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  • August 6, 2013
  • • 20:00
  • • Choa Chu Kang Stadium, Singapore

Goalkeepers on form as Eagles hold Warriors

Goalkeepers on form as Eagles hold Warriors

Muhammad Farhan

Custodians Takuma Ito and Hassan Sunny both pulled off several fine saves to deny their opponents in a stalemate that did neither side's top-six hopes any good

Geylang International and Warriors FC were both not able to capitalise on their chances and could only share the points as they played out a goalless draw at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium on Tuesday night. 

Warriors captain Zulfadli Zainal, recently called up to the Singapore national team by coach Bernd Stange as a replacement for the injured Shaiful Esah, was a rock in defence and displayed leadership qualities that have earned him the armband in recent matches.

There was no dominant side in the match, as both teams had their fair share of chances of goal but were constantly foiled by the heroics of goalkeepers Hassan Sunny and Takuma Ito for Warriors and Geylang respectively. 

The first real threat from the hosts came on the half-hour mark as Tatsuro Inui’s freekick, which looked destined for the top corner, was brilliantly tipped over by Ito for a corner.

The Eagles were not able to conjure up any shots on goal until the second half, with former Singapore international Mohd Noor Ali a constant threat down the left flank as he sent in several dangerous crosses into the penalty box. 

Ten minutes after the break, skipper Jozef Kaplan managed to hold off his markers at the edge of the box and tee up for Noor Ali for a shot, but his attempt was direct at Hassan.

The Warriors were denied a goal minutes after the hour mark when Ito once again came to the Eagles' rescue, the Japanese custodian stopping Mislav Karoglan’s header on the line. 

It was Hassan’s turn to impress Stange, who was watching from the stands alongside S.League CEO Lim Chin, in the 74th minute as he punched away Norihiro Kawakami's header.

The Eagles bench then heaved a sigh of relief deep into injury time when Karoglan was left with acres of space in the 16-yard area as he headed Shi Jiayi’s cross towards goal, but they were denied victory as Ito pulled off a stupendous save to earn a point for his team.