Morale is high among the Geylang International players as they travel to Hougang Stadium to face Hougang United in a Singapore Premier League match this Friday (March 11).
Touted as the underachievers during the pre-season, the Eagles surprised many by defeating cash-rich Lion City Sailors 1-0. Riled by the Sailors' coach Kim Do-hoon's decision to field an understrength side, Noor Ali's charges put up a spirited display and humbled their opponents for underestimating the Eagles' squad.
Despite an overhaul to the Geylang International team in the off-season, the match against Lion City Sailors exhibited early signs of promise in the team as the players demonstrated togetherness and resilience in their play.
The four new foreign signings had played their respective roles to perfection with Vincent Bezecourt and Šime Žužul causing problems to the Sailors defence, and Rio Sakuma and Takahiro Tezuka covering every blade of grass to neutralise the Sailors' attacking threats. Hazzuwan Halim was also one of the local players who shone, having registered the most number of shots (three) during the game.
Geylang forwards face the tantalising prospect of exploiting Hougang's defence fragility. In the two games played thus far, the winless Cheetahs had failed to hold on to their lead and conceded five goals, the second-highest in the league. This encounter is an opportune time for the Eagles to raise their goal tally.
Team news: Abdil Qayyim returns from his one-match suspension and is available for selection. There are no other injury concerns in the Eagles camp.
Player to watch: Šime Žužul - The Croatian centre-forward did not get on the scoresheet against Lion City Sailors, but he assisted Bezecourt's winning goal and contributed to the sending off of the Sailors defender Pedro Henrique. His man-of-the-match performance had quickly established him as the fan favourite. The former Balestier hotshot who scored 15 goals last season, is raring to open his account for Geylang International against the Cheetahs.