Singapore Premier League • October 7, 2014

Kraljevic Eying On Top-Three Finish


Written by: Muhammad Yazid

Balestier Khalsa have edged closer to the top of Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League table ever since they broke into the top six and that has continued with the latest 2-0 win over Albirex Niigata (S).

While it was inconceivable two months ago that the Tigers could actually catch up to the top-three spot, the club has won their last four games and are now two points behind third place, with three games remaining.

The recent surge in form has convinced Balestier coach Marko Kraljevic that his side are now capable of targeting a third-place finish in the league.

“If we can, why not?,” Kraljevic inquired.

“We have Paul Cunningham and Jaslee Hatta back to strengthen us and we look good now.”

The Croatian also could not have been happier with the victory, especially since he admitted that Albirex Niigata was a tough team to play.

“A perfect win for us. We managed a clean sheet and scored twice,” the gaffer beamed.

“It was a hard game because it is always tough to play against Albirex. They are a good team and keep possession very well.

“We scored the first goal and defended well, and then we scored the second and finished the game off.

“I am happy that we are one of the teams to prevent Albirex from scoring, but I was expecting them to come at us in the second half; they had nothing to lose.”

His counterpart, Tatsuyuki Okuyama felt that his team has to be more clinical upfront.

“We created many chances in the first half but could not score, maybe cause of luck. But we have to train more technically,” Okuyama explained.

Despite the defeat, the Japanese tactician still clung on to his side’s title hopes.

“Of course we are still going for the title,” he said confidently.

“But before that, we have to start winning. We will take one game at a time because every game is important for us in this crucial part of the season.

“We will try very hard and need to be more powerful and confident.”