Eagles Condemn Tigers To Second Straight Loss
Written by: Ryan Low
Geylang International got their first win of the 2017 Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League season after overcoming Balestier Khalsa 2-0 at the Bedok Stadium on Saturday night.
Al-Qaasimy Rahman and Fadli Kamis' own goal in each half helped the Eagles bounce back from Monday night’s 2-0 loss to Hougang United. But things could have been different if Balestier had converted their early opportunities.
Ten minutes into the match, left winger Nanda Linn Kyaw Chit saw his effort cleared off the line by Geylang defender Anders Aplin. Three minutes later, forward Aung Kyaw Naing tried to round Syazwan Buhari but was outwitted by the Geylang custodian.
Those missed chances proved costly as Geylang settled in thereafter and duly broke the deadlock in the 26th minute. Costa Rican forward Victor Coto fluffed his lines from Min Thi Ha’s left-wing cross, but Al-Qaasimy was on hand to poke home amidst a goalmouth scramble.
Balestier could have levelled matters before half-time, but Hazzuwan Halim could not keep his header down from Kyaw Chit's looping cross.
The Eagles showed the Tigers how it should be done by doubling their lead on 58 minutes when Fadli inadvertently put into his own net after Shawal's shot was parried by Balestier goalkeeper Zaiful Nizam.
Balestier did show some respite thereafter, with Raihan Rahman and Kyaw Zayar Win coming close via free kicks but there was nothing that could go past Geylang custodian Syazwan Buhari.
Geylang should have added another goal before full time, but Shawal could only fire wide with just Zaiful to beat after taking down Shahfiq Ghani’s gorgeous outer-foot pass.
The final whistle soon sounded to signal a second loss in as many games for Balestier.
Geylang International Head Coach Hasrin Jailani: “The difference tonight is scoring goals. In the last game against Hougang, we had two clear chances in the second half but did not convert. Today we did and you can see Shawal could have been more composed in front of goal.
“End of the day, the most important thing is the first win and three points; nothing more than that, I'm satisfied."
Balestier Khalsa Head Coach Marko Kraljevic: “We started very nicely and had two clear chances to score, but didn’t do so. We’re going to have problems scoring goals all season, because we don’t have a natural striker.
“The two conceded goals were sloppy goals, we should be preventing these two. Of course, now we need a win; a win or a goal can change everything and we need those to boost our morale after two losses.”
Geylang International: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Anders Aplin (Nor Azli Yusoff 43’), Yuki Ichikawa, Isa Halim (C), Faritz Hameed, Shahfiq Ghani, Safirul Sulaiman, Victor Coto (Taufiq Ghani 78’), Al-Qaasimy Rahman, Shawal Anuar, Min Tin Ha (Gabriel Quak 57’)
Balestier Khalsa: Zaiful Nizam (GK, C), Fadli Kamis, Hanafi Salleh (Jonathan Tan 62’), Ashrul Syafeeq, Aung Kyaw Naing, Raihan Rahman, Kyaw Zayar Win, Nanda Linn Kyaw Chit, Huzaifah Aziz, Sheikh Abdul Hadi, Hazzuwan Halim (Tajeli Selamat 61’)