Sub Ridhuan rescues draw for Warriors
Ridhuan comes off the bench to frustrate Eagles
(Gabriel Quak 51, Carlos Delgado 86)
(Jonathan Behe 16, Ridhuan Muhammad 89)
Geylang International were denied only their second win of the season, after Warriors winger Ridhuan Muhammad came off the bench to score a last-gasp equaliser at Jalan Besar Stadium yesterday.
This is the third time this term that the Eagles have blown a lead to end with a draw and assistant coach Mohd Noor Ali, who took charge of the game in place of suspended head coach Hasrin Jailani, expressed his frustration at the result.
He said: "It's a bit disappointing to get only a point, especially when the equaliser came at the last minute.
"We didn't come out and play in the first half. We were brilliant in the second half, when we created enough chances to win, and we should have killed off the game."
The Warriors, looking for their second win on the trot, took the lead on 16 minutes through in-form striker Jonathan Behe.
A corner from Warriors winger Shaiful Esah was not cleared by the Eagles defence, and the ball fell kindly to Behe, who made no mistake from six metres to grab his sixth goal in as many games.
The Warriors continued to threaten the Geylang goal and should have scored again close to half-time, via a move started by the towering Behe.
The Frenchman did well to stay onside and hold up a long ball before feeding teammate Nikola Rak, who beat Eagles substitute Shariff Samat for pace to find himself clean on goal. However, the Croat drilled his shot against the post.
Undeterred, the Eagles nearly got their equaliser three minutes before the break.
After Geylang midfielder Nor Azli stung Yazid Yasin's gloves with a long-range shot, centre back Daniel Bennett headed the ball onto the crossbar from the ensuing corner.
Sensing that the match was far from over, both teams started throwing themselves into the tackle, with scuffles breaking out at both ends of the pitch.
The frenetic pace continued into the second half, culminating in the Eagles' equaliser six minutes after the break.
Geylang midfielder Carlos Delgado found effervescent winger Gabriel Quak, who swivelled before rifling a left-footed shot into the bottom corner.
Quak then thought he had helped his side take the lead in the 71st minute after smashing in a loose ball following a save from Yazid, only for the assistant referee to rule it out for offside.
By then, the match had developed into a physical and open encounter, with chances falling to both sides thick and fast.
The Eagles made theirs count four minutes from time, when Delgado found the top corner with a long-range stunner to put them on the cusp of a crucial victory.
But there was to be more late drama three minutes later as Warriors midfielder Ridhuan, on for Syaqir Sulaiman, slotted the ball home following a neat one-two on the left.
While the hosts remain unbeaten in six games, they have won only once this season, and Noor Ali urged his charges to put away their chances.
"The good thing is that we can see how the players were motivated to come out and play in the second half when they were down at half-time," he said.
Warriors coach Jorg Steinebrunner rued his side's missed chances, saying: "In the first half, we had a great chance and Nikola was possibly too accurate in hitting the post.
"If we went in half-time at 2-0, I don't think they would have caught us."
- GEYLANG: Syazwan Buhari, Faritz Hameed, Daniel Bennett, Yuki Ichikawa (Shariff Samat 30), Al-Qaasimy Rahman, Gabriel Quak, Isa Halim (Amy Recha 66), Nor Azli Yusoff, Branko Cubrilo (Shawal Anuar 76), Carlos Delgado, Sahil Suhaimi
- WARRIORS: Yazid Yasin, Poh Yi Feng (Hafsyar Farkhan 88), Madhu Mohana, Kento Fukuda, Zulfadli Zainal, Syaqir Sulaiman (Ridhuan Muhammad 65), Emmeric Ong, Nikola Rak, Shaiful Esah (Hafiz Nor 22), Hafiz Rahim, Jonathan Behe
- TNP MAN OF THE MATCH: Ridhuan Muhammad
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