In-form Geylang International aim to trip up Home United in S.League
Buoyant Geylang International are targeting a fourth straight S.League win when they face title-chasing Home United at Jalan Besar Stadium on Saturday night.
The Eagles have been resurgent under Noor Ali, with just three defeats in 12 outings since the former Singapore international took the coaching reins from Hasrin Jailani in mid-June.
In fact, Geylang have won their last three matches without conceding a goal -- edging Hougang United 1-0 before successive 2-0 victories over Balestier Khalsa and Warriors FC.
Noor Ali is pleasantly surprised with his side's sparkling form of late, and paid tribute to his players.
"I didn't think we'll be able to win three games in a row because Warriors is not an easy team," the 42-year-old said. "As the game went on, I was thinking a draw would be fine, but we scored two late goals to win, and that's a big bonus for us.
"I'm happy that we have kept three clean sheets. [Goalkeeper] Syazwan (Buhari) will be happy after conceding so many goals [previously]. But it's a team effort, not just the defence.
"Everyone worked together as a team. You can't win games with only four defenders... you need everyone to defend as a team. Football's different these days.
"I like what I see from the team right now, the players are feeling motivated and want to prove something. It's good to see them fighting hard for their places in the squad."
With six games left to play, Geylang are targeting an ambitious push for a top-three finish.
The Eagles are now level on points with fourth-place Warriors FC on 30 and trail third-placed Home by four points, having played two games more.
"For me, it's still open," Noor Ali said. "Definitely we can't win the S.League but the top three is still possible. I have my own targets to do well this season because I'm a former Geylang player and I want to see them back at the top again.
"The hardest team to beat is Albirex, but we can match the other local teams. We've been training hard and I hope the boys can continue this level of performance."
The Eagles will be out to avenge the 3-0 defeat which Home dished out in a televised game at Jalan Besar in late April. But they will have to contend without the services of midfield hard man Nor Azli Yusoff due to suspension.
Home lost a great chance to close the gap between them and Albirex in a 1-1 draw on Tuesday. Even so, they are still harbouring hopes of mounting a late challenge for the title.
Aidil Sharin's side will be without the suspended South Korean midfielder Song Uiyoung, but key centre-back Abidil Qaiyyim is back after serving a one-match suspension.