Marvellous Megumi Helps Stags Thrash Eagles in Eastern Derby
Written by: Ryan Low
Japanese forward Ryutaro Megumi produced a superb virtuoso performance with two goals and two assists to help Tampines Rovers thrash Geylang International 4-0 in a Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League match at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Saturday night.
Tampines were reeling from successive losses to Warriors FC and Hanoi FC in the S.League and the AFC Cup, but bounced back in the perfect manner against their fiercest rivals in the first Eastern Derby of the season.
The Stags dominated the early proceedings, but had to wait till the 35th minute to find the breakthrough.
Megumi got past two defenders on the way into the box, before firing home a deflected shot past the helpless Nur Amin Mailk – who was deputising for the injured Syazwan Buhari in the Geylang goal.
The Eagles tried to level matters before half time, but Safirul Sulaiman’s snapshot from outside the box was punched clear by Tampines goalkeeper Joey Sim – who stood in for the injured Izwan Mahbud.
Geylang coach Hasrin Jailani threw on Argentinian playmaker Ricardo Sendra shortly after the second half commenced and the Eagles created a couple of good chances.
However, it was Tampines who doubled their advantage a minute after the hour mark.
Benefiting from Megumi’s slide-rule pass, Yasir needed just one touch to guide a neat effort from the edge of the box past a diving Nur Malik.
Geylang tried their best to reduce arrears thereafter and went close to pulling one back on 78 minutes, with Victor Coto curling wide a 20-yard free kick after substitute Stanely Ng was brought down by Shahdan Sulaiman.
However, Tampines were simply ruthless on the night and added another two goals in the final nine minutes.
First, it was Yasir who curled home a left-footed effort in off the post after a superb breakaway move led by Megumi.
Then, Megumi rounded off a delightful personal evening with a mazy run past the whole Geylang backline before clipping past the onrushing Nur Amin.
The result lifted Tampines to third in the Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League table with nine points from five matches, while Geylang remain in seventh with four points from four.
Geylang International Head Coach Hasrin Jailani: “We played a very bad game tonight and there are no excuses for this defeat. We did not have a good first-half; then in the second-half we tried to come back in the first few minutes, but it was not good enough.
“Syazwan’s absence was also a factor because he gives a lot of confidence for the defence. Now we just have to bounce back for the next game.”
Tampines Rovers Head Coach Juergen Raab: “It’s always important to win, but especially so after two successive defeats. The team held their heads up and I’m very impressed how they played in their third match in seven days.
“They learnt from past lessons and was mentally ready for this game. I’m happy for Yasir for his two goals as well because he’s usually a midfielder.”
Geylang International: Nur Amin Malik (GK), Al-Qaasimy Rahman, Yuki Ichikawa, Anders Aplin, Faritz Hameed, Gabriel Quak (Ricardo Sendra 54’), Shahfiq Ghani (Stanely Ng 62’), Isa Halim (C), Safirul Sulaiman, Amy Recha (Darren Teh 83’), Victor Coto
Tampines Rovers: Joey Sim (GK), Jufri Taha, Mustafic Fahrudin (C), Son Yong Chan, Shahdan Sulaiman, Ryutaro Megumi, Shakir Hamzah, Fazli Ayob (Irwan Shah 66’), Daniel Bennett, Yasir Hanapi (Faizal Raffi 90’), Ivan Dzoni (Zulfadhmi Suzliman 88’)