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Match Preview: Pereira's Versatility an Asset for Eagles

Photo credit: Geylang International FC

He can defend, boss the midfield, score a goal, and most recently make diving saves!

These are the repertoire of skills Geylang International utility player Joshua Pereira possesses.

Joining the Eagles for his second stint in the middle of this campaign, Pereira had then already made a name for himself at the club.

Though making only three appearances in 2020 before COVID-19 and National Service were to cut short his season, fans fondly remember the robust defending he had made in those matches.

Not surprisingly, the supporters were excited to see him returning to the Eagles Nest and the former Young Lions player did not disappoint in his 17 league appearances.

Whenever the versatile talent was called upon by Geylang International head coach Noor Ali to play in centre-back and centre-mid positions as cover for his absent teammates, he had impressed with his hard running and tough tackling.

In fact, opposing attackers had bemoaned the lack of time on the ball when coming up against him on the pitch.

Pereira also added an attacking bite to his game when he scored his first-ever goal in an Eagles shirt against his former club, Young Lions, in August.

Yet, that is not all in his locker as he pleaded enthusiatically to Noor to hand him the gloves near the end of the previous game against Tanjong Pagar United, when the team was not able to bring on a backup goalkeeper to replace the injured Zaiful Nizam.

While the stand-in goalie was not able to stop Jaguars forward Reo Nishiguchi from finding the net, he made two outstanding saves against Faritz Hameed and Blake Riccuito which kept the point safe for Geylang International.

Despite his commendable performance between the sticks, Pereira is unlikely to be asked to do goalkeeping duty against Balestier Khalsa on Friday (October 14) as Noor is all but certain to play a designated goalkeeper - likely to be Zulfairuuz Rudy - for the forthcoming fixture.

With the suspension of Huzaifah Aziz and Abdil Qaiyyim's fitness in question, Pereira's services will be required to plug either the backline or the centre of midfield.

Against an opponent whom the Eagles had won four out of their last five meetings, the newly minted Singapore player hopes to help his club to another win and strengthen their bid for a top-four finish.

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