By Gabriel TanFollow @@gabetan13
The Rams dominated proceedings for much of the opening 45 at the Jalan Besar Stadium and took the lead in the 29th minute when Chang Jo-yoon coolly fired home from inside the area, but Geylang equalised six minutes after the break when Jozef Kaplan netted with an excellent header.
But in the 90th minute, Chang's well-struck shot from just inside the box was met by Rosman Sulaiman and stabbed into the back of the net from close range, handing Woodlands all three points in the process.
Although there were a number of individuals who really stood out for the designated visitors, including Chang, Rosman, Moon Soon-ho and Shahril Alias, Salim was unwilling to single out any player for praise.
"Basically, everybody stood out," he said. "I don't [want to] single out one player; I single out everybody.
"From the keeper to our frontline, everyone stood out because of how much they wanted to win tonight [Friday]. It was important to win because we want to finish inside the top six.
"We're almost there and I believe if we can get a result on [August] 29 [against Tampines Rovers], then we will achieve our target."
While the Rams spent the early part of the season with a settled 3-5-2 formation, Salim has experimented with his lineup in recent weeks.
And the ex-Balestier Khalsa boss admits he could stick with the 3-4-3 he deployed on Friday night following the success they had on Friday.
"I played a different formation today [Friday] and we wanted to see how the type coped with it," Salim added. "I hope they'll be able to get used to this style.
"I'll continue with this formation if it helps us move up to the top six. We want to be more tight in the defensive third to ensure the opposition strikers have no time in possession.
"Especially in the first half, you could see we were very neat in terms of closing down our opponents and were pushing very hard. Geylang were not able to string passes forward."
Geylang coach V. Kanan was left to lament the 74th minute sending-off of veteran midfielder Noor Ali, after he appeared to catch opposition right-back Ang Zhiwei with an elbow, which left his side with a mountain to climb.
However, he believes the turning point of the game came shortly before when the usually-deadly Kaplan missed a clear-cut opening to put the Eagles ahead, only to fire wide with only Yazid Yasin to beat.
"We had the upper hand in the second half until the red card," he said. "It's very difficult to comment on our referees as they seem to decide what to do by themselves.
"But I thought the turning point came when Jozef had that open goal and missed. If he had scored that, I don't think the red card would have come because the game would have had a different complexion.
"For someone of his skill level, I thought it was a very simple tap-in, while the goal he scored was actually very difficult."
Kanan also expressed his disappointment at losing the game so late on after looking the more dangerous side for much of the second half.
"They [Woodlands] were actually not very threatening," he added. "Of course, Moon is a dangerman and Chang as well, but I told my team these are the only two we have to worry about.
"Losing in the 90th minute is very saddening and they played slightly better only after we were down to ten men."
The result saw the Rams climb to fifth on the table and they are almost certain to finish inside the top six ahead of the "half round" the S.League has introduced for this season.
Image courtesy of Geylang International FC (VOXSPORTS)