News • April 22, 2016

Tigers Outroar Young Lions in Their First Win Of The Season


Written By: Elika Nonan Mercado

Balestier Khalsa dominated their match against the Garena Young Lions in Toa Payoh Stadium on Thursday night. The Tigers took home their first win of the season, winning 2-0 against the Young Lions.

The Young Lions hit the ground running during the first half with an attempt to score with a header at the penalty area. However, Balestier goalkeeper Zaiful Nizam saved the ball just in time before it could make it into the net.

Hungry for a victory this season, the Tigers surged forward and started attacking the Young Lion’s defence.

It did not take long for the Tigers to find a gap in the line of defence set up by the Young lions at the penalty area, allowing Miroslav Kristic to send the ball flying into the net in the fourth minute.

But the Young Lions stepped up their game, and their opportunity came at the 13th minute when Muhaimin Suhaimi whizzed past the Tigers’ defence and shot the ball, only to be denied by Zaiful.

Zulkiffli Hassim then tried to doubled the Tigers’ lead in the 22nd minute. Surrounded by the opposing team’s players, Zulkiffli hastily attempted to score with a high kick, which sent the ball flying in the air and unfortunately, past the goalpost.

As the match progressed it was clear that the Tigers were dominating the match. Though there were numerous chances for the Young Lions to bring the ball in, there were some miscalculations on their part that jeopardized the chances made.

Fareez Farhan almost pulled level for the Young Lions in the 23rd minute, but as he bolted through the defence of the Tigers at the corner of the penalty area, his attempt was thwarted by Hanafi Salleh as the latter blocks the ball before it could even make it past the goalpost.

Half an hour into the game, both teams ceaselessly made chances for their own teams to score. The Young Lions pushed hard to get control of the ball throughout.

It was only at the 38th minute that this back-and-forth between teams turned in favour to the Tigers, when Fadli Kamis doubled their lead.

During the second-half, it seemed that the Young Lions were having trouble dealing with the defence of the Tigers as they kept losing control of the ball through sloppy passes.

Young Lions goalkeeper Benjamin Bertrand’s performance then saved the team from conceding more goals.

As Syafiq Zainal attempted to score in the 57th and 58th minute, Bertrand denied the opposing team scores as he brilliantly blocked and saved the ball with lightning speed and precision.

The Tigers continued striving hard to keep their rivals from scoring and defended well.

Keeping the Young Lions at bay throughout the second half, the match ended with the Tigers successfully taking home their first win of the season.

Balestier Khalsa’s coach Marko Kraljevic: ‘It was a difficult game for us, [both] it was physically and mentally difficult. We have not won this year – it’s not easy to play under that kind of pressure [when] you haven’t won a game. And I’m just really happy with the win and we hope that we can sustain it.’

Garena Young Lion’s coach Patrick Hesse: ‘We had so much opportunities to score, but we [couldn’t] score and so when you don’t score its difficult to win a game.’

‘I know that we are in the last position, but I think in the game, we made very good improvements in terms of position and transition but we were just not able to score… which is very important in football.’

Balestier Khalsa FC: Zaiful Nizam (GK,C), Fadli Kamis, Hanafi Salleh, Emir Lotinac, Miroslav Kristic, Sheikh Abdul Hadi, Jamil Ali, Smajovic Sadin (Syafiq Zainal 63’) (Zulkiffli Hassim 76′), Ahmad Syahir, Hazzuwan Halim (Danial Tan 68′)

Garena Young Lions: Benjamin Bertrand (GK), Amirul Adli, Ammirul Emmran, Fareez Farhan, Irfan Asyraf, Hazim Faiz (Khairul Amri 76′), Shannon Stephen, Adam Swandi (Hami Syahin 45’), Muhaimin Suhaimi, Firdaus Kasman (C) (Joshua Bernard Pereira 63′), Rusyaidi Salime