A brace from Joshua Pereira sent Geylang International on their way to a 3-0 victory over Young Lions in the penultimate league game of the season on Saturday evening (August 19).
With Gareth Low also adding his name on the scoresheet, this emphatic win was a welcome relief for the beleaguered side who were on the end of heavy defeats to Albirex Niigata and Balestier Khalsa in recent weeks.
This latest result helps the Eagles to secure fifth position, after the sixth-placed Cheetahs dropped points against the Jaguars in a simultaneously played fixture. There is no way for their nearest rivals to make up a four-point deficit as the league enters into its final round of matches next month.
Despite coming into the clash in horrendous form, Geylang were still installed by the bookmakers as firm favourites to overcome the basement club. Yet, it was the cellar dwellars who were asking all the questions in the early exchanges as shots from the likes of Zikos Chua and Harhys Stewart put Rudy Khairullah to the test.
Against the run of play, the Eagles took the lead in the 40th minute when Takahiro Tezuka's inswinging corner was headed in by Pereira.
While Geylang trooped off for their break with a lead, head coach Noor Ali could not be pleased with his side's ineffectual performance against an Under-23 developmental side and must have made his views known in the dressing room.
Whatever pep talk that was given clearly worked as the Eagles looked more dangerous in attack after the interval and eventually doubled their advantage through Low near the hour-mark.
Receiving the ball at the edge of the box from Iqbal Hussain, the former Young Lions player wiggled into the box before angling his shot towards the bottom-right corner of the goalmouth.
The Cubs belatedly conjured a response in the immediate aftermath of the second goal by registering shots of their own towards Rudy's goal. But Peireira killed off any possibility of a comeback in the 72nd minute when he got to the end of a poor defensive clearance inside the box and lashed in a fierce shot from 18 yards.
With clean sheets on a premium for Geylang this season, they had the upright to thank for in preserving their team's only fourth of the campaign as it stood rooted in denying Jun Kobayashi's header five minutes from time.
Man of the match: Joshua Pereira - The Geylang skipper put in an all-action performance and led the way for his team by scoring a double in this fixture. Far from his usual defensive reliability this season, Pereira hopes to put a disappointing campaign behind him and put in more match-winning displays like the one he had on Saturday.