Eagles Hit Four Past Young Lions
Written by: Ryan Low
Geylang International leapfrogged Warriors FC into fourth in the Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League after a resounding 4-0 victory over Garena Young Lions at Jalan Besar Stadium on Saturday night.
Shahfiq Ghani and Victor Coto put the Eagles two goals up at half time, before Faritz Hameed and Shawal Anuar scored in the second half to round off the scoring.
Geylang were determined to bounce back from last week’s 3-2 defeat to rivals Tampines Rovers and took the game to the Young Lions.
Young Lions custodian Zharfan Rohaizad had to be alert to deny Shawal in a one-on-one opportunity, before pushing wide Ricardo Sendra’s shot from the edge of the box.
Yuki Ichikawa then saw his header off Shahfiq’s corner coming off the left-hand post.
The Eagles would duly take a deserved lead on 15 minutes, with Shahfiq nodding home after Zharfan had spilled Coto’s right-wing cross into his path.
Noor Ali’s side were largely on top in the first half and went close again on two occasions.
Ichikawa saw another header turned around the post by Zharfan, before Sendra somehow volleyed over from Faritz’s cross.
They would double their advantage seven minutes before half time, as Coto lashed home a neat left-footed effort after Gabriel Quak’s deflected shot fell his way in the six-yard box.
Young Lions could have pulled one back just before half time, but last week’s match winner Haiqal Pashia could only fire over after getting past his man on the edge of the box.
Geylang went on to show them how it should be done six minutes into the second half, with Faritz latching on to a long ball before firing a stunning volley beyond Zharfan’s despairing reach.
Vincent Subramaniam’s boys almost found an immediate response, but Zulqarnaen Suzliman’s volley off Hami Syahin’s cross was superbly tipped over by Geylang custodian Syazwan Buhari.
Geylang then rounded off their scoring for the night on 70 minutes, with Shawal collecting Coto’s defence-splitting pass before firing beyond the hapless Zharfan.
Young Lions should have gotten a goal right before the end, but Syazwan stood firm to keep his former employers at bay.
The result meant Geylang went up a spot to fourth with 33 points from 21 games, while Young Lions remained ninth with six points from 20.
Garena Young Lions Head Coach Vincent Subramaniam: “We made some elementary errors for the goals conceded, but the passing from us was good and we had a fair share of possession. 2-0 down at half time, it was tough for us to come back.
“Their foreign striker (Coto) made the difference for them. It’s always the foreigner that makes the difference against us. Against Hougang, we struggled against big Pablo (Rodriguez) and against DPMM, we had big problem with (Rafael) Ramazotti.
“Now we just have to keep working hard and try to get points on board. The boys have to put up performances for them to be scouted by other clubs.”
Geylang International Head Coach Noor Ali: “We tried to press from the front, which we did well in the first half and managed their quick counter-attacks. They scored last week against Warriors through counter attack.
“Coto made the difference upfront, he had the strength, power and speed to penetrate. He’s a hardworking player who can bring other players into play and he has always played a big part in the games which I’ve won this year.
“I’m also happy about the defence. We have kept four clean sheets in our last six to seven games. Basically, whatever we did in training worked out and that’s nice to see.
“It’s a tough end to the season with our last two games against Home (United) and Albirex (Niigata (S)) but the boys are motivated.”
Garena Young Lions: Zharfan Rohaizad (GK, C), Rusyaidi Salime, Amirul Adli, Faizal Roslan, Syahrul Sazali (Yeo Hai Ngee 57’), Ammirul Emmran (Shameer Aziq 46’), Armin Maier, Hami Syahin, Zulqarnaen Suzliman, Haiqal Pashia, Taufik Suparno (Ikhsan Fandi 68’)
Geylang International: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Faritz Hameed, Yuki Ichikawa, Anders Aplin, Darren Teh, Nor Azli Yusoff (C) (Isa Halim 75’), Ricardo Sendra, Gabriel Quak (Amy Recha 62’), Shahfiq Ghani (Ifwat Ismail 78’), Shawal Anuar, Victor Coto