If one were inclined to be superstitious, one could almost believe a curse had shifted from Hougang United to Geylang International when the two sides met back in May. It was the Eagles that the Cheetahs defeated for their first victory of the season after ten games without a win. Now Geylang International could match that dubious record of ten winless games in the league if they fail to defeat Hougang United when the two sides meet again for the fourth and final time this season at Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday evening.
In truth, the Eagles’ poor form actually began after their League Cup semi-finals knockout at the hands of eventual champions Albirex Niigata in July. That was the start of a stretch that saw them losing seven in eight games, the sole exception being a narrow win over Global F.C. in a Singapore Cup tie. Unfortunately for the Eagles, Filipino side Global F.C. – who had already knocked out Hougang United earlier in the same tournament – overturned that deficit in the second leg with a 1:4 drubbing over their hosts.
However, two consecutive draws in their last two matches suggests that Geylang International might have begun to arrest their bad run. The narrative will ultimately depend on the game on Friday. Defeat the Cheetahs and the draws will represent the start of a turnaround in form. Lose again and the draws would be regarded as a mere continuance of their winless streak in the league.
Despite their poor form, the Eagles remain a formidable threat in attack with seven goals scored in their last six games. Three of those goals were from their top scorer Jozef Kaplan, who has scored 10 goals in the league and 14 in all competition. It is an indication of the Slovak’s impressive skills that he’s the joint fourth top scorer in the league despite playing for a team that currently sits at the bottom of the table.
With 9 goals in all competition, Bruno Castanheira is another key player for the Cheetahs to watch out for. The Brazilian-Japanese forward has remained something of a cup specialist though with 6 of his goals scored in 7 cup matches. He has yet to score in the League since May and would undoubtedly be looking to rectify that soon.
As for Hougang United, the buzzword of late has been inconsistency. The team has alternated between winning, drawing and losing in their last ten games. Not once since the League Cup have they repeated one game’s result in the next. No two wins in a row. No two draws in a row. And no two losses in a row either. Their last game was a narrow defeat to Home United so if this pattern of inconsistency holds, expect the Cheetahs to emerge with a point or all three.
Geylang International F.C. vs Hougang United F.C.
2015 Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League
25th September 2015, Friday
7:30 pm, Jalan Besar Stadium