Bok: We let two points slip away

SAFFC coach Richard Bok admitted his side dropped two points by allowing Geylang United to come back from two goals down and draw at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium.

The Warriors celebrating Karoglan's opener!
Abhishek Mehrotra

By Abhishek Mehrotra

With first and second placed Brunei DPMM and Balestier Khalsa playing each other at the same time, one side was bound to drop points, which meant it was a great chance for the Warriors to cut the gap at the top of the table.

And things seemed to be going to plan when Mislav Karoglan and Tatsuro Inui put the home side two goals up before the half hour mark but lax defending allowed Geylang to strike back through Mun Seung-man and Amy Recha as the Eagles brought an end to SAFFC's three match winning run.

Talking to reporters after the match, Bok said: "We let two points slip away. I thought we were ok at 2-0 up, but their first goal gave them a lot of confidence. 

"In the second-half, we tried to pin them down again in search of another goal, but it didn't come. One defensive lapse [when Eddie Chang missed his header back to keeper Shahril Jantan] and they put in the equalising goal. Credit to them - they gave it their all."

Asked if complaceny might have played a role after going two up against the league's bottom side, the 42-year-old said that is precisely what he had warned his players about before the game.

"I'd been drilling them not to be complacent," he said. 

"They knew that when Geylang played against Harimau Muda [in their 2-0 loss last week], they gave a good account of themselves, so wasn't going to be easy and that showed tonight [Thursday].

The Warriors scored twice for the first time since their 2-2 draw with Woodlands Wellington in early April and while the end result was unsatisfactory, Bok did draw some pleasure from seeing his side improve on the attacking aspect of their game.

Watch: Highlights - SAFFC 2-2 Geylang United...More videos

Erwan Gunawan slipped in Fazrul Nawaz on the left who in turn squared the ball for Karoglan for a tap-in from less than five yards out to score the opener before Inui curled in a beautiful free-kick for his third goal of the season - all three having come from set-pieces.

"The first goal was well-worked, that's what we'd done in the training ground. And Inui, he's a dead-ball specialist," said Bok.

SAFFC had scored in the last ten minutes in their previous three games, so despite conceding an equaliser 12 minutes from time, the home crowd was hoping for yet another late escape. Unfortunately, it never materialised.

"After they equalised, we tried to get something going, but the final ball wasn't there," conceded Bok.

The result means Bok's men will go into the summer break in a lowly seventh place, but before they can reflect on how to improve for the next half, there's the small matter of an RHB Singapore Cup encounter with Balestier and Bok said he would be going all out to get a result.

"We've got to rest, recover and prepare for the Singapore Cup game on Monday," said Bok.

"We'll not be resting any players for the game, and Bah [central defender Bah Mamadou] is back. We're playing Balestier who're one of the top teams in the league, so it's going to be a tough game for us. It's a cup game, so anything can happen. After 90 minutes or 120 minutes, there has to be a winner."

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