Azli Yusoff (Geylang International); Song Uiyoung (Home United)
Geylang International - WLWWW
15/09/17 Warriors FC 0-2 Geylang International
09/09/17 Geylang International 2-0 Balestier Khalsa
18/08/17 Hougang United 0-1 Geylang International
05/08/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 5-0 Geylang International
24/07/17 Brunei DPMM 0-1 Geylang International
Home United - LWWWD
19/09/17 Home United 1-1 Albirex Niigata (S)
08/09/17 Brunei DPMM 1-4 Home United
16/08/17 Home United 3-1 Brunei DPMM (RHB Singapore Cup)
13/08/17 Brunei DPMM 1-3 Home United (RHB Singapore Cup)
09/08/17 Ceres-Negros FC 2-0 Home United (AFC Cup)
Head to Head (S.League)
28/04/17 Home United 3-0 Geylang International
25/10/16 Geylang International 4-1 Home United
23/06/16 Home United 1-2 Geylang International
15/04/16 Geylang International 2-2 Home United
30/10/15 Geylang International 2-1 Home United