News • October 2, 2016

Cheetahs Face Stern Tigers Test In Quest For Third Place


Written by: Darren Ho

Hougang United vs Balestier Khalsa
(Saturday, 1 October, 7.30pm, Hougang Stadium)

With two games in hand and the race for third spot still wide open, Hougang United will be hoping to clinch a victory against Balestier Khalsa on Saturday, to pile pressure on former champions Brunei DPMM who currently sit third in the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League.

Should Hougang pick up two wins in their next two matches, they will narrow the defecit to a point behind DPMM, with both sides having anoher two games to contest for.

Hougang’s star striker Stipe Plazibat will be looking forward to add goals to his goals tally, having found the net 14 times this season.

He is still trailing two goals behind S.League topscorer Rafael Ramazotti (DPMM), and this fixture could hand him the opportunity to add to his goal tally and overtake his rival.

Hougang’s team manager Matthew Tay has set his team’s expectation in Saturday’s face-off, indicating that he will be pleased if his team can overcome the Tigers and eventually engrave a milestone in the club’s  history by finishing third in the S.League.

“With due respect to Balestier, we want to get a positive result tomorrow.

“We want to build on our current form in the third round and finish off the season on a high and hopefully achieving the best ever position in the club’s history.”

Both sides had also featured in the The New Paper League Cup in July, when The Cheetahs emerged as 2-1 victors to eliminate The Tigers in the plate semi-final.

Coming into this fixture, Balestier will be searching for more goals and chances, having recovered from back-to-back defeats, with their most recent draw against the Warriors an eleventh hour outcome.

Trailing a goal behind at half-time, substitue Syafiq stuck late in the game to rescue a point for the Tigers.

While coach Marko Kraljevic was full of praises for the impact which Syafiq had on the game, a draw was not the result which he came for.

Basked in winning mentality which every manager should have, Kraljevic announced: “As professionals, we are going out to win every game and  believe we still  can catch The Warriors and mostly players who are fighting for contract next year.

“That means there will be lots to fight for,” he said.

Hougang will be without Delwinder Singh, Wahyudi Wahid, Ali Hudzaifi who are out on the treatment table. Balestier are also hit with several injuries as Emir Lotinac, Niko Tokić, Hanafi Salleh and Fadli Kamis will not feature in this encounter, while Zulkiffli Hassim is suspended.

Suspension: Zulkiffli Hassim (Balestier Khalsa)

Hougang United  – LWWLW

23/09/16 Garena Young Lions 0-2 Hougang United FC (S.League)
26/08/16  Hougang United 1-2 Brunei DPMM (S.League)
17/08/16  Tampines Rovers 1-2 Hougang United (S.League)
12/08/16  Hougang United 4-2 Home United (S.League)
30/07/16  Hougang United 1-2 Geylang International (League Cup)

Balestier Khalsa – LWLLD

22/09/16 Balestier Khalsa 1-1 Warriors FC  (S.League)
25/08/16 Geylang International 2-1 Balestier Khalsa (S.League)
19/08/16 Balestier Khalsa 0-1 Albirex Niigata (S) (S.League)
05/08/16 Garena Young Lions 1-3 Balestier Khalsa (S.League)
22/07/16  Hougang United 2-1 Balestier Khalsa (League Cup)

Head-to-Head (S.League)

10/06/16  Balestier Khalsa 2-2 Hougang United
19/03/16  Hougang United 1-0 Balestier Khalsa
01/11/15  Hougang United 1-1 Balestier Khalsa
07/08/15  Balestier Khalsa 3-2 Hougang United
18/04/15  Hougang United 0-1 Balestier Khalsa