Woodlands Takes the Win in Pre-Season Friendly
Photo Courtesy of Gale Gan
Geylang United 1-2 Woodlands Wellington
Scorers: Faizal Samad (GUFC)
Guntur Djafril, Hussien Akil (WWFC)
The lack of pitches in the S League has been a problem facing the clubs since forever and continues to disrupt pre-season preparation as Geylang was finally able to take to the field for the first time even though it was straight into the game. Woodlands Wellington was in not much better luck as their home pitch was only released to them in the earlier part of the week.
Nevertheless, the lack of ball work in training did not stop the two clubs from getting together to play a friendly in preparation for their new season. Woodlands had more or less finalized their signings and retained 2 of their foreign players with old boy Daniel Hammond returning to the fore coincidentally from friendly hosts Geylang United.
Geylang still had yet to finalize all their foreign signings with 2 places left in the quota to fill after signing two Slovakians from the Slovakian First Division while hosting 3 trialist which includes a former Albirex Singapore defender, an Australian centre back and possibly a Korean midfielder.
The game started in dull fashion with Woodlands having the majority of the possession while returning DPMM’s Coach Vjeran Simunic sat in the stands checking up on his upcoming opponents. DPMM was not the only club with a presence at the friendly as Albirex had sent down their video analyst to video tape the entire game.
The game was not to remain dull for long as Woodlands opened the scoring with new signing Lebanese Midfielder Hussein Akil unleashing a shot that hit the post and gave Guntur Djafril the chance to pounce on the rebound.
Woodlands was in the spotlight again just before the break as Daniel Hammond who has been made captain for the side was cautioned for a dangerous challenge on a Geylang player while the resulting freekick amounted to nothing for the home side.
It was still Woodlands who kept themselves going after the break when the Australian trialist made a mistake giving Hussein the chance to add on to his assist which he gratefully converted.
Geylang were only able to grab themselves a consolation in the last ten minutes of the game after new signing from Home United Faizal Samad volleyed from an almost impossible angle for a goal.
Faizal was lively throughout the time he was on the pitch and gave Woodlands a headache with his dribbling and pace and truly deserved his goal. Geylang Skipper and Custodian Yazid Yasin on the other hand ended the game with a sprained ankle but should be back in the squad before the season starts
Speaking to Football OPOD, Geylang Coach Mike Wong stated that his team was still in the midst of preparation after completing one of three phases they have planned. He was confident that the team will be ready for the season in time and he was still looking to sign a foreign striker and defender for the team while targeting a mid table finish for the season.
Woodlands Coach Balasubramaniam on the other hand also targeted a mid-table finish after finishing with the wooden spoon last season. He was very confident of reaching his target after reinforcing his squad with a host of new signings including highly rated player Hilmi Azman who was also wanted by Home United. It was evident that Woodlands was a much better squad than last year despite still in pre-season preparation.
Woodlands will next take on Gombak United at the Woodlands Stadium while Geylang will host east side powerhouse Tampines Rovers in the next round of friendlies.
Both games will kick off at 5pm on Saturday 14th of January 2012.
Admission is free.