News • September 13, 2016

RHB Singapore Cup 2016: Tigers Quietly Confident Of Overturning One-Goal Deficit


Written by: Shawn Lim

RHB Singapore Cup 2016 (Semi-Final 2nd Leg)

Balestier Khalsa vs Albirex Niigata (S)
(Tuesday, 13 September, 7.45pm, Toa Payoh Stadium)

Hosts Balestier Khalsa will be eager to overturn a one-goal deficit when they welcome Albirex Niigata (S) to Toa Payoh Stadium on Tuesday night.

The Tigers fell to a 1-0 defeat to the White Swans in the first-leg of the tie, courtesy of a brilliant strike from Shuto Inaba, but their performance in that game will give them the belief that they can spring a surprise or two against the Japanese side.

Up to Inaba’s goal a minute before the break, Balestier were carving out chances for themselves and preventing the current Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League leaders from playing their trademark quick-passing and attacking football.

Tigers’ coach Marko Kraljevic will be hoping that his side will not be as profligate as they were in the first-leg and will be hoping his side can cause an upset against the White Swans, who have traditionally struggled on the hard pitch at Toa Payoh Stadium.

“I’m very disappointed that we did not take our chances,” explained the Croatian after the first-leg loss to Albirex.

“You cannot get any better chances than to go one-on-one with the keeper. Sometimes football is like that. I’m happy with the performance but I’m disappointed by the result.”

As for the White Swans, while they could be left to rue their failure to score more goals in the first-leg, they will welcome back the current league joint second-top scorer in Atsushi Kawata, who was suspended, and are quietly confident of making the final for the second consecutive year.

The Tigers are sweating over the fitness of striker Niko Tokic, who was withdrawn at the interval in the first-leg because of a knock, while Fazli Ayob who has just returned from injury, was an unused substitute at Jurong East Stadium and could make an appearance here.

Balestier will definitely miss defensive lynchpin Emir Lotinac, who has yet to recover from his injury.

The White Swans have no injury concerns, but reserve goalkeeper Eita Kasagawa is set to retain his place in between the sticks as coach Naoki Nauro rest first-choice Yosuke Nozawa and give the 25-year-old custodian a chance to impress.

Balestier Khalsa – LWLLL

09/09/16  Albirex Niigata (S) 1-0 Balestier Khalsa (Singapore Cup)
25/08/16  Geylang International 2-1 Balestier Khalsa (S.League)
19/08/16  Balestier Khalsa 0-1 Albirex Niigata (S) (S.League)
05/08/16  Garena Young Lions 1-3 Balestier Khalsa (S.League)
22/07/16  Hougang United 2-1 Balestier Khalsa (League Cup)

Albirex Niigata (S) – WLWWW

09/09/16  Albirex Niigata (S) 1-0 Balestier Khalsa (Singapore Cup)
19/08/16  Balestier Khalsa 0-1 Albirex Niigata (S) (S.League)
11/08/16  Albirex Niigata (S) 4-0 Garena Young Lions (S.League)
05/08/16  Brunei DPMM 2-1 Albirex Niigata (S) (S.League)
30/07/16  Brunei DPMM 0-2 Albirex Niigata (S) (League Cup)