News • May 6, 2016

White Swans Keen To Extend Lead At The Summit


Albirex Niigata (S) vs Balestier Khalsa

(Friday, 6 May, Jurong East Stadium, 7.30pm)

Written by Khalis Rifhan

Albirex Niigata (S) will be looking to extend their lead at the top of the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League when they take on Balestier Khalsa at the Jurong East Stadium on Friday.

With Tampines Rovers only managing to eke out a 1-1 draw against Hougang United on Wednesday, this presents the White Swans with the opportunity to open a five-point gap at the summit.

While Balestier are languishing second from bottom, one must not be complacent when taking on Marko Kraljevic’s side.

Albirex certainly know that after they were held 1-1 when they met earlier in the season. Seasoned campaigner Jamil Ali came off the bench in that match to deny the White Swans all three points.

Although both sides come into this match on the back of a win over Garena Young Lions, the Albirex coach Naoki Naruo feels that his team are capable of a better performance.

“I think defensively we did well but in the offensive side, I think we could be better. We should have been more aggressive upfront,” said Naoki after their 3-0 win over the Young Lions.

“The atmosphere around the team is good but we want to show better performance to challenge for the title,” Naoki added.

Naoki will no doubt be expecting forward Atsushi Kawata to continue his fine form, and add on to his 10-goal tally so far this season.

Over in the Balestier camp, Marko will definitely be expecting his players to replicate their performance against the Young Lions and continue their winning ways.

‘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,” said Marko after their 1-0 win over the Young Lions.

If the Tigers are to stand any chance of getting something from this, they would not only need their defence to be disciplined against the fast-attacking opponents, but will also require main striker Miroslav Kristic to be much more clinical in front of goal.

Albirex Niigata (S) – WWWWW

28/04/2016 Albirex Niigata (S) 3-0 Garena Young Lions

22/04/2016 Brunei DPMM 1-2 Albirex Niigata (S)

16/04/2016 Albirex Niigata (S) 1-0 Tampines Rovers

8/04/2016 Home United 0-3 Albirex Niigata (S)

2/04/2016 Albirex Niigata (S) 2-0 Hougang United

Balestier Khalsa – WLLLL

21/04/2016 Balestier Khalsa 2-0 Garena Young Lions

15/04/2016 Brunei DPMM 3-1 Balestier Khalsa

7/04/2016 Tampines Rovers 1-0 Balestier Khalsa

3/03/2016 Balestier Khalsa 0-1 Home United

19/03/2016 Hougang United 1-0 Balestier Khalsa

Head to Head (S.League)

27/02/2016 Balestier Khalsa 1-1 Albirex Niigata (S)

16/10/2015 Balestier Khalsa 1-0 Albirex Niigata (S)

23/07/2015 Albirex Niigata (S) 0-1 Balestier Khalsa

6/10/2014 Balestier Khalsa 2-0 Albirex Niigata (S)

20/03/2015 Albirex Niigata (S) 0-1 Albirex Niigata (S)