Geylang frustrated by Tigers in drab draw
Try as they did, the door just would not open.
Geylang International were unable to break down a resolute Balestier Khalsa side as both teams played out a goalless draw at the Bedok Stadium on Thursday evening .
In a S.League season where goals have been aplenty, this tie was anything but entertaining, much to the disappointment of the 1,811 strong crowd which included Member of Parliament and advisor to Geylang, Miss Tin Pei Ling and the legendary Samad Allapitchay.
The Eagles and the Tigers had arrived at the Bedok Stadium with differing aims.
While the hosts wanted to attack and conquer en route to a possible three points, Balestier Khalsa played the antagonists in a game where one would be hard pressed to conjure up a highlight reel.
The first 45 minutes passed without any real moments to take note of, with Balestier happy to sit back and watch the Eagles fruitlessly run at them.
It is not easy to play against a team which was so defensive.
In fact, the first real highlight of the evening would arrive in the second half when Geylang coach Hasrin Jailani made an attacking change to add a much-needed zeal into the game.
Off came right-back Al-Qaasimy Rahman and veteran forward Indra Sahdan stepped in.
The latter almost made an immediate impact with a set-piece in the 50th minute but his drilled effort from just outside the box would only sting the palms of goalkeeper Zaiful Nizam.
Zaiful then had to be at his best once again just six minutes later as the Singapore international pulled off an exceptional save to tip Yuki Ichikawa’s close-range header over the bar.
With the game drawing to a close, the Tigers almost clinched an undeserved victory when a scramble in the box resulted in the ball falling into the path of Hazzuwan Halim.
But the winger's shot was heroically cleared off the line by former LionsXII captain Isa Halim, who made his first start of the season.
Hasrin was visibly frustrated after the match as he agreed with the assessment that only one side had come to play.
He said: "I'm disappointed that we couldn't get anything today but it is not easy to play against a team which was so defensive."
"In a game like this, we needed to find other ways to score and I felt we got a lot of set pieces and we should have at least scored one."
Tigers' head coach Marko Kraljevic however, was satisfied with the result and even suggested that his side should have left with more than just a point had they converted whatever few chances that came their way.
"Playing against Geylang at Bedok, I'm happy to leave with a point," said Kraljevic.
"But we had more clear chances than them and I feel we should have won."
With the latest result, the Eagles remain unbeaten after four matches, with three draws and a win while the defensive Tigers are still without a win after three matches.
Video and Photo by: S.League