Geylang International found Kristijan Naumovski in fine goalkeeping form as they could not find a way back into the game in a heavy 4-1 cup defeat to Brunei DPMM at Our Tampines Hub on Sunday night (October 22).
The Eagles' task was made tougher by a contentious sending-off of Naufal Azman in the second half which saw the team reduced to 10 men.
Presented with an opportunity to go top of Group A with a win over the Bruneian outfit, all went swimmingly well for the 2009 Singapore Cup winners when Iqbal Hussain opened the account from the spot in the 9th minute.
However, Geylang's profligacy in front of goal with Naufal and Yushi Yamaya missing glorious chances was to prove costly as Brunei DPMM subsequently took advantage of the hosts' chaotic defending to surge to a 3-1 lead before the break.
Any hope from the fans on their beloved club mounting a comeback was dashed with referee Andrea Verolino dishing a controversial red card to Naufal. Replays were to show that Naufal's flailing right arm in response to the tug and pull of a Brunei DPMM player hardly hit his opponent.
The enraged home bench, which saw team manager Leonard Koh picking up a yellow for dissent, then resigned to defeat after the Wasps stabbed in a fourth goal in the 68th minute which put the result beyond doubt.
This latest setback undid the Eagles' stunning victory against Albirex last month, with qualification to the semi-finals as Group A runners-up far from certain as the club are embroiled in a three-way tussle with the White Swans and the Stags for that final qualifying spot.
The Eastern derby to be played on November 4 will be crucial in determining Geylang's chances of advancing to the next stage of the tournament.
Man of the match: Ultras Eagles - Even when defeat became inevitable for the fallen Singaporean giants, the passionate fan club stayed till the end for their adopted team and continued to make their support felt with their boisterous chants and non-stop drumming.