Match Preview: Hazzuwan Hopes to Break Referee Jinx


Photo credit: Geylang International FC

Geylang International forward Hazzuwan Halim was in disbelief when he saw his goal against Lion City Sailors rule out for offside by the match officials - the second time in as many matches a goal was not awarded in his favour.


Both officiating calls were contentious. Against Young Lions, the 1.69m player was a yard onside when he met Tajeli Salamat's cross with his head and put the ball past the opposing goalie.


A similar call was made eight days later when Hazzuwan put the ball into the Sailors' goal. This time, his strike partner Sime Zuzul was deemed to be interfering play by the match official even though the ball merely flew over his 1.89m frame.


If not for those disputable decisions, the club's second-highest goalscoring player could have brought his goal tally to six - not far behind from top scorer Zuzul's eight.


Notwithstanding those disallowed goals, the 2017 Young Player of the Year was still one of Eagles' brightest players in the current five-match unbeaten run.


His lively presence upfront, posing a constant threat to opposing defences, was rewarded by a goal and an assist in that spell.


The Singapore international with four caps looks to sustain his good form when Geylang International travel to Hougang Stadium to face the Cheetahs this Friday (July 22).


Hazzuwan's attacking prowess would be needed for this fixture, as Hougang United have been tough competitors in recent times. The away side have not beaten their north-eastern rivals for the past five meetings.


Similar to the Eagles, the Cheetahs have also been in good form of late. Since returning from their AFC Cup assignment, the fifth-placed side have gone four games unbeaten, picking up eight points in the process.


Both clubs head into this Friday's contest aiming to outdo each other and grab the three points. At stake for either side is the AFC Cup qualifying spot, currently held by third-placed Tanjong Pagar United who are on 26 points.


With continental dream still alive for Geylang International, Hazzuwan is not short of confidence in delivering the goals against Hougang United.


The Singaporean who wears the number 7 jersey, hopes the referee would not deny him from executing his next Ronaldo-esque goal celebration.


Team news: Vincent Bezecourt did not feature in the previous game as he returned to France to attend his brother's wedding. It is uncertain whether he would turn up at Hougang Stadium this Friday.


Fadli Kamis remains a long-term absentee due to anterior cruciate ligament injury, while Fareez Farhan's prolonged absence is to anyone's mystery.

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