A gutsy performance from the home side saw them turn around a one-goal deficit and snap their opponents' five-game unbeaten streak
|FROM BEDOK STADIUM
By Eddie Ridzwan
Tanjong Pagar United fell prey to Geylang International at Bedok Stadium on Tuesday night as they gave away their lead to end up losing 2-1.
Things had started out brightly for the visiting side as they broke the deadlock with only three minutes on the clock.
Ahmad Latiff cleverly dummied past a Hafiz Nor corner to fool most of the defence, leaving Kamel Ramdani with acres of space and time. The French-born Algerian then unleashed a lashing shot towards the goal that beat Geylang custodian Takuma Ito to give Tanjong Pagar the lead.
The game continued with both teams not looking threatening enough until the 18th minute when Jaguars goalkeeper Aurelien Herisson saw a dipping shot from 30 yards out narrowly miss his goal. That was to be a warning of things to come.
Eight minutes later, Geylang found the equalizer through captain Jozef Kaplan.
A Geylang corner in the 26th minute was met by the head of Norihiro Kawakami and the ball ran perfectly into the path of Kaplan, who took a shot with his first touch to level the scores.
League topscorer Monsef Zerka had a chance to give Tanjong Pagar the lead again but his shot, which came after he pounced on a wayward pass in the box from Kawakami, flashed past the post.
Surprisingly, Geylang took the lead just before half time from yet another set-piece as Yasir Hanapi rose highest at the near post to head in a freekick swung in from the right hand side.
Geylang, obviously buoyed by the lead, started the second half brightly as they fashioned the first chance of the half, which was brilliantly saved by Herisson.
The Jaguars huffed and puffed for the equalizer but the Eagles were firm on their feet, always looking to break on the counter.
One such instance was an attempt from Kaplan that saw the Slovakian midfielder remain steady as he received a deep cross from Khayrulhayat Jumat before attempting a first-time volley. Unfortunately, he sliced the ball under his boots and it ended up going well wide.
Kaplan then had another chance as he was teed up by Yasir, but his shot went across the goal yet again.
That didn't matter though, as the home side held on to the slender lead to collect three points and end their opponents' unbeaten five-game run.