Geylang cruise to 4-0 win over SRC
Amateur side SRC pleased despite drubbing by S.League outfit, as Geylang look ahead
GEYLANG INTERNATIONAL 4
(Bruno Castanheira 10, Hafiz Nor 12, 23, 45)
SINGAPORE RECREATION CLUB 0
Determined amateurs against seasoned professionals - it was the perfect setting for a fairy tale, or a torrent of goals, for the neutrals.
The first 45 minutes of The New Paper League Cup match between Geylang International and the Singapore Recreation Club (SRC) at the Jalan Besar Stadium last night, as most predicted, delivered goals galore, as the S.League professionals put the amateur outfit to the sword, banging in four goals by the time the referee blew for the break.
In the end, though, SRC, the National Football League (NFL) Division 1 side, were not embarrassed, holding their own in the second half and did not lose by a bigger margin.
While the likes of former Singapore international Precious Emuejeraye and ex-Tampines Rovers and Home United centre back Shariff Samat in the SRC defence failed to keep the marauding Eagles at bay in the first half, they did well enough in the second 45 minutes to ensure some respectability to the scoreline, although perhaps it was also the case of the S.League club taking their foot off the pedal.
Speaking at the post-match press conference, SRC team manager S Mogan was not too bothered by the result.
"I'm actually rather happy with how the team performed today," he said.
"I think we played well throughout the 90 minutes, seeing how they are professionals and we are just an amateur side.
"I'd draw more attention to our second-half performance, where we did many things right, especially in defence, but ultimately, Geylang were the better team."
Mogan admitted his side set out to defend, but they could not stop Bruno Castanheira from getting on the scoresheet after 10 minutes with a neat close-range header off Tatsuro Inui's cross.
Hafiz Nor then grabbed Geylang's second just two minutes later after his shot was deflected off SRC goalkeeper Shaiful Nizam into goal.
The winger got another with a 23rd-minute piledriver into the bottom corner, before completing his hat-trick with a tap-in in the dying seconds of the first half.
It was one-way traffic as usual after the break but, despite the Eagles' best efforts, they could not improve on their lead as SRC tightened up at the back, limiting Geylang to hopeful shots from distance.
With Hougang United awaiting his side on Saturday at the Hougang Stadium, Eagles coach Jorg Steinebrunner said: "It was a game of two halves, because we did well in the first and not too well in the second.
"We knew SRC would be competitive, and we knew that they weren't the type of team to lie down until the end.
"I'd say that we got what we came for, which was three points, and I think Hafiz (Nor) had a very good game.
"He knows how to get into good positions and score, and he did that today."
With Hougang stunning Brunei DPMM 1-0 in the other group game, and with only the top two sides advancing to the semi-finals, Steinebrunner knows the score.
"When we face Hougang, and then DPMM (next Wednesday), we have to be careful, because nothing is for certain," he said.
"The team that win on Saturday will be in the driver's seat."
LAST NIGHT'S OTHER RESULT:
HOUGANG UNITED 1
(Vuk Sotirovic 21)
BRUNEI DPMM 0
- GROUP B: Tampines Rovers v Balestier Khalsa (Jalan Besar Stadium, 8.30pm)
- GROUP C: Albirex Niigata v Sporting Westlake (Jurong East Stadium, 8.30pm)
- GROUP A: Hougang United v Geylang Int'l (Hougang Stadium, 8.30pm)
- GROUP A: Brunei DPMM v S'pore Recreation Club (Jalan Besar Stadium, 8.30pm)