Singapore Premier League • March 12, 2014

Ljubojevic-inspired Tigers Face-off Against Jaguars


Balestier Khalsa vs Tanjong Pagar United

(March 13, Thursday, 7.30pm, Toa Payoh Stadium)

Written by: Muhammad Yazid

With five goals scored after just two games played, Balestier Khalsa seem to be the most fluid team in attack and credit should go to marquee signing Goran Ljubojevic. The former Croatia Under-21 international has hit the back of the net in both games against the Courts Young Lions and Woodlands Wellington.

The Tigers got their season off to a winning start by thumping the Young Lions 4-0 but they struggled to maintain their form as they shared the spoils with Woodlands in a 1-1 draw in Round Two.

Despite being unable to attain maximum points from the two games, Marko Kraljevic’s charges have been spraying lots of smooth passes all around the pitch ever since the German-Croat’s introduction to the club.

According to InStats, the Tigers managed to complete 79% of their passes accurately in their most recent game against Woodlands.

Apart from that, they were also successful in winning 53% of ball-challenges.

Balestier will next lock horns with Tanjong Pagar United, who have similarly had a mixed start to their 2014 campaign. The Jaguars claimed a 2-1 win over Harimau Muda in their opening game but found themselves defeated by Hougang United in the following game by the same scoreline.

Patrick Vallee’s side have also impressed fans with their positive statistics, as 63% of their dribbles and tackles were successful.

No matter how the match turns out, one thing can be promised – lots of goal-mouth action. With Monsef Zerka and Masrezwan Masturi leading the line for the Jaguars, the Tigers are expected to display their superiority in midfield with the likes of Park Kang Jin and Kim Min Ho supporting Ljubojevic upfront.

Suspension: Ruzaini Zainal (Tanjong Pagar)

Key Men To Watch

Balestier Khalsa : Goran Ljubojevic

Having scored in every game so far, Goran Ljubojevic is expected to draw in the crowds with his clinical finishing ability in front of goal.

The 1.90m forward certainly gave centre-backs Walid Lounis and Milos Jevtic a tough time in the draw against Woodlands Wellington last week as his lofty height has allowed him to win 67% of challenges in the air.

Although Tanjong Pagar might have the defenders required to keep Ljubojevic quiet in the game, the Croatian will still be a handful for them to reckon with.

Tanjong Pagar United: Sebastien Etiemble

Despite being deployed in an attacking midfield role, Etiemble not only performed his attacking duties but also dropped back frequently to help out in his team’s defence, covering almost every grass patch in the last game against Hougang United.

InStats statistics has shown that the number ‘6’ had all of his shots on target and no doubt his gaffer would be directing him to attempt as many shots as possible in the next game, with the hope that at least one would turn out in the back of the net.

Balestier Khalsa – DWWWW

28/2/14          Woodlands Wellington 1-1 Balestier Khalsa

23/2/14          Courts Young Lions 0-4 Balestier Khalsa

7/11/13          Balestier Khalsa 1-0 Global FC (RHB Singapore Cup)

4/11/13          Tanjong Pagar United 0-1 Balestier Khalsa

30/10/13       Balestier Khalsa 3-0 Woodlands Wellington

Tanjong Pagar United – LWLLL

27/2/14         Tanjong Pagar 1-2 Hougang United

24/2/14         Harimau Muda 1-2 Tanjong Pagar

8/11/13         Home United 4-1 Tanjong Pagar (RHB Singapore Cup)

4/11/13         Tanjong Pagar 0-1 Balestier Khalsa

30/10/13      Tanjong Pagar 0-1 Home United

Head to Head (S.League)

4/11/13        Tanjong Pagar 0-1 Balestier Khalsa

8/5/13          Balestier Khalsa 2-1 Tanjong Pagar

22/2/13        Tanjong Pagar 3-1 Balestier Khalsa

27/10/12      Balestier Khalsa 1-1 Tanjong Pagar

6/5/12          Tanjong Pagar 1-0 Balestier Khalsa

17/10/11      Tanjong Pagar 1-2 Balestier Khalsa

5/7/11           Balestier Khalsa 2-0 Tanjong Pagar

12/4/11        Tanjong Pagar 0-1 Balestier Khalsa