Tigers and Wasps Out For Redemption
Balestier Khalsa vs Brunei DPMM
(21 August, Monday, 7.30pm, Toa Payoh Stadium)
Written by: Rashid Sulaiman
Balestier Khalsa and Brunei DPMM will be seeking for that elusive win when the two meet in the Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League at the Toa Payoh Stadium on Monday night.
The two are not having the best of campaign with DPMM languishing in eighth place on four points while Balestier are a spot above on nine points.
But despite a frustrating season so far, the Tigers have showed grit in their last two S.League matches to collect two points.
They held Hougang United to a goalless draw last month and head coach Marko Kraljevic was delighted with his team’s performance in their previous game against nine-time S.League champions Warriors FC last week.
“I was pleased with the character of my players,” he said. “They went down 2-1 but showed great spirit to come back for a point. But we should be finishing off game and punish the opponents.
“Warriors had more possession of the ball but I was impressed by how our boys went forward and I was thinking to myself that we really should have put away the numerous chances we had created.”
Balestier’s only back-to-back win this season came in April when they saw off Garena Young Lions and then DPMM.
In the match against Steve Kean’s charges, the Toa Payoh-based club trailed by a goal in the first half courtesy of Rafael Ramazotti’s strike from the penalty spot.
But the Tigers rallied after the interval as Hazzuwan Halim and Raihan Rahman netted a goal each in a space of five minutes to seal the three points.
If Balestier are to stand a chance to get something out of this game against the Bruneians, they will have to be more clinical in the final third as Kraljevic has pointed out.
“We need to score goals. We are doing fine in defence and midfield but we need to be more sharp in attack,” explained the former Balestier and Tampines Rovers player.
“We are missing strikers and now we are using Zulkhair Mustaffa, Hazzuwan and Jonathan Tan but they are not natural strikers. But they have take turns to play up front as we deal with this situation.
“But I feel some matches we did play well but we just could not score. First, we need to keep a clean sheet so that our confidence level goes up and then we can focus on collecting more points.”
For DPMM, they came into this match on the back of a disappointment in the RHB Singapore Cup as they were knocked out by Home United 6-2 on aggregate in the quarter-finals.
Kean expressed his displeasure at how moment of sloppiness led to goals by their opponents and has called for his team to remain focused throughout the 90 minutes.
“For 64 minutes we were super tight and I think that they were getting frustrated,” he lamented.
“I said to the boys, you know if something goes against you which is they score against the run of play, we cannot let that affect our jobs off the ball.
“We still got to stick to the task, pick up your man and stop them from getting a flow and upset their rhythm. We got to keep our concentration and focus, that’s the lesson for us today. If a goal comes against the run of play, don’t let that upset how well we have played,” the Scot added.
Balestier Khalsa - LWLDD
17/08/17 Balestier Khalsa 2-2 Warriors FC
29/07/17 Balestier Khalsa 0-0 Hougang United
26/07/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 2-1 Balestier Khalsa
14/07/17 Balestier Khalsa 3-0 Tampines Rovers (The New Paper League Cup)
11/07/17 Brunei DPMM 3-0 Balestier Khalsa
Brunei DPMM - LLLLL
16/08/17 Home United 3-1 Brunei DPMM (RHB Singapore Cup)
13/08/17 Brunei DPMM 1-3 Home United (RHB Singapore Cup)
28/07/17 Tampines Rovers 2-0 Brunei DPMM
24/07/17 Brunei DPMM 0-1 Geylang International
18/07/17 Brunei DPMM 1-5 Warriors FC (The New Paper League Cup)
Head to Head (S.League)
07/04/17 Balestier Khalsa 2-1 Brunei DPMM
26/10/16 Balestier Khalsa 2-0 Brunei DPMM
24/06/16 Balestier Khalsa 1-4 Brunei DPMM
15/04/16 Brunei DPMM 3-1 Balestier Khalsa
21/11/15 Brunei DPMM 4-0 Balestier Khalsa