GEYLANG INTERNATIONAL 1
(Leonel Felice 4)
COURTS YOUNG LIONS 0
His reign at Geylang International got off to the perfect start with a tidy 1-0 win over the Courts Young Lions in the Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League clash at the Bedok Stadium last night.
But, even though Jorg Steinebrunner was parachuted into the Geylang head coach position four matches into the S.League season, he isn't looking to shake up the squad he inherited from predecessor V Kanan.
Instead, the former German youth international is looking to get the best out of his men, as the Eagles seek a way out of their present rut.
"The only thing I asked them to do was to give me a performance," said the former Woodlands Wellington coach, who made his return to Singapore football after a spell of coaching in Indonesia.
"When a team lose three games, concede nine goals and are at the bottom of the table, I have to say it was a superb response today.
"I'm not normally a coach who changes players in the transfer window.
"And even though it's not a team that I didn't have a hand in when I've just come in, I still think we can do something. It would be wrong for me to come out and put them under pressure because they have proven it today that they are good players."
In a fiercely-contested match between two committed sides, Steinebrunner did not have to wait long for the first goal of his tenure.
After his side had won a free-kick in the fourth minute, Geylang's Argentinean striker Leonel Felice climbed highest to meet Hamqaamal Shah's delivery to score with a looping header that went in off the left post.
The goal proved to be enough for the Eagles as Aide Iskandar's Young Lions failed to find their shooting boots.
Despite finding themselves in one-on-one situations with Joey Sim on no less than four occasions, Young Lions attackers Jordan Webb, Sherif El-Masri and Iqbal Hussain could not find the killer-blow to beat the alert Geylang custodian.
Webb's misery was further compounded when he received his marching orders on 87 minutes with a straight red card for leaning with his elbow as he attacked a set-piece.
One thing that particularly pleased Steinebrunner about the win was his side's bravery to try things out, a sentiment echoed by Geylang skipper Ridhuan Muhammad.
"We were more open and we really played football," said the 29-year-old winger.
"When Jorg came in, he made us realise that we have to enjoy football to play a better game.
"The guys realised that in training and we did it today with the desire to win."
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