|FROM PASIR GUDANG STADIUM
By Khalis Rifhan
Geylang International collected their first win of the season as they registered a 4-1 win over Harimau Muda at the Pasir Gudang stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Eagles captain Jozef Kaplan scored a hat-trick and Nurhazwan Norasikin added the teams’ fourth while Faizat Ghazli grabbed a consolation for Razip Ismail’s team.
It was the visitors first three points after two consecutive losses and one could not fault coach V. Kanan for putting on a big smile after the match.
“Their hard work in training paid off today, the team took a while to gel together as we had several new players from the Prime League,” he said at the post-match conference.
“First half we were a bit rusty but we came out stronger in the second half. But I do not want to get carried away with this win. We still have to face Warriors FC and Home United after this.”
Kanan’s smile soon faded as he made known his honest opinion regarding Taufiq Ghani’s actions - shoving a an opponent, in the dying seconds of the game which resulted in a red card being shown to the player by referee Ahmad A’Qashah.
“I was angry about it," he declared.
"We are 4-1 up and it is not necessary for him to do that. Sometimes, young boys, they are very hot-blooded.”
While Kanan was in celebratory mood, his opposite number, Razip, was not satisfied with his boys’ performance as he felt they could have done better, especially in defence.
“I am very disappointed, it’s a very bad game," he said dejectedly.
"I don’t know what to say about it. We did not play well today. The opening first few minutes we were attacking and suddenly we did not play well and gave away a penalty.
“Three of the four goals were from our own defensive mistakes. We deserved this result.
“The second goal came and it was too late to come back. We played against a strong and experienced opponent. They have a good striker and we keep on making mistakes and I have told them before not to give away freekick. Too many mistakes in the second half.”
Touching on the penalty awarded to his opponent, Razip contradicted himself as he added: “It is not 100% a penalty. But I never saw it clearly as my view was blocked.”
“Maybe my players did touch the opponent but maybe it’s a soft touch. The referee awarded the penalty and I can’t do anything about it, as he made the decision.
“They are not experienced enough and maybe tired after four games and it is hard to maintain the same performance. Maybe our opponents have studied our strengths and weaknesses.”
Geylang International will next host Warriors FC at the Bedok stadium on March 16 while Harimau Muda will make a trip to Clementi stadium to take on defending champions, Tampines Rovers on March 24.