Shahril Rallies Troops For Tigers Battle
Warriors FC vs Balestier Khalsa
(Friday, 19 May, 7.30pm, Jalan Besar Stadium)
Written by: Rashid Sulaiman
Coming into this match on the back of two consecutive defeats in the 2017 Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League, Warriors FC’s Shahril Ishak has called on his team to remain focused when they face Balestier Khalsa at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday night.
Things were looking on the up for the Choa Chu Kang-based club as they went on a six-match unbeaten run before suffering losses to leaders Albirex Niigata (S) and Hougang United in their following two matches.
The defeats saw Razif Onn’s charges slip down the standings to fourth spot on 14 points, eight points behind current leaders Albirex.
Feeling the heat is national team stalwart Shahril who is keen to prevent the club from falling further in the league table.
“It’s normal to be frustrated because after the loss to Albirex, we lost to Hougang at our home ground,” said Shahril.
“We need to collect all these three points to move up into the top three of the S.League. We cannot afford to lose again if we are to catch up with Albirex.”
Despite just recovering from an injury at the start of the year, Shahril has featured in all of his team’s matches this season and has already netted four goals so far.
“I always give my 110% in the team,” the 33-year-old midfielder added. "If the coach feels that I am fit to play, I will do my best to create chances for my teammates or even try to score goals myself.
“I’m sure that I’ve performed at my best and I just have to keep pushing the team and to collect three points against Balestier.”
“We want a win and we will go all out. Losing two games straight will definitely affect any team’s morale but the players are mentally strong and I believe we can bounce back.”
The two teams met earlier in the season and Warriors came out 2-1 winners courtesy of a goal each by Jordan Webb and Shaiful Esah which cancelled out Raihan Rahman’s opener for the Tigers.
For Balestier, they currently lie in seventh spot with six points and will no doubt be looking to move up the league table.
Despite a 1-0 reverse against Home United and Hougang United in their last two matches, Marko Krajlevic’s charges did put up decent displays but were unfortunate to go home empty handed.
Both sides will be missing a defender for this tie as Hafiz Osman was sent off for a second bookable offence in their match against the Cheetahs while Ahmad Syahir picked up his fourth yellow card of the season, which warrants a one-match suspension.
Suspensions: Hafiz Osman (Warriors FC); Ahmad Syahir (Balestier Khalsa)
Warriors FC - WWDLL
11/05/17 Warriors FC 0-2 Hougang United
29/04/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 4-2 Warriors FC
22/04/17 Warriors FC 2-2 Home United
15/04/17 Brunei DPMM 3-5 Warriors FC
08/04/17 Warriors FC 4-3 Garena Young Lions
Balestier Khalsa - WWLLL
02/05/17 Home United 1-0 Balestier Khalsa
27/04/17 Hougang United 1-0 Balestier Khalsa
21/04/17 Balestier Khalsa 0-3 Albirex Niigata (S)
07/04/17 Balestier Khalsa 2-1 Brunei DPMM
02/04/17 Balestier Khalsa 1-0 Garena Young Lions
Head to Head (S.League)
28/02/17 Balestier Khalsa 1-2 Warriors FC
22/09/16 Balestier Khalsa 1-1 Warriors FC
20/05/16 Warriors FC 1-1 Balestier Khalsa
11/03/16 Balestier Khalsa 1-1 Warriors FC
13/09/15 Warriors FC 4-2 Balestier Khalsa