Match Of The Week

Football: Young Lions' tenth straight loss due to lack of focus, says Hesse

Garena Young Lions coach Patrick Hesse (in yellow) at a training session.
Garena Young Lions coach Patrick Hesse (in yellow) at a training session. ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

Run of S-League defeats inevitable because of continuing lack of focus, laments Hesse

S-LEAGUE

Geylang International 3

Garena Young Lions 1

Valentine's Day now seems like a long time ago as it has been almost three months since the Garena Young Lions last tasted victory, let alone even earning a draw, in the S-League.

That miserable run continued yesterday evening when Patrick Hesse's young footballers suffered their 10th straight defeat, losing 3-1 to Geylang International at Bedok Stadium.

The Frenchman lamented: "Every game is the same. We're already 1-0 down because the guys aren't able to play 10 minutes without conceding a goal. I'm very disappointed.

"I am very worried about this. Every game, we give three points to our opponents because we're not focused in the first five minutes."

The last time the Young Lions won was during its opening fixture on Feb 14 when it beat Balestier Khalsa 1-0.

It took the Eagles just two minutes to inflict damage when forward Sahil Suhaimi was pulled down inside the box and Argentinian midfielder Carlos Delgado converted the penalty a minute later.

Young Lions forward Fareez Farhan equalised in the 52nd minute through a penalty after Daniel Bennet tripped Rusyaidi Salime in the box but goalkeeper Benjamin Bertrand fumbled a 75th-minute corner, giving Geylang defender Yuki Ichikawa an easy finish.

Substitute winger Gabriel Quak sealed the victory in the 89th minute by dribbling past three defenders before slotting home.

Despite the victory and earning the club's first back-to-back wins of the campaign, Eagles coach Hasrin Jailani was not satisfied.

He said: "We only played properly in the last 20 minutes. I think this is one of our worst performances as well."

But the 40-year-old is still glad to have the win after the club had six draws in its previous 10 games.

He said: "Anyway, three points is three points. When we play well, we draw or lose the game. But if we didn't play well and still get the three points, which one is better? I still prefer the three points.

"The back-to-back wins are very important. This builds up the confidence of the players. We'll take it one step at a time and hopefully for the next game, the momentum can keep going."

The Eagles are fifth in the table with 15 points while the Young Lions stay bottom on three points.

In yesterday's other match, Warriors FC's Marijan Suto snatched an 89th-minute equaliser to earn a 1-1 draw against defending champions Brunei DPMM at Choa Chu Kang Stadium.

Jorg Steinebrunner's men are seventh on 10 points while DPMM are fourth on 15 points, ahead of Geylang on goal difference.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 06, 2016, with the headline 'Tenth loss for Young Lions'. Print Edition | Subscribe