Wounded Eagles Seek To Bounce Back
Garena Young Lions vs Geylang International
(Saturday, 15 April, 7.30pm, Jalan Besar Stadium)
Written by: Shawn Lim
A wounded Geylang International will be itching to return to winning ways in the 2017 Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League when they take on Garena Young Lions at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Saturday night.
The Eagles are still reeling from a heavy 4-0 defeat to bitter rivals Tampines Rovers in the first Eastern Derby of the season in their last game, which leaves them with just one win after four games this season.
While such a heavy defeat might leave players bereft of confidence, Geylang winger Gabriel Quak has tipped the team to bounce back immediately.
“I felt it was a one-off event where we didn't turn up and we got punished. We want to forget that game quickly and look forward to the next game,” Quak said.
“But I think there's no need for the panic button yet, as the season is only four games old, so it's still early days.
“However, we still need to have good momentum, because a win or loss and you could go up and down the league table very quickly.”
Quak is keen for the Eagles’ road to recovery to start against the Young Lions, who have yet to win a game this season, but urged his teammates to be on their toes against their younger counterparts.
The Young Lions pulled off a gutsy performance in their last game against nine-time league champions Warriors FC as they came from behind to take a 3-1 lead at one point of the game, before eventually losing 4-3.
“They are a very young team and you can't take them for granted,” warned the 26-year-old.
“They showed what they can do against Warriors last week. They are always a team full of running, so we have to be smart against them.”
For Young Lions’ Taufik Suparno, the striker admitted that the narrow loss was hard to swallow, but believes that the team learned valuable lessons from the game.
“I think we have learn how to handle pressure. We should be more confident and composed to keep possession,” explained Taufik, who grabbed a brace against Warriors.
“We also need to learn to continue to play to our strengths even though we're leading one or two goals up.”
While there is still room for improvement ahead for the Young Lions, Taufik is quietly confident that the developmental side can finally come good against the Eagles.
“I think this might be the best time for us to get the three points. We may have not been doing well, but we can see that we are improving we are getting better day by day,” said the 21-year-old.
“Geylang lost 4-0 in their last game and I’m sure they wanna come back and win, but I feel we are ready.”
The former Tampines Rovers frontman put on some impressive performances for the Stags in the Prime League in 2014, before earning a call-up to the Singapore national team in 2015. However, multiple injuries in 2016 would then derail his development.
Now fully fit and back to his best, Taufik is keen to make up for lost time with the Young Lions and get recalled back to the national team.
“It feels really good to score again after so long," he enthused. "It was not easy for me to gain back my confidence on the pitch and I missed a few chances against Hougang (United) and Balestier (Khalsa).”
“But after the penalty I scored against Warriors, I felt more composed in front of goal. I believe with hard work and determination, I will slowly be better than I was. For now, I still have more to work on.”
Garena Young Lions - LLLLL
08/04/17 Warriors FC 4-3 Garena Young Lions
02/04/17 Balestier Khalsa 1-0 Garena Young Lions
11/03/17 Hougang United 2-0 Garena Young Lions
04/03/17 Garena Young Lions 0-5 Albirex Niigata (S)
27/02/17 Home United 6-1 Garena Young Lions
Geylang International - WLWDL
08/04/17 Geylang International 0-4 Tampines Rovers
10/03/17 Warriors FC 1-1 Geylang International
04/03/17 Geylang International 2-0 Balestier Khalsa
27/02/17 Hougang United 2-0 Geylang International
25/10/16 Geylang International 4-1 Home United
Head to Head (S.League)
18/08/16 Garena Young Lions 0-2 Geylang International
05/05/16 Geylang International 3-1 Garena Young Lions
25/02/16 Garena Young Lions 0-2 Geylang International
06/11/15 Garena Young Lions 2-2 Geylang International
04/10/15 Garena Young Lions 2-3 Geylang International