Tigers Seek Inspiration In Attack
Balestier Khalsa vs Home United
(3 July, Monday, 7.30pm, Toa Payoh Stadium)
Written by: Phoon Jia Hui
Coming off a goalless draw against the Garena Young Lions, Balestier Khalsa will be keen to build on that when they host Home United in the Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League at Toa Payoh Stadium on Monday night.
The result against the developmental side ended a run of four straight defeats in all competitions where they also crashed out of the RHB Singapore Cup to Cambodian side Nagaworld FC.
However, Balestier captain Zaiful Nizam believes it is a matter of time the 2014 Singapore Cup champions turn the corner and start picking up the points again.
“If you look at most of the games we’ve played so far this season, we have lost by not more than two goals,” he said.
“This shows that we have been playing well and that we can match our opponents. However, we lack the striker upfront to finish off the chances we created but we have been working hard in training to make things right again.
“It’s not going to be easy, but I believe we can do it as long as we believe in ourselves and keep going.”
Having played 12 games in the S.League so far, Balestier currently lie seventh with seven points but Zaiful is confident of catching up with those teams above them in the standings.
“We can actually do better to be honest,” said the 30-year-old.
“We are eight and nine points behind Geylang International and Hougang United respectively but if we can pick up some points along the way until now till the end of the season, it’s still possible to better our eighth-placed finish from last season.”
As one of the more senior players in the team, the Singapore international is keen to utilise his experience to guide his younger teammates when they step out on the pitch.
“We have a rather young but talented squad this season,” he noted.
“But there are experienced heads like myself, Raihan Rahman and Shah Hirul who are around to guide them and provide the motivation they need. I can see that they are improving which is good to see.”
Meanwhile, Home saw their four-game winning run in all competitions come to an end after they fell 3-2 to Hougang United at Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday night
Head coach Aidil Sharin is hence refusing to take Balestier lightly as they look for a positive result to make up for lost points and keep themselves within touching distance of leaders Albirex Niigata (S).
“It's not going to be easy against Balestier especially when we are playing away (from home),” he said.
“It will be our second game in the space of four days and recovery will be the key focus for the team at the moment.
“We will do our best to get the three points to stay close to Albirex at the top.”
Balestier midfielder Tajeli Salamat will miss out after picking up an indirect red card against Young Lions, while Home will not have any suspension woes to contend with although goalkeeper and captain Hassan Sunny remains a long-term absentee.
Suspension: Tajeli Salamat (Balestier Khalsa)
Balestier Khalsa - LLLLD
22/06/17 Garena Young Lions 0-0 Balestier Khalsa
17/06/17 Tampines Rovers 3-1 Balestier Khalsa
01/06/17 Balestier Khalsa 3-4 Nagaworld FC (CAM) (RHB Singapore Cup)
26/05/17 Balestier Khalsa 0-1 Geylang International
19/05/17 Warriors FC 1-0 Balestier Khalsa
Home United - WWWWL
30/06/17 Home United 2-3 Hougang United
23/06/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 0-2 Home United
30/05/17 Home United 3-2 Global Cebu FC (AFC Cup)
25/05/17 Home United 9-3 Brunei DPMM
21/05/17 Garena Young Lions 1-2 Home United
Head to Head (S.League)
02/05/17 Home United 1-0 Balestier Khalsa
15/10/16 Balestier Khalsa 0-5 Home United
14/06/16 Home United 1-3 Balestier Khalsa
03/04/16 Balestier Khalsa 0-1 Home United
26/10/15 Home United 2-0 Balestier Khalsa