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Match Review: Eagles Surrender Meekly to White Swans in Battle of the Birds

Photo credit: Stanley Wong

Jurong East Stadium was Geylang International's graveyard once more on Tuesday night (June 6) as they were buried three goals without reply against Albirex Niigata in an away league encounter.

Having not won on that ground for the last 22 matches in all competitions that stretched to the 2011 season, there was an air of inevitability among the visiting fans that defeat was on the cards - only question was by how many goals.

But what frustrated those faithful who watched on the stands as well as via broadcast was the lack of fight put up by the men in green in at least trying to earn a respectable scoreline.

Despite Geylang head coach Noor Ali fielding a 4-3-3 with an attacking intent, his charges were bereft of ideas and hardly put opposing goalkeeper Hassan Sunny into action.

Faced with a listless rival, Albirex bided their time and found the opener via Shuto Komaki in the 21st minute.

With only one shot on target in the first half, the Eagles regrouped after the break and briefly laid siege on their opponents' goal in the first 10 minutes or so of the second period.

The best chance of the night fell to Amirul Adli in the 50th minute when his header within the six-yard box drew a two-handed save from Hassan.

But any resistance from the visitors was put to bed six minutes later with Seia Kunori doubling the White Swans' lead through a close-range, right-footed strike.

Geylang's miserable night was compounded 10 minutes from time as they went three goals down courtesy of a mistake by Danish Irfan. The new signing failed to cut out an Albirex pass which eventually reached Keito Komatsu, who finished off the move in style by cutting in and slamming the ball past a rooted Hafiz Ahmad.

With just five points separating fifth-placed Eagles and Brunei DPMM on ninth, the prospect of the fallen Singaporean giants tumbling down the league standing is real if results do not improve after the international break.

Man of the match: Amirul Adli - Numerous Ultras Eagles fan in post-match chats concur that the Singapore defender is the only player who can walk away from the drubbing with his head held high. Amirul not only made last-ditch defensive challenges that prevented his side from going further behind, but he also almost helped his team to draw level from a header in the second half.

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