Singapore Premier League • September 22, 2015
Tigers Eager For Maximum Points
Written by: Shawn Lim
Balestier Khalsa vs Harimau Muda
(Tuesday, 22 September, 7.30pm, Toa Payoh Stadium)
Balestier Khalsa will welcome Harimau Muda to Toa Payoh Stadium on Tuesday night knowing that nothing less than three points will do if they intend to stay in the race for the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League title.
Having missed out on fantastic opportunities to trim the lead of Brunei DPMM at the summit in their last two games, the Tigers need a victory to keep up the pace with their title rivals Warriors FC and Albirex Niigata (S).
Due to injuries and suspensions on top of a bench filled with Prime League players, Balestier coach Marko Kraljevic adopted a defensive approach in their 2-2 draw against Geylang International last week.
Even though three crucial points are at stake, that approach looks set to be continue against the Young Tigers as key players like Yusiskandar Yusop and Poh Yifeng are still serving out their suspension.
Meanwhile, Harimau Muda will be keen to avenge the 2-0 loss that they suffered against Balestier when these two sides met earlier in the season.
Razip Ismail’s charges will be also determined to achieve consistency and keep their focus after allowing Warriors to snatch a 2-2 draw after they had taken a 2-0 lead.
“Everything is possible if you believe in yourself and stick to the game plan. That’s what happened we beat the tougher teams like Warriors and Albirex Niigata (S),” Razip explained after his side’s draw with Warriors.
“We are capable of beating anyone, but because the players are still young, consistency is a problem for them. They find it hard to maintain the same level of performance after one or two games.
“That is an issue that I’m still trying to fix.”
Suspensions: Yusiskandar Yusop (Balestier Khalsa), Poh Yi Feng (Balestier Khalsa)
Key Men to Watch
Balestier Khalsa: Ignatius Ang
Handed a starting spot in recent games because of suspensions and injuries in the team, the 22-year-old has repaid his coach’s faith in him by putting up impressive performances.
One such performance saw Ang heading in the Tigers’ first equaliser against Geylang despite being the shortest player on the field.
If the nifty winger can keep up these kind of displays, Kraljevic will have to think twice about dropping Ang again.
Harimau Muda: Akhir Bahari
Part of the squad that was thrashed 5-1 by Tampines Rovers, the winger redeemed himself by putting up a much improved display against Warriors.
The 21-year-old created numerous chances for his teammates and could have scored a brace himself if not for a lack of composure and accuracy.
Balestier will have to keep an eye out for Akhir, who has a tendency to drift into the 18-yard box from the flanks, looking for an opening to score.
Balestier Khalsa – LDWLD
18/09/15 Balestier Khalsa 2-2 Geylang International (S.League)
13/09/15 Warriors FC 4-2 Balestier Khalsa (S.League)
29/08/15 Balestier Khalsa 2-1 Brunei DPMM (S.League)
21/08/15 Tampines Rovers 0-0 Balestier Khalsa (S.League)
17/08/15 Balestier Khalsa 0-4 Albirex Niigata (S) (Singapore Cup)
Harimau Muda – LWLLD
19/09/15 Harimau Muda 2-2 Warriors FC (S.League)
15/09/15 Tampines Rovers 5-1 Harimau Muda (S.League)
12/09/15 Brunei DPMM 2-0 Harimau Muda (S.League)
27/08/15 Harimau Muda 0-1 Tampines Rovers (S.League)
23/08/15 Warriors FC 0-2 Harimau Muda (S.League)
Head To Head (S.League)
27/07/15 Balestier Khalsa 2-0 Harimau Muda
05/09/14 Harimau Muda 1-5 Balestier Khalsa
30/04/14 Balestier Khalsa 2-0 Harimau Muda
11/07/13 Balestier Khalsa 1-1 Harimau Muda
28/03/13 Harimau Muda 0-0 Balestier Khalsa