Balestier boot Geylang out of Singapore Cup on penalties

Balestier Khalsa claimed a 4-3 penalty shootout win to beat Geylang International in the Singapore Cup quarter-finals after both sides played out a 2-2 aggregate draw.

The Tigers entered Wednesday’s clash at the Jalan Besar Stadium leading 2-1 from the first leg, but found themselves under plenty of pressure from a Geylang side that looked determined to claw their way back into the contest.

Both sides had their fair share of chances in the first half but it was Balestier who came closest to breaking the deadlock in the 13th minute when Kim Min-ho found space on the edge of the box and unleashed a blistering effort, only to see it smash into the post.

Four minutes later, it was the hosts’ turn to be denied by the woodwork when Mustaqim Manzur played a neat one-two with Leonel Felice before curling in a lovely effort that came back off the bar.

But a minute before the hour mark, the Eagles duly broke the deadlock after their opponents failed to clear their lines from Mustaqim Manzur’s left-wing cross, allowing Joaquin Lopez to head a loose ball into the bottom corner from six yards out.

Nonetheless, Balestier could have ended the contest in injury-time when Kim raced onto Park Kang-jin’s visionary through-ball and squared the ball to Ruhaizad Ismail, but with the whole goal to aim for the winger somehow managed to blast over the ball.

With the scores level at 2-2, extra-time then followed but with neither side able to find a winner, the dreaded penalty shootout arrived and things were initially looking good for Geylang when goalkeeper Joey Sim, brought on for Siddiq Durimi right at the end, kept out the opposition’s first effort by Park.

However, his efforts were ultimately better by Balestier custodian Zaiful Nizam, who denied Ridhuan Muhammad and Kento Fukuda in the Eagles fourth and fifth attempts, paving the way for Syed Thaha to net the winner and send his side through to the semi-finals.

Geylang International: Siddiq Durimi (Joey Sim 120’), Yuki Ichikawa (Jalal 95’), Kento Fukuda, Joaquin Lopez, Khairulnizam Jumahat (Shah Hirul 63’), Fabian Kwok, Hafiz Nor, Ridhuan Muhammad, Franco Chivilo, Mustaqim Manzur, Leonel Felice.

Balestier Khalsa: Zaiful Nizam, Poh Yi Feng, Emir Lotinac, Nurullah Hussein, Syed Thaha, Tajeli Salamat (Ridwan Jamil 68’), Jonathan Xu, Zulkiffli Hassim (Ruhaizad Ismail 59’), Park Kang-jin, Kim Min-ho, Goran Ljubojevic (Muhaymin Salim 106’).

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