Young Lions howler helps Eagles close the gap on third-placed Hougang

A comical own goal from Garena Young Lions goalkeeper Fashah Iskandar helped Geylang International towards a 2-0 win on Thursday evening.

The goal came just five minutes after half-time and gave the momentum to the Eagles, who had struggled in the first half.

The unfortunate Fashah pushed the ball into his own net following a harmless header from Gabriel Quak across the face of the goal.

Maybe there was a little bit of luck with the help of Fashah. A goal is a goal, that’s the most important thing

- Hasrin Jailani

Geylang coach Hasrin Jailani admitted that they were fortunate to be gifted the goal, which Young Lions coach Patrick Hesse called a “very, very stupid goal”.

The Eagles are now just three points behind Hougang in the race for third place.

“Honestly, in the first half, it didn’t work out ... we worked something in training but it didn’t work out,” Hasrin said.

“Young Lions were the one who controlled the game. I agree that maybe there was a little bit of luck with the help of Fashah. A goal is a goal, that’s the most important thing.”

The game might have turned out differently had Fashah not committed the mistake, given Geylang were hardly getting in behind the Young Lions’ backline.

They created just four chances in the first half, with Sahil Suhaimi blazing over the first in the third minute after Anders Aplin found him with a nice ball.

Hesse couldn't hide his disappointment with his players after the game

Shawal Anuar tested Fashah in the 10th minute after he was released by Carlos Delgado, but the winger should have done better 11 minutes later when Fashah pushed a Gabriel effort onto his path, only to fire wide from two yards out with the goal at his mercy.

Both Shawal and Fashah were at it again in the 30th minute, this time after the goalkeeper rushed out in an attempt to prevent Shawal from getting through. But the ball rolled on for the Eagle, who delayed his shot and allowed Rusyaidi Salime time to recover and block the shot. 

We have not enough experience to play in the S.League. Don’t forget, one year ago my players were in the Prime League

- Patrick Hesse

Geylang thought they had scored just three minutes after the restart when Yuki Ichikawa met Gabriel’s corner with a towering header, but Joshua Pereira managed to nod it off the line.

But the Eagles did not have to wait any longer for a goal, with Fashah making the game’s decisive play just two minutes later.

Still, the goalkeeper did recover from that mistake and made a vital save in the 58th minute to tip over another Ichikawa header.

There was, however, nothing Fashah could have done to prevent Stanely Ng from scoring the Eagles’ second in the 82nd minute. The substitute was left unmarked as Safirul Sulaiman floated the ball in from a free-kick and he brilliantly flicked it on with his head into the bottom corner to seal the points.

Gabriel benefited from Fashah's mistake

Hasrin stated that the victory was a crucial one in helping them to achieve their target of finishing in the top three.

“A win is a win … every game now is very important,” he said.

“I think if you look at it the situation, it’s all about winning games right now and not caring about other teams. We have to take one game at a time.”

On the other hand, Hesse reiterated the point that his players are lacking experience, which contributed to their down fall.

“At half-time it was good, 0-0. But as with last week against Albirex, immediately we conceded in the second half. After that, it’s difficult for us. We make mistakes with young guys,” he said.

“We gave five, six, seven opportunities for set-pieces and we know Geylang, they are very accurate with set-pieces.

“We have not enough experience today to play in the S.League. Don’t forget, one year ago most [of my] players were playing in the Prime League.

“It’s very difficult to push from Prime League to S.League in such a short time.”

File photos from Weixiang Lim/FourFourTwo