Singapore Premier League • August 1, 2014

Kraljevic Endures Nervy End, Pleased With Win


Written By: Kenneth Ho

Balestier Khalsa coach Marko Kraljevic was a pleased man after his side gained a 2-1 win over Geylang International on Thursday evening at Jalan Besar Stadium.

However, the Croatian admitted he was less than comfortable prior to the final whistle.

“Before the end, my heart was beating really hard,” he shared. “Because at 2-1, we had many chances but we were shaky.”

“They played very well and tried very hard today. Maybe in the attacking third we could do better, we should have finished off the game.“

Kraljevic revealed that he was fidgety even before the second half began, when Balestier had taken the lead going into the break.

“At half-time, exactly what I told them is that the only good thing is that we were only leading 1-0,” he revealed.

“We had too many touches in the 18 yards box. When we get the ball we must be sharper.”

Despite cutting the gap on six-placed Hougang United to six points, albeit with a game being played more, Kraljevic was dismissive of his team being able to catch up to the Cheetahs.

“If they called off my game against Brunei DPMM and let me play against Harimau ‘Muda, we might get the three points and be only three points behind instead,” he said.

“But still we fight. We need to be three points behind, then yes we have chance.”

While Kraljevic was happy, the same could not be said for Geylang coach Jorg Steinebrunner, as he admitted that his side’s first-half performance did not help their cause for the night.

“First half, we didn’t play as well as we did in the League Cup, we weren’t tight defensively. We sorted it out, going forward we had some good chances. We got what we deserved in the first-half, and they deservedly went 1-0 up.

“Second half, we looked tighter, looked more aggressive, and then we had a few chances, scored the equaliser. We then chased the goal we conceded, and still at the end of the day, we had good chances.”

That being said, Steinebrunner was adamant that his side deserved a point had decisions went their way, especially for the winning goal Zulkiffi Hassan scored, which he felt should have been disallowed for in infringement.

“No one likes to lose, be it in the League Cup or in the league, but at the end of the day, did we deserve to lose today? The performance was okay were it not for that goal, and we will get a point again from a performance like this,” the disappointed German stated.