Singapore Cup • September 23, 2014
Kraljevic: Even Maradona misses penalties
Written by: Shawn Lim
Balestier Khalsa coach Marko Kraljevic insisted the tie was still not over even though his side were handed a 2-1 defeat by Tampines Rovers in the first of the two-legged RHB Singapore Cup semi-final.
With a chance to draw level with Tampines Rovers deep in injury-time from the penalty spot, Balestier Khalsa striker Goran Ljubojevic sent his effort straight into the arms of Stags goalkeeper Justin Pasfield.
Refusing to lay the blame on Ljubojevic, Kraljevic felt that missing penalties was part and parcel of football.
“Even Maradona misses penalties. You shoot and the goalkeeper saves. You move on,” Kraljevic explained.
Balestier started the first leg of the semi-final with six defenders in its starting lineup. However, Kraljevic hinted that he would not employ the same tactics in the second leg.
“When you are a goal down, you must attack from the first minute. We must score at least two goals and win the game. We need to focus on attack now,” he stated.
His counterpart Rafi Ali was delighted that Tampines overcame a difficult Balestier side and felt that the win was the start of much more to come from the Stags.
“It has been a long season for us and we are slowly getting back to our winning ways. We will go to Toa Payoh Stadium to finish the job,” Rafi said confidently.
Rafi brought on Jamil Ali, Aleksandar Duric and Shaiful Esah when the scoreline was tied at 1-1 and he was delighted that his substitutes went on to win the game for him.
“Our strategy was to put them on late in the game. Jamil scored a nice goal and I’m happy for him. Shaiful just returned from an injury, so I couldn’t put him on for the entire match. But he did very well,” he explained.