Singapore Cup • September 25, 2014

Tigers In All-Out Attack Plan


Written By: Kenneth Ho

Balestier Khalsa are currently a goal down on aggregate against Tampines Rovers in the RHB Singapore Cup semi-final, prompting coach Marko Kraljevic to vow to go all out in the return leg.

“When you are a goal down, you must attack from the first minute. We must score at least two goals and win the game. We need to focus on attack now,” Kraljevic stated.

With marksman Goran Ljubojevic within the mix, Kraljevic will rest easy knowing he has a player capable of scoring goals from anywhere nearly the 18-yard box.

However, Ljubojevic’s strength lies in his aerial prowess, and that means his teammates have to supply the ammunition for him to be a danger. Midfielder Park Kang Jin has sparkled since his return from injury, but this has been in patches and Balestier will need him to be more consistent in this game.

Another player to look out for will be Park’s compatriot Kim Minho. Kim has had a good season so far, chipping in with a number of goals when Park was out. However, he is often guilty of losing the ball while trying to take it to the byline and put in an inswinging cross to the box.

Tampines hold the advantage in this game, but Rafi Ali will know better than to sit back and try to defend the lead. Rafi has never liked playing defensive football, and although he will most likely tell his boys to be more careful, the game plan should be still to go forward and double the advantage when possible.

Since Balestier have to attack from the get-go, Tampines can afford to apply a soak-and-hit strategy against the Tigers. Jake Butler, who has been a revelation since his arrival, is a superb protector of his backline, and has the know-how of springing an attacking move within an instant.

With the likes of Miljan Mrdakovic, Jozef Kaplan up front, there is no reason why the Stags cannot choose to go forward in numbers. Kaplan in particular has voiced out his concerns at his lack of goals, and the former Eagles captain will surely be making forays into the opponents’ box in hope of scoring a goal.

Balestier will be missing Yusiskandar Yusop for a second consecutive game, as he serves the last of his match suspension. However, Kraljevic will be happy that Tajeli Selamat and Ruhaizad Ismail are available for selection once again following the end of their suspensions.

Suspensions:  Yusiskandar Yusop (Balestier),Tajeli Selamat (Balestier), Ruhaizad Ismail (Balestier)

Tampines Rovers – WLDLW

21/9/14    Tampines Rovers 2-1 Balestier Khalsa (RHB Singapore Cup Semi-Final First Leg)

17/9/14    Tampines Rovers 0-0 Albirex Niigata (S)

29/8/14    Warriors FC 2-0 Tampines Rovers

25/8/14    Albirex Niigata (S) 2-2 Tampines Rovers

22/8/14    Tampines Rovers 0-1 Tanjong Pagar United

Balestier Khalsa – LWWDWL

21/9/14    Tampines Rovers 2-1 Balestier Khalsa (RHB Singapore Cup Semi-Final First Leg)

5/9/14       Harimau Muda 1-5 Balestier Khalsa

27/8/14    Balestier Khalsa 4-1 Hougang United

21/8/14    Balestier Khalsa 3-3 Brunei DPMM

31/7/14    Geylang International 1-2 Balestier Khalsa