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  • April 18, 2013
  • • 19:30
  • • Woodlands Stadium, Singapore
  • Referee: L. Hoe

Goalkeepers take centrestage as Eagles and Rams draw

Goalkeepers take centrestage as Eagles and Rams draw

Sam Chow

The home side's custodian Yazid Yasin and his opposite number Takuma Ito were both on form in between the sticks to ensure that their teams each walked away with a point

By Khalis Rifhan

Despite playing out a goalless draw, the match between Woodlands Wellington and Geylang International was nowhere near dull and boring, as both sides put up an entertaining performance full of attacking play that had the 1857 fans in attendance on the edge of their seats throughout the 90 minutes. 

The Rams missed a couple of opportunities presented to them in the first half, while the Eagles upped the tempo of the match in the second period but were denied by the heroics of Yazid Yasin in goal for the hosts.

The visitors had the first chance on goal just a few minutes after kick-off, but Norihiro Kawakami’s header was cleared off the line amidst a sea of players.

Woodlands started the match rather sloppily but got their act together midway through the first half, but it was to be a night of the goalkeepers as Takuma Ito denied them on several occasions.

Ito had earlier did well to deny Moon Soon Ho a goal and soon after that, the former Albirex Niigata (S) custodian brilliantly palmed away Khalid Hamdaoui’s shot, which was destined for the top corner, in the 28th minute. 

The second half saw Geylang coming out of the dressing room determined to pick up maximum points as captain Jozef Kaplan drove a screamer from 30 yards that hit the upright seven minutes after the restart.

Stefan Milojevic came on for the away side in the second half after a long lay-off from injury, although he looked a pale shadow of the player whose performances had made him a fans favourite at the Bedok Stadium in the previous season.

The closing stages saw referee Leow Thiam Hoe become the target of verbal abuse from both sets of fans after he ruled out a Geylang goal, having already controversially denied Woodlands a penalty earlier.

The Rams thought they had a clear-cut spot-kick 20 minutes from time after Wahyudi Wahid had brought down Moon in the box but Leow waved play on, much to the disbelief of coach Salim Moin and his assistant Clement Teo in the Woodlands technical area. 

It was the Eagles' turn to suffer from questionable refereeing eight minutes from the end, as Milojevic’s goal was disallowed for an alleged handball prior to the strike.

Despite registering a number of shots on goal, both sides could not find any way past the opposing goalkeeper, and had to be content with a point each from the match.