Singapore Premier League • September 14, 2015
Kraljevic: We Didn’t Deserve Anything
Written By: Kenneth Ho
Balestier Khalsa coach Marko Kraljevic admitted his side were outplayed by Warriors FC on Sunday evening as the Tigers succumbed to a 4-2 defeat at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
The result allowed Warriors to climb above the Tigers on points as they now sit in second place, two behind league leaders Brunei DPMM, albeit having played a game more.
Nothing had gone Balestier’s way right till the end of the match, where Miroslav Kristic scored twice in additional time to make the scoreline slightly more respectable.
“Good finish, bad start,” Kraljevic said simply of his side’s performance.
“We came into the game too slow and they controlled possession. The first half was not up to mark, we didn’t play well.
“But I am not disappointed, that’s part of the game. Sometimes you play well, sometimes you have luck. Today, we were nowhere close to getting a win, not even a point. We were just second best.”
In fact, things had already turned ugly for the Tigers by the 19th minute as they stared at a two-goal deficit. Fazrul Nawaz had opened the scoring for the Warriors in the 15th minute while Miroslav Pejic added another just four minutes later.
To make matters worse, Balestier had to play with nine men for over 35 minutes as Yusiskandar Yusop and Poh Yifeng both received straight red cards in the second half.
Their absence saw Warriors taking advantage to score another two through Fazrul and Hafiz Rahim, as the reigning league champions claimed their first victory in five league games.
This did disappoint Kraljevic, as he felt that the two players’ overeagerness to help Balestier get back into the game had an adverse effect on the rest of the team.
“Second half we became emotional, and when you put your emotion into the game… you rush decisions and cross the line and it affects the whole team,” he said.
“We finished with two players less and it was very hard to defend… we lost the game but we learn and move on.”
For the Warriors coach Alex Weaver, he was glad his side finally ended their winless run as they continue their pursuit for a second consecutive league title.
“I don’t think I ever mentioned to the players that they must win this game, the players know the situation and we focus on what’s next,” Weaver said.
“But I am really pleased with the overall performance tonight. The two sending offs killed the game but our first-half performance was excellent.
“The two goals we scored in the first half were really exceptional and clinical… so it’s great that they done that cause they are getting rewarded for their hard work.”
However, Weaver was disappointed that his side continued their poor form at the back despite enjoying the numerical advantage.
Warriors continue to have the worst defence in the league – 34 goals conceded after 19 games – and they now have a negative goal difference of two despite also being the most potent in front of goal with 32 goals.
“I wouldn’t have thought we would be in this situation goal-wise,” Weaver said.
“It is surprising and disappointing. We have always put on a big emphasis on the offensive style I have tried to implement in the club but I would never have thought we would be one of those to score a bucket loads and concede more
“When you are going for titles and championships and are trying to be successful, you can’t just do that, so that has been disappointing,” he added.