Singapore Premier League • May 14, 2014
Inconsistent Tigers Meet Confident Lions
Balestier Khalsa vs Courts Young Lions
(May 15, Thursday, 7.30pm, Clementi Stadium)
Written by: Phoon Jia Hui
Balestier Khalsa entertain Courts Young Lions at the Toa Payoh Stadium on Thursday evening where they will look to do a double over their opponents.
The Tigers were 4-0 winners over the developmental side when they met early this season, thanks to goals from Goran Ljubojevic, Kim Minho, Poh Yifeng and Park Kang Jin.
However, that soon proved to be a false start as the Tigers went on to provide a couple of indifferent results to leave their title ambitions in tatters.
Balestier fell 2-1 to Hougang United the last time out where lapses in concentration costed them dearly and they will be hoping for an improvement in this game.
They will however be without the services of skipper Paul Cunningham at the back after it was revealed he would go under the knife to fix a knee problem that will sideline him for the much of the second round.
On the other hand, the Young Lions have suffered some overwhelming defeats this season, but they have posted a better showing this season compared to the last when they had to wait till the 13th game to get a point.
This year, the club has already gotten its first point after two successive losses at the start of the season. The Young Lions have also earned two wins as well, with one being an impressive 3-0 win over Hougang United.
They then held 2013 RHB Singapore Cup champions Home United to a 1-1 draw in the last game as they proved they were no pushovers, even going ahead first only to eventually concede from a Yasir Hanapi stunner to share the spoils.
This tie will not be as easy as it was for the Tigers earlier on, and they will be in for a tough fight against a much-improved Young Lions this time round.
The slight positive for Balestier though, will be the absence of Young Lions forward Sahil Suhaimi who will sit out as he serves the final of his two-match ban after his dismissal against Hougang.
Suspensions: Paul Cunningham (Balestier Khalsa); Sahil Suhaimi (Courts Young Lions)
Key Men To Watch
Balestier Khalsa: Kim Min Ho
Despite high expectations from him to excel, Kim has struggled to find form on the S.League stage after being promoted into the senior squad last season.
The main problem for the South Korean is his lack of goals as a forward. Nevertheless, in spite of that he has done decently well and is playing the role of provider instead to contribute to the team.
In their 2-0 win over Harimau Muda two games ago, he set up both goals and was accurate in his passing with only three out of the 11 passes he made not finding his teammate while managing three shots on goal.
Courts Young Lions: Syazwan Buhari
Syazwan played an instrumental role in helping his side to a 3-0 win over Hougang United two matches ago as he produced an excellent performance between the sticks to ensure the Young Lions would keep their first clean sheet of the season.
With an InStat index score of 99, he lied third behind Hassan Sunny and Zaiful Nizam in the goalkeeping department. Saving 83% of the shots that went his way, he did not fare too badly in the passing aspect either with 67% of his passes finding its intended target and this could come in handy as they try to breach Balestier’s defence. .
Balestier Khalsa – LWLDL
9/5/14 Hougang United 2-1 Balestier Khalsa
30/4/14 Balestier Khalsa 2-0 Harimau Muda
25/4/14 Brunei DPMM 4-1 Balestier Khalsa
17/4/14 Balestier Khalsa 1-1 Geylang International
13/4/14 Tampines Rovers 3-0 Balestier Khalsa
Courts Young Lions – DWLWL
7/5/14 Courts Young Lions 1-1 Home United
2/5/14 Hougang United 0-3 Courts Young Lions
24/4/14 Courts Young Lions 2-3 Warriors FC
20/4/14 Harimau Muda 2-3 Courts Young Lions
10/4/14 Courts Young Lions 1-2 Albirex Niigata (S)
Head to Head (S.League)
23/2/14 Courts Young Lions 0-4 Balestier Khalsa
27/6/13 Courts Young Lions 1-3 Balestier Khalsa
13/3/13 Balestier Khalsa 3-0 Courts Young Lions
21/8/12 Balestier Khalsa 2-0 Courts Young Lions
1/4/12 Courts Young Lions 1-1 Balestier Khalsa
6/10/11 Balestier Khalsa 1-0 Courts Young Lions
20/5/11 Courts Young Lions 2-0 Balestier Khalsa
28/2/11 Balestier Khalsa 0-0 Courts Young Lions