Singapore Premier League • October 2, 2014
Kraljevic Delighted With Narrow Victory
Written by: Phoon Jia Hui
Balestier Khalsa emerged 1-0 winners over Warriors FC at Choa Chu Kang Stadium on Wednesday, thanks to a penalty conversion from marquee forward Goran Ljubojevic six minutes from time.
Speaking after the match, Tigers coach Marko Kraljevic was grinning from ear to ear as he expressed delight with the result which saw them extending their unbeaten streak against Warriors in all competitions this season to four matches.
“Of course I’m happy with the result, we won the game,” Kraljevic exclaimed.
“It’s a lucky field [for us], three times we never lose here. I think it was a 50-50 game today and we were a bit lucky to score the goal and win the game.”
Believing that playing without unwanted pressure helped his team to get the victory, Kraljevic however admitted it would be an uphill task to catch up with the teams above them in the standings.
“They [Warriors] played under pressure while we don’t have pressure, but it’s not easy and sometimes they tend to make mistakes,” the Croatian explained.
“But it will be easy to come back for us when we have key players coming back by next week and we will have a full squad.
“We are a bit far [from a top three finish] with four games left. I don’t think we can catch anybody but you never know, anything is possible in football.”
Warriors coach Alex Weaver on the other hand, was clearly disappointed but he credited Balestier for giving his team a good fight.
“I’ve said before this game that it wasn’t just simple as turning up and winning the next five games. Balestier, Brunei [DPMM], Home United, Tampines [Rovers] and Albirex [Niigata] are going to be difficult games,” said the former Hougang United coach.
“It was just a case of Balestier being typically awkward and defending very well, credit to them for that. But after that first 20 minutes they gave us a difficult time and it was just one of those days,” he added.
Weaver now has warned his team that they cannot afford any more slip-ups, although he remained optimistic ahead of their trip to face Brunei DPMM at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium on Tuesday in a must-win game.
“We had a fortunate situation where Brunei slipped up so we are still in it. We go to Brunei now and really having to win that game. We are capable of doing that. The players are even more hungry now, this shows the characters we have in the dressing room. We will bounce back for sure,” he added.
“We are excited about the Brunei game especially when we found out we were going to play there in the first place. So yes, I’m looking forward to it.”