Singapore Premier League • October 19, 2015
Tigers Looking For Back-To-Back Wins
Written by: Shawn Lim
Balestier Khalsa vs Courts Young Lions
(Monday, 19 October, 7.30pm, Toa Payoh Stadium)
Balestier Khalsa will welcome Courts Young Lions to Toa Payoh Stadium as they look to achieve two consecutive home wins in less than a week.
The Tigers defeated fellow title challengers Albirex Niigata (S) 1-0 in a hard-fought game on Friday, which saw them inch closer to Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League leaders Brunei DPMM.
A victory against the Young Lions tonight will see Balestier go level on points with the Wasps, who missed a chance to extend their lead after a 4-4 draw with Home United on Sunday.
Tigers’ coach Marko Kraljevic is refusing to get ahead of himself despite being within touching distance of the Bruneians and feels Balestier’s destiny lies in their own hands now.
“We have very tough games coming. Five more to go and every game will be very tough,” the Croatian said after his side’s win over Albirex.
“It all depends on us, if we keep winning and keep playing like we played today, by working very hard, then we can win the championship.”
Balestier will also be mindful not to look past the Young Lions, who claimed the scalp of Warriors FC last week, effectively ending the defending champions’ hopes of retaining their title.
With another opportunity now to throw a spanner in the works in the title race, Juergen Raab’s charges will be eager to achieve three points against the Tigers.
Having also achieved their first home win at Jalan Besar Stadium this season when they defeated the Warriors, the Young Lions are keen to build on that and go on a run.
“It is very nice to sit here and to say now we have the first win in this season,” Raab said after the 2-1 win over Warriors.
“I think it (the victory) was deserved because we were verry organised, disciplined – that’s what we need for the future. that was my main point in the preparation for this match.
“We have to combine this defensive work with this style of football. In the second half, it was really strong. We had enough chances to make decision in the match, and only allowed one header in injury time.”
“That’s what I want to see in the future, i’m very happy for the future. They worked so hard to achieve this victory.”
The Young Lions will move out of the bottom three of the table and leapfrog Causeway rivals Harimau Muda if they beat the Tigers.
Key Men To Watch
Balestier Khalsa: Zaiful Nizam
The Tigers’ custodian’s leadership skills is as strong as his shot-stopping and it will be important at this crucial stage of the season.
Zaiful’s voice on the field will be paramount if things don’t go the Tigers’ way and the Singapore International will have to remind his teammates what is at stake.
Courts Young Lions: Taufik Suparno
The Young Lions’ new signing announced his arrival in style last week by getting on the scoresheet against the Warriors and will be eager to add on to his tally.
The midfielder’s ability to split open defences and eye for goals makes him a tricky customer for most teams and Balestier will need to keep a tight leash on him.
Balestier Khalsa – LDDWW
16/10/15 Balestier Khalsa 1-0 Albirex Niigata (S)
27/09/15 Harimau Muda 0-2 Balestier Khalsa (S.League)
22/09/15 Balestier Khalsa 0-0 Harimau Muda (S.League)
18/09/15 Balestier Khalsa 2-2 Geylang International (S.League)
13/09/15 Warriors FC 4-2 Balestier Khalsa (S.League)
Courts Young Lions – LLDLW
16/10/15 Courts Young Lions 2-1 Warriors FC
04/10/15 Courts Young Lions 2-3 Geylang International (S.League)
01/10/15 Hougang United 2-2 Courts Young Lions (S.League)
27/09/15 Courts Young Lions 1-3 Tampines Rovers (S.League)
22/09/15 Courts Young Lions 1-2 Brunei DPMM (S.League)
Head to Head (S.League)
31/07/15 Courts Young Lions 2-2 Balestier Khalsa
04/04/15 Balestier Khalsa 5-1 Courts Young Lions
15/05/14 Balestier Khalsa 3-1 Courts Young Lions
23/02/14 Courts Young Lions 0-4 Balestier Khalsa
27/06/13 Courts Young Lions 1-3 Balestier Khalsa