Down 1-0, Geylang bounce back to beat Warriors 2-1
Eagles bounce back from contentious decisions and a one-goal deficit
GEYLANG INT'L 2
(Sahil Suhaimi 46, Faritz Hameed 54)
WARRIORS FC 1
(Madhu Mohana 21)
They tell us to make lemonade when life throws lemons at us.
And that is exactly what Geylang International did last night, when they defeated Warriors FC 2-1 in their RHB Singapore Cup clash before 1,300 fans at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
After having their three-game winning streak in the Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League snapped by leaders Albirex Niigata last week, the Eagles were keen to bounce back.
But, for 45 minutes yesterday, it looked as if fortune had deserted them.
Geylang were on the receiving end of several disputable refereeing decisions, notably in the 45th minute. Striker Sahil Suhaimi was clumsily brought down by Warriors defender Madhu Mohana in the penalty box, but referee Nathan Chan waved play.
It was a contentious decision, given that the Warriors were leading 1-0 then after Madhu's 21st-minute goal.
But Geylang coach Hasrin Jailani insisted that his team remained upbeat during the interval and had the belief that they could win.
After the match, the rookie head coach said: "I think we deserved the win today, but I give credit to the Warriors because they had us on the back foot during the first half and they also got a good goal.
"But my players had the belief that we could come back stronger in the second half and they did not give up hope... we cannot change what the referee does, so we have to do whatever we can."
ALL GUNS BLAZING
Indeed, Geylang came out with all guns blazing and restored parity seconds after the restart through Sahil.
Carlos Delgado's exquisite corner kick was powered onto the crossbar by veteran Daniel Bennett, but the diminutive Sahil was on hand to lash the rebound home.
The early equaliser sparked Geylang; they peppered the Warriors goal and their relentless assault paid dividends in the 54th minute.
Fullback Faritz Hameed released Gabriel Quak with a long diagonal ball before meeting the winger's return pass with a neat finish to give the Eagles the lead for good.
With the defeat, the Warriors' woes continue.
But their interim coach Razif Onn, who is still winless after three games, insisted that his players have what it takes to reverse their fortunes.
"I think it is very unfair to blame the results on the players alone, we have to work together during this difficult time and work hard," he said.
"Hopefully, we can get our form back and go back to what we used to be."
Geylang's victory takes them into the quarter-finals, where they will meet Albirex Niigata.
"We know that Albirex will be very tough opponents but it will be a two-legged encounter," said Hasrin.
"Anything can happen, so we are very determined to do our best and hopefully go all the way."
- Nagaworld FC v Global FC (7.30pm, Jalan Besar Stadium)
- Ceres La Salle v Young Lions (7.30pm, Jalan Besar Stadium)