Geylang eye strong S.League finish after Plate win
Cheetahs stage fightback but Geylang hang on to win
HOUGANG UNITED 1
(Jozef Kaplan 45)
GEYLANG INTERNATIONAL 2
(Mark Hartmann 33, Shawal Anuar 36)
It was a day of smiles for the men from Geylang International FC after they clinched a 2-1 victory over Hougang United in the plate final of The New Paper League Cup yesterday at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
The win gave the Eagles their first piece of silverware since they won the Singapore Cup in 2009.
"Right now we are on a mini three-win streak, and we want to keep it going for as long as we can," said Hasrin Jailani, coach of Geylang, after the win.
"The last few games in the Great Eastern Yeo's S. League are crucial as anything can happen.
"The top two spots have already more or less been decided, but there is still the third spot which everybody including us want."
Both teams fluffed chances for the first 30 minutes of the game, before a cross from Anders Aplin found an unmarked Mark Hartmann, who calmly lobbed the ball over Ridhuan Barudin in the 33rd minute.
Team-mate Shawal Anuar found the net three minutes later, after beating two defenders to slot the ball past Ridhuan.
"Winning the plate final feels really good," said ace striker Hartmann.
"We're going into the last part of the league on a high note and we are have our eyes set on an AFC spot.
"It would be really disappointing for all of us if we were to finish below top three, so we're going to go out there and win as many games as we can and do it. "
Fans of the Cheetahs received a boost when Fumiya Kogure slithered past the Geylang defence to set up Jozef Kaplan who scored just before the break.
Hougang dominated the second half but despite many chances at goal, they just could not convert.
"The boys played well and I could not ask anything more from them," said K Balagumaran, the Hougang coach.
"We were always capable of coming back... but I guess today was not our day.
"But, I'm sure the boys will continue to motivate one another and we look forward to the return of the S.League."
Hougang United: Ridhuan Barudin, Delwinder Singh, Khairulnizam Jumahat, Wahyudi Wahid (Yusiskandar Yusop 43), Faliq Sudhir (Fairoz Hasan 74) , Fumiya Kogure, Raihan Rahman, Nur Na'iim Ishak (Stipe Plazibat 55 ), Afiq Noor, Jozef Kaplan, Iqbal Hussain
Geylang International: Hairul Syirhan, Anders Aplin, Yuki Ichikawa, Al-Qaasimy Rahman, Isa Halim, Stanely Ng (Shahfiq Ghani 90) , Nor Azli Yusoff, Shawal Anuar, Roberto Camarasa (Fahrish Khan 82), Umar Akhbar (Taufiq Ghani 45), Mark Hartmann