Prime League • March 15, 2014
Prime League: Winless Balestier Fall Victim to Tampines
Written by: Muhammad Yazid
A remarkable performance by Balestier Khalsa was insufficient to secure a point as they lost 3-2 to Tampines Rovers at Toa Payoh Stadium on Friday night.
The Stags scored twice in the first half before Balestier made a comeback from the two-goal deficit, only for the blue outfit to hit home a winner in the 77th minute to claim all three points.
Tampines opened the scoring in the 17th minute through skipper Cameron Bell, who connected with a cross from Christopher Van Huizen before heading the ball into the bottom corner of the net.
The lead was increased three minutes later through Izzat Hamzah who sent a low shot in from a tight angle down the left. The shot was straight towards Balestier custodian Naqiuddin Nodin, but the 19-year-old could only parry the shot into his own net.
It could have been a third for Satria Mad’s side a short while later but Izzat’s shot from outside the penalty box cannoned off the woodwork.
Balestier managed to pull one goal back in the 27th minute when a pin-point through ball from Ahmad Syahir at the centre found Akid Nordin. With only Tampines goalkeeper Rosyam Rosli to beat, the 17-year-old calmly placed the ball beyond the onrushing custodian.
The second half seemed to be in favour of Balestier Khalsa as D.Tojkan’s side pushed for the well-deserved equaliser.
The Tigers eventually got their reward in the 70th minute. Substitute Sathiyamoorthy Vikeeran found time and space in the penalty area to send a low cross to Ahmad Syahir who had the simple task of tapping the ball home.
Just as Balestier seemed to have found momentum, Tampines responded with a winner in the 77th minute through Khalili D’Cruz. The former Courts Young Lions player sent a thunderous free-kick from just outside the penalty area past a hapless Naqiuddin into the top corner.
That goal proved to be the vital match-winner, as Tampines leapfrogged Woodlands Wellington to go second.
“It was a hard game and we could have scored more in the first half and the second half was better. Overall I am pleased,” Tampines coach Satria said after the game.
His counterpart, Tokijan, was disappointed with the result, but pleased with his team’s performance.
“It was a hard defeat at home because we conceded two silly goals. We do look improved from the past few games as I was very happy with the comeback.”
Photo: Balestier Khalsa Football Club