Resurgent Balestier Face Tough Home Test
Home United vs Balestier Khalsa
(20 October, Friday, 7.30pm, Jalan Besar Stadium)
Written by: Phoon Jia Hui
Balestier Khalsa will be gunning for a third straight victory in the Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League when they face Home United at Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday night.
The Tigers have notched back-to-back wins over Garena Young Lions (1-0) and most recently away to Brunei DPMM (4-1) as they lie in seventh, five points more than the latter having played a game more.
The results has given the side a confidence boost ahead of their tie against the Protectors, according to midfielder Hazzuwan Halim.
“Even though we beat teams around us, it’s still a win and it will help our morale going into our last few games of the season,” said the 23-year-old who bagged two goals against DPMM."
“The wins have given us a boost and we will keep going with what we’ve been doing well so far. We will give our best to play whichever team that comes our way.”
The victory over the Wasps was one to savour for the Tigers, having travelled to Brunei with just 14 players and Hazzuwan was delighted they managed to come away with the three points.
“It was a really great result and I can say it was the best performance from us this season,” he enthused.
“We went to Brunei with pride, wanting to get something and we knew we still got to give our best.even with only 14 players.”
With the lack of attacking options in his team this season, Hazzuwan has often been deployed in the striker’s role where he has thrived.
Having scored just one goal last term, the nippy player has seven across all competitions this season and he is looking to continue to in the same vein as they eye an upset against the Protectors.
“Coach Marko (Kraljevic) is someone who trusts his players. As a result, I have been given much more playing time where I have improved,” he shared.
“It hasn’t been easy to adapt from playing as a right winger to a forward, but when there’s a will there’s a way. I’ve learnt a lot this year being a forward and I’ll continue working hard and do my best with my team for the rest of the season.”
Home on the other hand, beat Hougang United 2-0 the last time out to keep their faint title hopes alive.
With two games in hand over Albirex Niigata (S), the Protectors will be hoping to capitalise should the leaders slip up.
“It’s difficult to be champions, but I’m happy with the progress of the team since I took over (last year),” said Home head coach Aidil Sharin.
“I’ve changed the players’ mentality, there’s no more developmental team – it’s all about winning. We’ve done well with our players getting noticed by overseas clubs.”
Both teams will however be missing a player each due to suspension, with Izzdin Shafiq (Home) and Nanda Linn Kyaw Chit (Balestier) sitting out after they picked up their fourth yellow cards of the season.
Suspensions: Izzdin Shafiq (Home United); Nanda Linn Kyaw Chit (Balestier Khalsa)
Home United - DWLLW
15/10/17 Hougang United 0-2 Home United
30/09/17 Home United 1-2 Albirex Niigata (S) (RHB Singapore Cup)
27/09/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 3-1 Home United (RHB Singapore Cup)
23/09/17 Geylang International 1-3 Home United
19/09/17 Home United 1-1 Albirex Niigata (S)
Balestier Khalsa - DLLWW
16/10/17 Brunei DPMM 1-4 Balestier Khalsa
20/09/17 Garena Young Lions 0-1 Balestier Khalsa
17/09/17 Balestier Khalsa 0-1 Tampines Rovers
09/09/17 Geylang International 2-0 Balestier Khalsa
21/08/17 Balestier Khalsa 2-2 Brunei DPMM
Head to Head (S.League)
03/07/17 Balestier Khalsa 1-2 Home United
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