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Match Review: Eagles Relieved to End Losing Streak with Win over Young Lions

Photo credit: Football Association of Singapore

Geylang International snapped their three-game losing run after putting Young Lions to the sword with a 2-0 away victory on Saturday (May 27).

Goals by Iqbal Hussain and Amirul Adli on either side of the half were enough to see off their younger opponents.

If not for the crossbar who had denied the Eagles on at least four occasions, the winning margin for the visitors would have been much higher.

The first of which happened in the 27th minute when Ahmad Syahir's thunderbolt from 20 yards cannoned off the top frame of the post. The rebound fell to Iqbal but his effort could only hit the side netting.

It was deja vu three minutes later when Iqbal's rising shot struck against the bar, much to the bemusement of the away side who could not believe their luck.

But Iqbal, who already had two goals to his name this season, was not to be denied in the 41st minute. Running into space near the edge of the penalty area to collect Vincent Bezecourt's long-range pass, the 29-year-old forward executed a brilliant first touch that brought him round the onrushing goalkeeper Azil Yazid, before angling the ball into an open goal.

Iqal's own goalie, Hafiz Ahmad, was to be called into action immediately after the opener (eventually to be the only time in this match), as he used his leg to thwart Ilhan Noor's effort. With the ball still loose and in the danger area, the Geylang custodian had Akmal Azman to thank when he rushed back towards goal and cleared Harith Kanadi's rebound off the goal line.

The crossbar continued to be the Eagles' nemesis in the second half. Fifteen minutes after the break, Takahiro Tezuka saw his well-taken free-kick coming off the top of the post.

Amirul was the goal frame's fourth victim of the night, when his header off a Bezecourt free-kick hit the upright in the 70th minute. But the Singapore defender reacted quickly to lash the rebound home from close-range with a perfectly executed left-footed volley.

The manner in which Amirul's teammates joined him in the celebration by piling on top of him demonstrated the sheer quality of the effort.

Coming away with three points in the bag at Jalan Besar Stadium, fifth-placed Geylang arrested their fall down the league table and consolidated their spot on 16 points, keeping their bottom-half rivals at arm's length.

While the victory is a morale booster for a team who had not experienced a winning feeling for some time, the celebrations within the Eagles camp have to be cut short as it is back to the training ground to prepare a tough assignment against reigning champions Albirex Niigata in less than two weeks' time.

Man of the match: Amirul Adli - The player to watch in the lead up to this clash did more than his defensive duties by delivering a goal at the other end of the pitch. While helping his team to their second clean sheet of the season with a commanding performance at the back, Amirul was also key to initiating a couple of attacking moves that ended up as good chances for his forward teammates.

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