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League Cup: Geylang Repeat Tigers-Killing Feat

Geylang United gave their small but loyal group of fans something to cheer about on Monday evening when they defeated a jaded-looking Balestier Khalsa side in their StarHub League Cup Group B match at Toa Payoh Stadium.

The 3-1 scoreline, it must be noted, was not in the least flattering for a dominant Eagles outfit on the occasion.

At no stage could the Tigers get a foothold on the game, with key defender Goran Subara unable to play after requiring an MRI scan following a heavy knock a couple of days earlier.

As a consequence of this defeat, Balestier were relegated to playing in the plate series, having also lost in their first game against Albirex Niigata (Singapore).

“We were flat tonight, it was not a good performance from us at all,” said their coach Darren Stewart when it was all over.

“In hindsight I should have started with more fresh players; I underestimated how tired the boys would be after the Albirex game. But all credit to Geylang, as they were fit and rested and on their game.”

Geylang had beaten the Tigers by the same score earlier in the season in a Great Eastern-YEO’S S.League game, and that was something that helped give the Eagles and their coach Kanan Vedhamuthu extra confidence going into this game.

The former national athlete did admit, however, that the Balestier lineup he faced was different from the one he had predicted.

“I expected Goran to play; their defence is generally very strong,” he noted.

“But I also thought we could catch them out down the left-hand side, and that’s how we scored at least one of our goals in the first half.

“All of the foreigners played very well, especially Stefan (Milojevic), who played the balls through for our first and third goals. And our first goal was a brilliant strike by (Jozef) Kaplan.

“We could not play Mun (Seung Man) as he told me before the game that he had a sore eye, so I included Panuwat (Hengthaveephokasub) on the bench. The Prime League boys did very well and those who came on later, even Ishak Zainol, all played their part.

“I hope we can keep this form when we play Albirex on Thursday in our second game, as we want to win or at least draw that match, so we can avoid Tampines (Rovers) in the quarterfinals.”


League Cup: Tigers Bent On Beating Geylang

It is very much do-or-die for home club Balestier Khalsa in their second and final match in the group stage of the StarHub League Cup, being played out under revised rules this season – rules that give clubs the chance to play a minimum of three matches in this mid-season competition.

(Photography by Aundry Gan)

Under the new format Balestier, as the losing team in their opening game in Group B, cannot afford to lose to their opponents at Toa Payoh Stadium on Monday evening, and there is every possibility that even a draw will not help them either.

Having fallen in their opening match with Albirex Niigata (Singapore) on Friday, they know that the White Swans, with that 2-0 win in hand, may not even need a point when they travel to Bedok this Thursday, unless the Tigers triumph over Geylang by more than two clear goals, or win by at least 3-1.

The Eagles, by contrast, are playing their opening match on Monday, and with the possibility that Albirex will pay them a visit with a passage into the quarterfinals already guaranteed and thus may not offer as stiff resistance as they might have feared.

So, Monday night pits a team needing to win against a team that would merely like to win.


League Cup: Holders Albirex Start Off With Win

Albirex Niigata (Singapore) maintained their recent run of good results by picking up a handy 2-0 win over keen rivals Balestier Khalsa in the opening StarHub League Cup Group B match at Jurong East Stadium on Friday evening.

(Photography courtesy of Albirex Niigata, Singapore)

Not only were the White Swans putting on their best again for the 534 fans that came to see them, but Yasuhiro Yamakoshi, their goal machine of the moment, brought back memories of last season’s star Shotaro Ihata with two wonderful goals to add to his rapidly-growing tally.

So good were his strikes that opposition spokesman Kevin Wee, the Balestier team’s assistant coach, said his team had been beaten by two ‘excellent’ goals, despite giving a good performance themselves.

It was no mean feat considering this game was during the fasting month, when some of the Tigers’ Muslim players may not have been at their best.

The game took some time to get going in earnest, with the scoreboard blank at half-time.


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Club Office:
297 Lorong 6, Toa Payoh, Toa Payoh Stadium (Gate 3), Singapore 319389
Tel: +65-6356 0049 Fax: +65-6356 5006




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