Thursday, February 17, 2011
17 February 2011: Geylang United 0 Etoile FC 2 (Belouet 40', Kaabi 45')
Arena sprung a surprise on the host when he opted to start Anthony Moulin instead of Jonathan Justin. Hicham Bouchemlal meanwhile misses out after failing his beep test, seeing his place replaced by Kaabi in the middle of the field. Damiani and Nlate were deployed on the right and left side of defence respectively and Sinira Camara was pushed forward to operate along the left flank. Captain Antonin Trilles meanwhile stood between the sticks.
The game started with Kim Jae Hong stating his intent in this game with a shot that just whizzed past the post barely 2 minutes into the game. The Stars took heed of the warning and started to find their own brand of football by passing the ball all over the park, making the Eagles chased for the ball.
In the 13th minute, Durand gave the Eagles' back line as to what to expect as a cross from Camara was latched on by the midfielder, and the resulting shot went agonizingly close onto the upper left hand side of Yazid Yasin's goalpost. Camara then tried to reproduced a 'Wayne Rooney' moment when he bicycle-kicked a shot a minute later.
The pressure started to grow for the host as the Stars started to gain confidence from the many passes that were completed successfully, whilst the Eagles' new defense pairing of Adrian Dhanaraj and Sofiyan Abdul Hamid are still getting used to each other when the host find themselves one down.
Receiving a pass from Belouet, Lefranc raced towards the right side of the pitch when he was hacked down by the Eagles' new signing Joo Ki Hwan. From the resultant free kick, Maxime Belouet, who scored the only goal in the last game against Tampines Rovers, sees his free kick curled to the right hand sight of the Eagles' custodian and beyond his reach to open their 2011 account.
Soon after, the players' confidence grew even more and Etoile seemed to be dominating the game, getting more of the possession as creating the greater share of chances - even when they are a goal up. The 2nd goal finally came when a Damiani's cross was missed by it's intended recipient - including 2 Geylang United defenders - and Kaabi had the easy task of shooting the ball into the net. 2-0 to the Stars right at the stroke of half-time.
The 2nd half saw Geylang starting with a sense of urgency and soon after, Etoile started bossing around the field, with the defense seemingly content with containing the strike trio of Hafiz Rahim, Masrezwan Matsuri and Kim Jae Hong effectively. On occasions where the Eagles' striker managed to advert from the Stars' defense partnering of Talhi and Aymard, Trilles would be on hand to save the day.
The only blemish for Etoile for the game would be a sending off for Kevin Lefranc after the nifty striker was adjudged to have intentionally handled the ball while meeting a cross from Belouet in the final minute of regulation time. However, the visitors managed in playing to plan and when referee Low Tiam Hoe blew for the final whistle, Etoile FC and the Ultras were on hand to savour the victory at the Bedok Stadium.
With the victory in the bag for the Stars at the first time of asking, they would now concentrate on their next game, which would be against Balestier Khalsa at either the Jalan Besar Stadium (if TV deals worked out), or at Queenstown Stadium (if TV deals failed).
Do continue to support Etoile FC and the Ultras.
Etoile FC Starting XI
1. Antonin Trilles (C)
2. Andrea Damiani
4. Anthony Aymard
12. Sirina Camara
22. Nordine Talhi
25. Pierre Nlate
11. Maxime Belouet
23. Kaabi Selim
7. Kevin Lefranc
15. Julien Durand
19. Anthony Moulin
63": 8. Theo Raymond for 19. Anthony Moulin
66": 10. Stan Fougeroud for 12. Sirina Camara
76": 20. Serge Souchon for 15. Julien Durand