Prime League striker Ifwat stars in Geylang win
Prime League striker, 20, comes on at half-time and scores three goals to send Geylang into semi-finals
|TAMPINES ROVERS||GEYLANG INTERNATIONAL|
|(Fazli Ayob 63)||(Ifwat Ismail 53, 64, 85, Amy Recha 68)|
Geylang International youngster Ifwat Ismail had a night to remember, when he bagged his first senior hat-trick to help the Eagles thump Tampines Rovers 4-1 in The New Paper League Cup Group B match at the Jurong West Stadium last night.
The 20-year-old, who plays for Geylang's Prime League (reserve Under-21) team, came on as a half-time substitute and scored a treble in 32 minutes to send his side into the tournament's semi-finals next week.
Geylang coach Noor Ali was full of praise for Ifwat after the match.
"I am not surprised by Ifwat's performance today," said the former Singapore international.
"Some of my S.League players play like Prime League players, and it's good to see a Prime League player playing like an S.League one.
"I believe in Ifwat because he has been with me for 18 months in the Prime League.
"He is a very hardworking boy and he has shown a lot of confidence.
"I hope they (national selectors) give him a chance for the SEA Games (U-22 football tournament)."
Ifwat also caught the eye of Tampines coach Juergen Raab with his killer instinct.
Said Raab: "If we had number 32 (Ifwat) from Geylang, we would have won the match for sure."
Ifwat revealed that he had butterflies in his stomach when he was sent on for Gabriel Quak but he settled down quickly thanks to guidance from his senior teammates.
He told The New Paper: "I'm thankful for the chance given by my coach.
"At first, I felt nervous but, thanks to the senior players who guided me on the field, I was able to overcome (the nerves)."
After a goalless first half, the match came to life in the second half.
Ifwat opened the scoring eight minutes after the break when he slotted past Tampines goalkeeper Joey Sim after being sent through on goal by Shawal Anuar.
Then came a goalrush, where the ball bulged the net three times in five minutes.
First, Fazli Ayob equalised for Tampines in the 63rd minute from a free-kick.
But the Stags' equaliser lasted only a minute, as Ifwat bagged his second of the night, before Amy Recha put Geylang in a commanding position four minutes later.
Ifwat completed his hat-trick five minutes before the end.
Despite the heavy defeat, Raab said he was satisfied with the performance of the side he put out, which he described as "developmental".
Said the German: "I gave my (first-choice) players a day off for recovery, so that the substitutes and the younger players could have a chance to play.
"But we were too open today, especially when we were on the attack.
"Geylang played us and our last line of defence.
"The performance with this developmental side was good but they are responsible for the result today and they must learn from the game today.
"We can only look forward ... If we lack the quality, we need to make quality changes for the future."
TAMPINES: Joey Sim, Ehvin Sasidharan (Ismadi Mukthar 68), Jufri Taha, Danish Uwais, Irwan Shah, Fazli Ayob, Hafiz Rahim, Andi Agus, Faizal Raffi (Khairul Nizam 59), Hafiz Sujad, Fazrul Nawaz
GEYLANG: Syazwan Buhari, Faritz Hameed, Yuki Ichikawa, Anders Aplin, Al-Qaasimy Rahman, Shawal Anuar, Ricardo Sendra, Nor Azli Yusoff, Gabriel Quak (Ifwat Ismail 46), Shahfiq Ghani (Isa Halim 32), Amy Recha (Ashraf Razali 84)
OTHER GROUP B RESULT
- Brunei DPMM 3 Balestier Khalsa 0