News • March 13, 2016

Agony For Warriors As Tigers Snatch A Draw


Written by: Aysha Ridzuan

A Fadli Kamis goal in the stoppage time helped Balestier Khalsa come from behind to grab a point against Warriors FC in a 1-1 draw at Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday night.

The designated visitors had taken the lead through Jonathan Behe in 56th minute and thought they had secured three points, until Fadli popped with the equaliser for the Tigers.

The draw sees Balestier move off the bottom of the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League 2016 table and into seventh place, a spot behind Warriors.

Warriors started positively in the game and in the eighth minute, Shaiful Esah found Behe in the box and the Frenchman easily gave Nurullah Hussein the slip. However, Tigers custodian Zaiful Nizam was quick off his line and gathered the ball well.

Two minutes later, Fazli Ayob sent a dangerous looking free-kick into the box, but Smajovic Sadin, who was making his first start of the season for Balestier, headed the ball just inches over the bar.

Balestier had another golden opportunity to open the scoring moments after Sadin’s miss, when Fazli sent Syafiq Zainal through on goal. But the latter saw his left-footed shot saved by Warriors goalkeeper Yazid Yasin.

It was Warriors’ turn to try their luck with a free-kick in the 13th minute when Ignatius Ang was fouled just on the edge of the box, but Shaiful stepped up and sent a curling shot wide of the mark.

Syafiq then headed the ball down to an unmarked Sadin inside the six-yard box, but Madhu Mohana cleared the ball away before the Croatian could get fire off a shot.

Miroslav Kristic came close with a free-kick from 25-yards out that went inches above the bar, before Hafiz Rahim sent his drive from Zulfadli Zainal’s cross wide.

Warriors thought they had taken the lead just before the interval when Nikola Rak’s excellent free-kick on the edge of the box deflected off the side-netting.

Both team struggled to create chances in the early part of the second period until the 54th minute when Syaqir Sulaiman’s shot was blocked by Zaiful, before Ignatius Ang headed the rebound just over the crossbar.

However, there was nothing Zaiful could do four minutes before the hour mark when Shaiful did brilliantly to break free down the right and hit the byline before playing a low cross into the box for Behe to tap the ball into the back of the net.

Rak should have doubled Warriors lead in the 84th minute, but Zaiful brilliantly saved his header from Behe’s knockdown.

Warriors were then made to pay for their inability to find their second goal to kill off the game when Fadli jumped the highest to head Fazli’s free-kick into the back of the net and complete the Tigers’ comeback.

Balestier Khalsa coach Marko Kraljevic: “I think a draw is a good result for us. I’m really pleased with the boys. It’s a draw but I think they did an excellent job.

“We defended very well and they are all local boys. I think some of them should be called up for national team. I am happy with the performance especially in defence.”

Warriors FC coach Jorg Steinebrunner: “It’s actually the first time we conceded in the last minute. To be honest I am happy with the performance. We know what to expect before the game. Balestier is a well organized team.

“However, our decision making could be better in the last minute, defensively and also up front. We lost two points but Balestier is a tough team to play.”

Balestier Khalsa: Zaiful Nizam (GK), Fadli Kamis, Hanafi Salleh, Nurullah Hussein, Sheikh Abdul Hadi, Shah Hirul, Syafiq Zainal (Zulkiffli Hassim 55’), Fazli Ayob, Smajovic Sadin (Hazzuwan Halim 71’), Jamil Ali, Miroslav Kristic (Fadhil Noh 62’)

Warriors FC: Yazid Yasin (GK), Zulfadli Zainal (C), Kento Fukuda, Madhu Mohana, Shaiful Esah (Emmeric Ong78’), Syaqir Sulaiman, Poh Yi Feng, Nikola Rak, Ignatius Ang (Andy Ahmad 74’), Hafiz Rahim (Fazli Jaffar 68’), Jonathan Behe