News Singapore Cup • October 1, 2018

Singapore Cup Preview: Balestier aim for third time lucky against DPMM


Volodymyr Priyomov and Shaqi Sulaiman will resume battle.

SINGAPORE, 1 OCT 2018Balestier Khalsa FC take on Brunei DPMM FC for the third time in a span of eight days on Wednesday, 3 October, this time with everything on the line as they trail on aggregate in the RHB Singapore Cup semi-final. Kick off is at 7.45pm at the Toa Payoh Stadium.

BACKGROUND Balestier will hope it is third time lucky against DPMM as they need to win by at least three goals in the second leg to advance to the final in regulation time.

Currently trailing 2-0 on aggregate following a defeat in the first leg last week, Balestier also played out a stalemate over the weekend against DPMM.

The Tigers could perhaps take heart from the fact that they were far from outplayed in the previous two matches.

Yet, profligacy in front of goal cost them dearly. There is also the fact that DPMM have seemingly found their best form of the season, having not lost any of their last nine matches.

Nevertheless, Balestier Head Coach Marko Kraljevic believes that with a little luck, it will be the Tigers who will advance instead.

“All four games (against them this season) were very close games and it can go either way. Sometimes, you need a bit of luck,” he said.

“Our biggest problem is scoring goals. We need to improve in the attacking third to be able to progress to the final. We need to score at least two goals and to do that, we need to be more deadly in the opponents’ box.”

On the other hand, DPMM Head Coach Rene Weber is wary of complacency, especially against an opponent that they have not lost against this year.

“We must concentrate because they had chances to score in the first leg. It will not be easy and we have to play to win, not just thinking to get a draw,” said Weber.

“We cannot be relaxed. A play-off game is always different from a league game. We must play hard – a two-goal advantage does not mean the tie is finished. Balestier do have a good team.”

Balestier may miss the services of Keegan Linderboom after the target-man had to be substituted off with injury in the weekend.

Balestier: DLLWD

29/09/18: Balestier 0-0 DPMM – Singapore Premier League
26/09/18: DPMM 2-0 Balestier – Singapore Cup
07/07/18: DPMM 2-2 Balestier – Singapore Premier League
13/05/18: Balestier 1-2 DPMM – Singapore Premier League
16/10/17: DPMM 1-4 Balestier – Singapore Premier League

Shaqi Sulaiman – Balestier
The young centre-back played a huge role in keeping DPMM at bay in the match on Saturday and will once again be counted upon to stop Ukranian striker Volodymyr Priyomov.

Azwan Ali – DPMM
The mercurial playmaker conjured up a masterclass performance in the first leg. Both of his goals this season have come in the Singapore Cup as well and it won’t be a surprise if Azwan proves to be the difference maker once again on Wednesday.

Balestier Head Coach Kraljevic: “We will need something special from our strikers to turn the tie around … I hope we can surprise DPMM on Wednesday.”

DPMM Head Coach Weber: “We know how they play having played four games against them. They always send long balls to their tall striker. They can also press us hard at the start of the match, so we must be ready to avoid making any mistakes.”

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