Kanan hails team effort after second win

Geylang International coach V. Kanan believes every one of his players did their part in their 2-0 Great Eastern-YEO's S.League win over Hougang United.

Delwinder delighted at the final whistle!
Gabriel Tan

By Gabriel Tan

The Eagles, who had picked up just three points all season long prior to Wednesday's game at the Bedok Stadium, recorded a much-needed victory thanks to second-half goals from Jozef Kaplan and substitute Khairulnizam Jumahat.

Although his relief was clear for all to see, Kanan was quick to insist the result was only possible as every member of his side had performed to instructions.

"Credit to the boys - they did very well," he said. "It wasn't an excellent game tonight [Wednesday] but it was a very effective performance.

"We defended very well; we created less chances than usual but scored more goals. Usually we create many chances but we either don't score or score one goal.

"I would say the whole team played excellent. Defensively we were excellent but if I had to single out a player, I would say Nori[hiro] Kawakami.

"I think Nori did very well at the back - him, Hayat [Khayrulhayat Jumat] and, of course, Jozef is there every game and is doing a lot for the team."

Nonetheless, Kanan did claim some credit as his substitutions played a key role in Geylang's second-half display.

"The three substitutions that I made changed the game," he added. "First, I brought in Duncan [Elias] for Andrew Tan and pushed Jalal up plus I brought in Wahyudi [Wahid] - they combined to set up Kaplan's goal.

"The second goal also came from Wahyudi, Jozef and Khairulnizam - that was a good goal."

The Eagles boss also believes the victory will give his side confidence for their next game against DPMM FC.

"I think it's a good morale-boosting win for the team because we'll be travelling to Brunei next Tuesday to play against them [DPMM]," Kanan explained. "I think this gives a lot of confidence to the team.

"DPMM drew with them [Hougang] 3-3 at their home ground [earlier this season] so I'm sure they will have some respect for us now, but the credit goes to the players."

Hougang coach Alex Weaver was unable to hide his frustration as his side once again failed to get a result despite having their fair share of possession and chances, with the Geylang backline clearing three of their goal-bound shots off the line.

"We had chances cleared off the line, we pretty much hammered them and it's just not running for us at the moment," he lamented. "I'd hate to talk about luck but luck is something out of your control.

"We've put shots on target and they've been blocked - we can't control that. You can credit their defending - they put bodies behind the ball so much.

"They've thrown everything onto the goal-line to block crosses and shots on goal. It's just frustrating this type of games where you've dominated so much and had chances - just disappointing."

As ever, the Englishman did however praise his charges for their unwavering spirit throughout the 90 minutes, although he admitted he was disappointed with the way they conceded their goals.

"The players gave everything from the first minute to the last - they were fantastic," Weaver added. "I've always said this from the start; they gave absolutely everything they had.

"I'm not going to single players out but the first goal we conceded was extremely disappointing because we had players out of position. You want your players thinking appropriately despite being under mental pressure and fatigue in the latter stages.

"They just switched off a bit like in the game against Tanjong Pagar [United] but I think it was to do with eagerness."

Following the win, Geylang are now up to 7th on the table while Hougang are fourth from bottom.

Image courtesy of Geylang International FC

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