League Cup • July 6, 2014
Balestier Begin Cup Defence Against Hougang
StarHub League Cup Group D
Balestier Khalsa vs Hougang United
(July 8, Tuesday, 8.00pm, Toa Payoh Stadium)
Written by: Kenneth Ho
The StarHub League Cup finally gets underway as Balestier Khalsa’s begins its title defence against the dangerous Hougang United.
Balestier will be hard pressed to begin their cup defence with a good result, and are in for a tough game for several reasons,
Firstly, Hougang are unbeaten in their last five games, with four of them being wins. The Cheetahs are hitting top form now with Geison Moura and Diego Gama banging the goals, while the signing of Igor Ferreira Alves has stabilised the defence and mitigated the loss of Igor Cerina due to injury.
Another reason will be that Hougang are well-rested unlike their Balestier counterparts. Due to Balestier’s involvement in the Singapore Cup, as well as its league commitments, the Tigers have had to play almost a game every four days since 20 June.
While Balestier may claim to have a break of five days since their last game, it might not be enough to fully recover from their exertions of four games played during the last 17 days.
On the other hand, Hougang has not played since 23 June, which was two weeks ago. The break might have invigorated the Cheetahs, and work in their favour as Hougang can go out fresh and ready.
Despite the hectic schedule of the club, Balestier Khalsa coach Marko Kraljevic has declared previously that he will be putting out his strongest line-up nonetheless.
“We are focused on every game, we are professionals and we will approach every game with the same mentality. We don’t have a big squad, but we are going all out every game,” he said.
As such, the likes of key players Park Kang Jin and Goran Ljubojevic will not get a breather and be expected to feature right from the go.
Balestier Khalsa – WWLWD
2/7/14 Geylang International 1-0 (AET) (3-4 penalties)Balestier Khalsa (RHB Singapore Cup Quarter-Final Second Leg)
28/6/14 Balestier Khalsa 2-1 Geylang International (RHB Singapore Cup Quarter-Final First Leg)
24/6/14 Balestier Khalsa 0-2 Tampines Rovers
20/6/14 Balestier Khalsa 3-0 Home United
12/6/14 Warriors FC 1-1 Balestier Khalsa
Hougang United – WDWWW
23/6/14 Hougang United 2-0 Geylang International
19/6/14 Tampines Rovers 1-1 Hougang United
13/6/14 Hougang United 3-1 Home United
08/6/14 Hougang United 3-2 Warriors FC
05/6/14 Albirex Niigata 0-1 Hougang United