Singapore Premier League • May 21, 2014

Woodlands Hoping To Avoid Another Draw Against Tigers


Balestier Khalsa vs Woodlands Wellington

(May 21, Wednesday, 7.30pm, Toa Payoh Stadium)

Written by: Muhammad Yazid

Balestier Khalsa and Woodlands Wellington meet for the second time this season after a streak of inconsistent results.

While the Tigers’ last game was in their favour, as they brushed aside Courts Young Lions 3-1, a damning statistic have been their inability to string together back-to-back wins since the season started.

Thus, it is high time for Balestier to get back to winning ways by making it two wins in a row, and for that to happen, they will be locking horns with Woodlands, a team of similar calibre.

The Rams have not tasted victory since their impressive 2-1 triumph over Tampines Rovers and the closest they ever went to earning three points again was just last week, when they were held by Hougang United.

A penalty by Diego Gama right at the death killed Woodlands off as it cancelled out Chang Jo Yoon’s first half opener.

That result was Woodlands’ sixth draw of the season – the highest number of draws a team has in the standings.

The first time the Rams and the Tigers met, the game ended in a deadlock, as Chang’s exquisite curler cancelled out Goran Ljubojevic’s easy tap in.

As the first round of the season recently came to an end, InStat reported the amount of goals scored and conceded by each team.

Most of the goals Woodlands have conceded came in in the final 15 minutes of each half (54%), while Balestier scored most of their goals being scored in the final 15 minutes of the first half (27%).

This but a statistic which could indicate Woodlands tend to switch off during the final minutes of the game, and is an area Balestier could capitalise upon.

Marko Kraljevic will be relying on Park Kang Jin to pull the strings in midfield as the South Korean continues his return from a long layoff. Park was a livewire for Balestier last season and his absence this season has cost the Tigers a lot.

Now that he is back in the team, he is expected to join forces with his compatriot Kim Minho to provide support for lone-striker Ljubojevic.

Their opponents need to get back on their feet and will be looking for maximum points against a side which they almost triumphed over a few months back.

South Korean strike partners Moon Soon Ho and Chang Jo Yoon would be once again given the goal scoring duties to gain a positive result.

Key Men To Watch

Balestier Khalsa: Kim Minho

As the South Korean welcomes his compatriot Park Kang Jin back, the duo is expected to combine and create more goals for the Tigers.

Kim hit a brace in his last game against the Courts Young Lions, and his trickery in the middle of the park has also assisted Goran Ljubojevic in recent games.

According to InStat, 69% of the midfielder’s passes were converted accurately, while 61% of his dribbles has been successful.

Woodlands Wellington: Fadhil Noh

Not a regular starter, but Fadhil gives his best whenever he is starting a game or called to action late in the game.

The fact that the former SEA Games player has not bagged in any goal in his career with Woodlands does not justifiably reflect his hunger and performance.

Usually deployed in a right-winger position, his strength and ball control abilities serve as a threat for opposing defenders, and to top it off, Fadhil has had 64% of his passes turn out accurately in this season so far.

Balestier Khalsa – WLWLD

15/5/14    Balestier Khalsa 3-1 Courts Young Lions

9/5/14      Hougang United 2-1 Balestier Khalsa

30/4/14    Balestier Khalsa 2-0 Harimau Muda

25/4/14    Brunei DPMM 4-1 Balestier Khalsa

17/4/14    Balestier Khalsa 1-1 Geylang International

Woodlands Wellington – DLLDW

15/5/14    Woodlands Wellington 1-1 Hougang United

7/5/14      Harimau Muda 1-0 Woodlands Wellington

30/4/14    Woodlands Wellington 0-2 Brunei DPMM

26/4/14    Geylang International 1-1 Woodlands Wellington

18/4/14    Tampines Rovers 1-2 Woodlands Wellington

Head to Head (S.League)

28/2/14    Woodlands Wellington 1-1 Balestier Khalsa

30/10/13  Balestier Khalsa 3-0 Woodlands Wellington

19/9/13    Balestier Khalsa 1-2 Woodlands Wellington

2/5/2013  Woodlands Wellington 3-1 Balestier Khalsa

20/7/12    Woodlands Wellington 0-2 Balestier Khalsa

18/3/12    Balestier Khalsa 2-0 Woodlands Wellington

31/10/11  Balestier Khalsa 2-2 Woodlands Wellington

10/7/11    Woodlands Wellington 0-1 Balestier Khalsa

21/4/11    Balestier Khalsa 2-0 Woodlands Wellington