Geylang International netted thrice in the final ten minutes on Friday to pull off a miraculous come-from-behind 3-2 win over ten-man Hougang United in the S.League.
The result ensured the Eagles continued their resurgent ways under new coach Jorg Steinebrunner, who has claimed ten points from his first four games since replacing V. Kanan.
However, although they had to play just under an hour with a man down, Hougang only have themselves to blame as a litany of errors allowed their opponents to produce a stunning fightback.
Hougang, entering the game on the back of last week’s impressive 4-2 win over league leaders Tampines Rovers, took the lead after 21 minutes after Azhar Sairudin’s right-wing evaded a sea of players in the box, allowing Geison Moura to prod home at the back post.
But four minutes after the half-hour mark, the Cheetahs were dealt a huge blow in the 34th minute when Azhar was shown a straight red for directing a punch at Fabian Kwok, after both players were caught in a tussle.
Still, despite the numerical deficit, Amin Nasir’s charges remarkably doubled their lead nine minutes after the hour mark when substitute Fairoz Hasan broke free inside the area after the ball was diverted into his path; the ex-Gombak United man coolly clipping the ball over the onrushing Joey Sim.
Nonetheless, the Eagles were handed a lifeline ten minutes from time when a misplaced pass from opposition left-back Wahyudi Wahid handed possession straight to Ridhuan Muhammad, who proceeded to fire away a shot that deflected into the back of the net.
Five minutes later, another dreadful mistake from Hougang allowed them to pull level after Wahyudi and goalkeeper Nazri Sabri got into a horrible mix-up on the edge of the box, leaving Leonel Felice with the simple task of slotting into the unguarded net.
And in the fourth and final minute of injury-time, Geylang went on to claim all three points when Kwok floated an excellent cross to Felice, who leapt between two opponents before guiding his header beyond Nazri’s despairing dive.
In Friday’s other game, DPMM FC tentatively moved top of the table following an emphatic 5-0 win over Harimau Muda at the Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.
Azwan Ali handed the Bruneian outfit the lead after just three minutes, before Sairol Sahari made it 2-0 in the 21st minute with his first goal of the campaign.
Roy O’Donovan then struck six minutes after the half-hour mark to hand the hosts a comfortable lead before the break, and things went from bad to worse for Harimau Muda ten minutes in the second half when they had Azrul Nizam Muhammad sent off.
And with the numerical advantage, DPMM went on to wrap up the three points as Rodrigo Tosi added a fourth two minutes later before O’Donovan rounded off the scoring in the 72nd minute.
Geylang International: Joey Sim, Yuki Ichikawa, Kento Fukuda, Joaquin Lopez, Hamqaamal Shah (Aliff Shafaein 48’), Ridhuan Muhammad, Fabian Kwok, Franco Chivilo, Mustaqim Manzur, Leonel Felice, Hafiz Nor (Jalal 87’).
Hougang United: Nazri Sabri, Faizal Amir, Durica Zuparic, Igor Cerina, Wahyudi Wahid, Erwan Gunawan (Fairoz Hasan 57’), Azhar Sairudin, Shunsuke Nakatake, Fazli Jaffar (Nurhilmi Jasni 86’), Diego Gama (Firman Hanif 46’), Geison Moura.