Two goals from Jozef Kaplan and one from Ang Zhi Wei pushed the Eagles up to tenth spot, spoiling Warriors coach Richard Bok's final game in charge
|FROM BEDOK STADIUM
By Kenneth Tan
After the high of their Singapore Cup triumph just four days ago, it was always hard for SAFFC to rise up to an occassion which admittedly had lesser significance.
Coupled with the fact that Richard Bok retained only three players from Sunday's starting eleven, that paved the way for a resurgent Geylang United side still harbouring ambitions to finish out of the bottom two, to beat the Warriors in a convincing 3-0 victory.
In the absence of regular captains Yazid Yasin and Syed Fadhil, forward Jozef Kaplan wore the armband for the first time and he duly repaid coach Kanan Vedhamuthu's faith with a brace within the first half-hour.
His first came just seven minutes into the affair through some individual brilliance. Wriggling his way into the box with the angle looking against him, the Slovakian somehow found the space to rifle a shot which returning SAFFC keeper Hassan Sunny could only push into his own net.
On the half-hour mark, he duly doubled his tally by latching on to a Norhazwan Norasikin through ball, expertly evading Eddie Chang before slamming a low finish past the same custodian.
It was indeed an outstanding first half for the Eagles who also started three Prime League players. In particular the duo of Norhazwan and Ang Zhi Wei impressed with their industry down the flanks which created space for Kaplan to create havoc.
In contrast, SAFFC struggled to get going without key players like Tatsuro Inui and Mislav Karoglan.
Prime League winger Marin Jonjic was the only bright spark in the first half, nearly equalising matters three minutes after the opening goal as he sidefooted against the post from less than six yards out following a mistimed defensive header by the Eagles.
Credit to the Warriors, they returned after the break slightly invorgorated in order to overturn the two-goal deficit. However their own goalscoring chances were scrappy ones to say the least.
Shukor Zailan's freekick went straight down the throat of Geylang goalkeeper Ridhuan Bahrudin, Shimpei Sakurada's snapshot from range was spilled with substitute Fazrul Nawaz's attempt to pounce being foiled by the custodian while Erwan Gunawan had two efforts that went over the bar.
In the end, it was the Eagles who put the result to bed 18 minutes from time, with goalscorer Kaplan involved again.
The Eagles top scorer's left-wing cross was missed by a SAFFC defender before Ang took no invitations to ram the loose ball past a beleaguered Hassan.
The result stayed that way till the final whistle with the Eagles fans enjoying a happier trip home.