Singapore Cup • November 6, 2014

Tigers Set To Roar On Double Date


Written by: Phoon Jia Hui

It will be a double bill for Balestier Khalsa FC on November 7, after both their Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League and Prime League teams reached the Final of the RHB Singapore Cup and Singapore Pools FA Cup respectively.

The main match at the Jalan Besar Stadium will see the S.League side led by Marko Kraljevic, face Home United in the Singapore Cup Final.

Before that though, Balestier’s Prime League side will play in the curtain-raiser match at the same venue against Singapore Recreation Club from the National Football League.

This achievement is especially remarkable for the young Tigers considering the fact that are seventh in an 11-team league, a far cry from their title-winning season just a year ago and historic double in 2012.

It will therefore be a chance for D Tokijan’s charges to redeem themselves after a less than desirable season so far.

Some notable names in the squad include Ahmad Syahir and Ho Wai Loon, both of whom have already made appearances in the S.League while Muhaymin Salim is also another prospect to look out for after returning to the Toa Payoh fold after a stint with the Courts Young Lions.

There is no lack of goals in them however, as Ahmad is the team’s top scorer with 12 and following closely behind him is Noor Akid who has 11 this season.

Meanwhile, it will be Balestier’s first-ever appearance in the Singapore Cup final and they will be keen for revenge against Home, the same side which knocked them out in the last four of the competition and went on to win it last year.

Credit should however be given to head coach Kraljevic for masterminding this feat this term.

The Croatian, who was himself a Balestier player, has also led the team to a top-six finish in the league this season after pipping Hougang United to that sixth spot which looked like a lost cause until the final few games of Round Two of the S.League.

The route to the final though, all started with a 3-1 triumph over Warriors FC. That followed with victories on penalties over first, Geylang International in the quarter-finals and then reigning league champions Tampines Rovers to reach this stage of the competition.

Whether or not Balestier manage to lift the coveted trophy come the end of 90 or even 120 minutes, it is most likely Kraljevic will still be pleased with the progress of the team which he took over from only at the beginning of the season from predecessor Darren Stewart.