News • April 2, 2016
Protectors Keen To Build On First Win Of The Season
Written By: Stanley Yeo
Balestier Khalsa vs Home United
(Sunday, 3 April, 7.30pm, Toa Payoh Stadium)
After picking up their first win of the season in a 4-1 defeat of Garena Young Lions before the international break, Home United are keen to build on that win against Balestier Khalsa and continue their climb up the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League table.
More significantly, the game against the Tigers will probably be the final game for brothers Irfan Fandi and Ikhsan Fandi as they are due to enlist for national service in the following week.
The Protectors will be reeling from the loss of these two dynamic attacking duos, as they will be attending Basic Military Training for up to nine weeks.
With that said, Home still have plenty of attacking options that are capable of stepping up to the plate. Even without the Fandi brothers, attacking players like Khairul Nizam, Ken Ilso and Faris Ramli, when fit, can be a real menace for the any defence on their day.
The Protectors are definitely favourites heading into this clash, but the performance of custodian Zulfairuz Rudy looked shaky in their victory over the Young Lions.
Zulfairuz made two glowing mistakes in the proceedings and was duly punished by Fareez Farhan when he failed to clear the ball. Against a resolute Balestier side, any mistake from Home United’s number 13 may turn out to be the game winner.
In contrast, Balestier Khalsa have struggled in front of the goal this season, scoring a dismal 0.4 goals per game.
The Tigers are the only team without a win this season. Even with a sturdy defence that have conceded 0.8 goals per game, the Tigers have to find a quick solution for their scoring woes if they intend to turn this season around.
Key Men To Watch
Home United: Ihksan Fandi
In the previous game against the Young Lions, Ihksan managed to steer a few shots on target but his efforts were all met by goalkeeper Benjamin Bertrand.
On Sunday, if things don’t go well for Home’s first choice attackers, coach Philippe Aw is likely to turn to Ihksan Fandi.
With the upcoming game most likely to be his last game in months, Ihksan will be extra focused to make sure he leave his team in the best possible position.
Balestier Khalsa: Jamil Ali
The veteran winger scored one of Balestier’s two goals in the season so far and Balestier will look towards his experience, guile and moments of brilliance to break down the Protectors’ defence.
With Miroslav Kristic firing blanks so far, the Tigers are relying on a man who have scored 47 league goals in his career.
Considering Balestier’s striking woes this season, coach Marko Kraljevic should be relieved that his team managed to tempt Jamil away from the claws of retirement.
Balestier Khalsa – DDDDL
19/03/16 Hougang United 1-0 Balestier Khalsa (S.League)
11/03/16 Balestier Khalsa 1-1 Warriors FC (S.League)
03/03/16 Geylang International 0-0 Balestier Khalsa (S.League)
27/02/16 Balestier Khalsa 1-1 Albirex Niigata (S) ( S.League)
23/02/16 New Radiant 2-2 Balestier Khalsa (AFC Cup)
Home United – DLDLW
13/03/16 Home United 4-1 Garena Young Lions (S.League)
11/03/16 Brunei DPMM 2-1 Home United (S.League)
03/03/16 Home United 1-1 Tampines Rovers (S.League)
18/02/16 Hougang United 1-0 Home United (S.League)
14/02/16 Home United 2-2 Warriors FC (S.League)
Head to Head (S.League)
26/10/15 Home United 2-0 Balestier Khalsa
03/08/15 Balestier Khalsa 1-1 Home United
08/04/15 Home United 3-1 Balestier Khalsa
31/10/14 Balestier Khalsa 0-1 Home United
20/06/14 Balestier Khalsa 3-0 Home United