Geylang Overcome Warriors For Third Consecutive Win
Written by: Phoon Jia Hui
Geylang International moved into fourth spot in the Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League after a hard fought 2-0 win over Warriors FC at Choa Chu Kang Stadium on Friday night.
Shahfiq Ghani and Shawal Anuar struck quickfire goals in the second-half as the Eagles recorded their third win and clean sheet on the trot in the S.League to overtake Warriors in the standings.
It was a tentative start to the game but it was the hosts who looked the dangerous of the two.
Jordan Webb nearly put Warriors ahead after two minutes following a swift counter-attacking move but his effort from inside the box was deflected behind for a corner.
15 minutes had elapsed before the next noteworthy chance arrived as Gabriel Quak’s low shot was easily saved by Warriors custodian Hyrulnizam Juma’at.
Hafiz Nor was next to come close for Warriors on 24 minutes but his snapshot whistled just wide of Syazwan Buhari’s right-hand post.
The game soon swung in Geylang’s favour and they should have gone one up in the 36th minute.
Having sprang clear of the offside trap, Shawal then poked the ball past an onrushing Hyrulnizam but Kento Fukuda recovered in time to hack it off the line.
Shawal continued to be a thorn in the Warriors defence and came close to breaking the deadlock four minutes before half-time but fired into the side-netting instead.
Victor Coto then should have given the Eagles the lead just before the break when he was put through on goal by Shahfiq Ghani. The Costa Rican however, contrived to fire over with only the keeper to beat.
Clear chances were at a premium after the restart with Hafiz Nor and Emmeric Ong having attempts that sailed over in the 51st and 60th minute respectively.
With the scores still goalless, Geylang threatened in the closing stages and were rewarded with the lead 12 minutes from time with Shahfiq pouncing on an error by Hyrulnizam to smash the loose ball into an empty net.
Andrei-Cosmin Ciolacu could have restored parity for the nine-time league champions shortly after the opener but headed wide off Shahril Ishak’s corner delivery.
They were made to rue that miss as Shawal headed home Shahfiq’s right-wing cross to seal all three points for Geylang and condemn Warriors to their fifth defeat of the season.
With the result, Geylang are now in fourth with 30 points from 18 games while Warriors slipped a spot to fifth with 29 points after the same number of matches played.
Warriors FC Acting Head Coach Azlan Alipah: “We didn’t have the players to finish off the chances that we created today. The final ball in the final third was not good enough and we conceded goals to lapses of concentration, which affected our morale.
“It’s disappointing especially when our morale had been good for the past three weeks. But we cannot dwell on the result and we will definitely come back stronger against Tampines.
Geylang International Head Coach Noor Ali: “It was nice beating a team who have been doing well and are above us in the standings. The result was well-deserved; they (Warriors) had no chance against us.
“The boys performed brilliantly but we were cautious because we knew they have good attacking players. But Syazwan did well handling the ball, and the defenders marked well in set-pieces; the performance was solid.”
Warriors FC: Hyrulnizam Juma'at (GK), Emmeric Ong, Baihakki Khaizan, Kento Fukuda, Ho Wai Loon, Shaiful Esah (Firdaus Kasman 76’), Syaqir Sulaiman, Hafiz Nor (Ridhuan Muhmmad 72’), Shahril Ishak (C), Jordan Webb, Andrei-Cosmin Ciolacu
Geylang International: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Faritz Hameed, Anders Aplin, Yuki Ichikawa, Darren Teh, Shawal Anuar, Nor Azli Yusoff (C) (Isa Halim 46’), Ricardo Sendra, Gabriel Quak (Amy Recha 69’), Victor Coto, Shahfiq Ghani (Ifwat Ismail 88’)