Singapore Premier League • June 26, 2014
Kraljevic Rues Missed Chances
Written by: Phoon Jia Hui
Balestier Khalsa were left to rue missed chances as they were downed by strikes from Kunihiro Yamashita and Jozef Kaplan in a 2-0 defeat by Tampines Rovers at Toa Payoh Stadium on Tuesday evening.
Speaking after the match, Balestier coach Marko Kraljevic said: “We were down 1-0 and had few chances to equalise, but we were punished and they scored the second goal. It was over from there.
“If you are down and you score a goal, of course everything will come your way but we never did. Also, we didn’t defend properly when the crosses come in, we left the opponents alone and they punished us.”
Refusing to make a comparison between the two teams, the Croatian was keen to bounce back from this defeat.
“Tampines is same as us. I can’t say they are the better team as we had clear chances too. If we had scored, it would have been a totally different game,” Kraljevic lamented.
“We learn how to win and lose, and we just move on and focus on the next game [against Geylang International in the RHB Singapore Cup].”
Rafi Ali on the other hand was pleased with the commitment displayed by his players whom he believed took their chances well.
“If you don’t win and you are not happy then something is wrong. I am pleased with the players’ performance, attitude and commitment,” he said.
“It is always difficult to come here and play. Balestier have always been our bogey team for the past years so it is a good win today.
“They [Balestier] had chances today but not clear cut chances while we made use of our chances we created and scored.
“You can see their desire, they want to win. I can see they are pressured by themselves to perform well so i told them to just go out there and play. Hopefully we will build on it and get better towards the end of the season.”
Midfielder Jamil Ali meanwhile made his first start in a long while for the Stags after recovering from an injury and Rafi was encouraged by what he saw from the 31-year-old.
“Jamil did well attackingly, he is a special player and created lots of chances,” he praised.
“But coming back from a hamstring injury, he needs time time to get into the game. He did well for 50 minutes. I told him to give his best and I am pleased with his performance.”