The Geylang International coach was pleased with their comeback from two goals down to draw against Balestier Khalsa, which opposing coach Darren Stewart admitted was a fair resultBoth coaches seemed satisfied with taking a point off their opponents after Thursday night’s Great Eastern-YEO’S S.League game at Bedok Stadium, which ended 2-2 between Geylang International and Balestier Khalsa.
Geylang coach Vedhamuthu Kanan had hoped to start to move his team away from the lower reaches of the table by winning this one, but despite another strong game from his captain Jozef Kaplan and his promising striker Wahyudi Wahid, it was not to be.
The hosts had to mount a second-half comeback to secure the point, after falling behind by two goals in the first 45 minutes as the visitors had a man dismissed after the break.
Kanan, had said before the game that it would probably be a tactical battle, but he later explained that his players had not followed his instructions properly, so he had to have a re-think at half-time.
“We had a plan, but unfortunately we gave Balestier too much room on the flanks, especially down the right, and they took advantage of that,” he remarked.
“I sent on Andrew Tan and Basil Teo at half-time to try and solve this and also decided to play 4-3-3 as we were two down and we would need three strikers if we were to work our way back into the game.
“I have not been especially happy with Andrew since he joined us from Balestier, but I had a feeling he’d do well against his old club and he certainly did that. If only we could play Balestier every week!
“The team fought back well, so I’m pleased that we managed to take one point at least, though we might have had three if Jozef had taken another good chance towards the end.”
Balestier had emerged from their bruising encounter with Tanjong Pagar United a week earlier with a first win in a while and were seemingly on course for a second when they raced to a two-goal lead, but coach Darren Stewart felt that his side deserved no more than the point that they took from the match.
“We did not play well tonight,” he proclaimed.
“Missing so many important players hurt us and even though we scored twice, we really didn’t deserve to win; Geylang are a good side and a draw was a fair result, I think.
“All the same, I don’t think it was a sending-off for Ridwan [Jamil]. I’ll be taking a good look at that one again on the replay.”
It was very apparent that without one man, Balestier were in trouble and almost under siege from the Eagles over the concluding stages.
“Paul [Cunningham] is in no state to play as a defender for some time and he has a massive cut on his head that will take time to mend,” Stewart advised.
“He had to go back and defend, as we were down to 10 men and there was no other choice, but neither of the goals we conceded were down to him; they were mistakes I won’t be blaming the players for, as the bounce was bad and they were short-handed out there.
“I’m more than happy with a point from this game, it was not an easy game for us.”