News • July 14, 2016
The New Paper League Cup 2016: Tigers Optimistic Of Surviving The “Group of Death”
Written by: Shawn Lim
The New Paper League Cup (Group B)
Balestier Khalsa vs Geylang International
(Thursday, 14 July, 7.30pm, Toa Payoh Stadium)
Having last won The New Paper League Cup in 2013, before making the finals again last year, it is no surprise that Balestier Khalsa are confident of continuing their good run in this competition.
The Tigers however, are in the “Group of Death”, which contains the likes of their upcoming opponents on Thursday night, Geylang International, as well as Home United and current Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League leaders Albirex Niigata (S0.
Balestier coach Marko Kraljevic is resigned to the fact that the White Swans, a side he was keen to avoid, will top the group, leaving the his side to fight for the second spot with the Eagles and the Protectors.
“When you have Albirex in your group, it will be tough because they are currently the best team in the S.League,” said Kraljevic, who will be without captain Zaiful Nizam as the goalkeeper is away on international duty.
“I was hoping to avoid them, but hopefully, they will not be able to maintain their form when the competition starts.
“I think the three of us (Home, Geylang and Balestier) will fight for second position and hopefully, our good form in the competition will continue.”
Meanwhile, the Eagles will miss a host of key players for their League Cup campaign after the likes of Syazwan Buhari, Daniel Bennett, Faritz Hameed, Gabriel Quak, Safirul Sulaiman, Sahil Suhaimi and Amy Recha were called up for international duties with Singapore.
Geylang coach Hasrin Jailani admitted that while the situation isn’t ideal for him, he intends to blood younger players against the likes of Albirex, whom they recently lost to on aggregate over two legs in the RHB Singapore Cup.
“It depends on which national players are called up, we are meeting Albirex again, so this will be an interesting group,” said Hasrin.
“Balestier is starting to play better, so they will be a team to watch out for as well. So we are hoping that our fringe players will be able to step up.”
Suspensions: Miroslav Kristic (Balestier Khalsa)
Balestier Khalsa – WLLWD
30/06/16 Home United 2-2 Balestier Khalsa (Singapore Cup)
27/06/16 Balestier Khalsa 2-1 Home United (Singapore Cup)
24/06/16 Balestier Khalsa 1-4 Brunei DPMM (S.League)
17/06/16 Balestier Khalsa 2-3 Tampines Rovers (S.League)
14/06/16 Home United 1-3 Balestier Khalsa (S.League)
Geylang International – LLWLD
01/07/16 Geylang International 2-2 Albirex Niigata (S) (Singapore Cup)
28/06/15 Albirex Niigata (S) 2-0 Geylang International (Singapore Cup)
23/06/16 Home United 1-2 Geylang International (S.League)
18/06/16 Geylang International 1-2 Hougang United (S.League)
15/06/16 Warriors FC 2-0 Geylang International (S.League)