The Geylang coach lamented his side's inability to find the back of the net in a second successive defeat, while Balestier Khalsa assistant coach Kevin Wee hailed a 'brilliant' winGeylang International coach Vedhamuthu Kanan faced the media with his customary smile despite his side's 1-0 defeat against Balestier Khalsa on Tuesday night, wryly noting that ‘nothing went wrong’ exactly, just that ‘nothing went right’!
Kanan did however admit that his team has a problem in scoring goals at the moment, having drawn a blank in their first two matches of the season.
“I am becoming frightened now, as we are not scoring enough goals,” he declared.
“We never lost to Balestier last season and Jozef Kaplan was scoring plenty of goals for us last year. Even in pre-season, when we played four games, we managed only one goal.”
The absence of striker Stefan Milojevic, who has missed the first two games, clearly weighed heavily on Kanan’s mind.
“We created enough chances and we dominated the second half, but Kaplan missed what seemed an easy chance and it’s becoming very frustrating for me to see this happening,” he pointed out.
“And now I have lost [defender] Jalal after he was sent off. I didn’t see what happened and I’ll need to talk to him, but I’m now going to lose him and he is one of my most important players."
Balestier Khalsa coach Darren Stewart, who had spoken at length about his team following their opening round defeat against Tanjong Pagar United last week, delegated team manager and assistant coach Kevin Wee to discuss proceedings this time round.
Clearly buoyed by the victory, Wee was quick to praise the hard work of the players.
“I thought it was a brilliant game, the players showed what they were made of tonight,” he said. “The team played to instructions [and] they played very well.”
China-born Singaporean international Qiu Li caught the eye as he was instrumental in most of the attacking moves and had a big hand in the only goal of the game, proving a real handful for the Geylang defence throughout.
“I know Qiu Li didn’t score, but it’s only a matter of time before he does,” Wee confidently stated.
On the unfortunate incident that led to Zulkiffli Hassim being sent off, Wee would not comment other than to say that he was sure that Stewart would be ‘saying something to him about it’.
Wee concluded by highlighting the difficult pitch conditions at their Toa Payoh Stadium homeground, which was made worse by the thunderstorm that delayed the start of the match.
“Any team would have struggled on that pitch and it was a matter of which side adapted to it the best,” he pointed out.
“It’s important for us to win at home, so we’re very happy with this result.”
Balestier must be satisfied that even with charismatic captain Paul Cunningham far from ready to resume after a long term injury, they kept a clean sheet thanks to an all-round team effort that included many players tracking back and giving Geylang little space.
It was no wonder Wee described it as a ‘brilliant game’ considering his side had conceded three against Tanjong Pagar in an opening-day defeat, before re-grouping and reeling off a much-needed win in front of their own supporters.