Geylang International 0
Albirex Niigata 0
Geylang International continued their unbeaten run in the S-League last night with a 0-0 draw against league leaders Albirex Niigata at Bedok Stadium.
However, rather than rejoice at the final whistle, the result was more a case two points dropped than a point gained for Geylang.
While the Eagles stretched their unbeaten run to five games, four of those results are draws and they will be disappointed not to have taken the maximum three points against Albirex.
Said a disappointed Geylang assistant coach Noor Ali: "We created enough chances to win but we have to improve our finishing.
We created enough chances to win but we have to improve our finishing. We didn't finish the game off early and had opportunities from six yards out that we should have put in.
NOOR ALI, Geylang assistant coach, on their goal-less draw with Albirex Niigata.
"We didn't finish the game off early and had opportunities from six yards out that we should have put in. It is not only based on today's game; it has been the trend for the last two to three games and this is something we have to work on.
"We have good attacking players, but we need players who can score as well. If we cannot put the ball into the net, we will have big issues throughout the season."
Striker Sahil Suhaimi was guilty of some of the missed opportunities, but he believes that there is room for improvement.
The 23-year-old, who has scored one league goal this season, told The Straits Times: "We created a lot but tonight was just not our night.
"This is just my second start of the season so obviously my shooting can be improved and my performance can only get better."
Geylang's frustration was evident even on the sidelines, as coach Hasrin Jailani was seen kicking a bottle after another misplaced pass with the team in a promising attacking position. He even retreated to the stands to cool down when referee Sukhbir Singh turned down two late penalty claims.
While the match was goal-less, it was nevertheless entertaining, with the hosts carving out the clearer chances, only to see the likes of Stanely Ng and Argentinian midfielder Carlos Delgado missing them.
Delgado saw his 25th-minute volley hit the crossbar, and his powerful shot five minutes later was smothered by Albirex goalkeeper Yosuke Nozawa.
Sahil then took too long to pull the trigger in the 54th minute, after being set up by Delgado. Ng was the next Geylang player to fluff his lines in the 62nd minute, when his shot was saved by Nozawa after the ball fell to him in the penalty area. Right-back Faritz Hameed then saw his close-range header saved brilliantly by Nozawa in the 79th.
Albirex came closest to scoring in the 70th minute, when Tatsuro Inui's header came back off the upright. They also had a goal disallowed in the first half, when defender Naofumi Tanaka's header was ruled out for infringement on the goalkeeper.
Despite the disappointing result, Geylang captain Isa Halim feels that there are still plenty of positives from his team's performance.
He said: "It's an improved performance compared to the last game against Balestier. And as long as we continue to create, we will start scoring."
Both Albirex and Geylang will play Warriors FC in their next S-League games, on March 18 and April 1 respectively.
In the night's other game, Garena Young Lions lost 1-3 to Hougang United at Jalan Besar Stadium.