Eagles Aiming For Tigers’ Scalp
Geylang International vs Balestier Khalsa
(9 September, Saturday, 7.30pm, Jalan Besar Stadium)
Written by: Rashid Sulaiman
Geylang International will be eyeing for a third win over Balestier Khalsa in the Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League when the two meet at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Saturday.
Geylang, currently fifth in the standings on 24 points, had recorded two wins over Balestier earlier in the season. Their recent meeting was a 1-0 win for the Eagles with Ricardo Sendra scoring the only goal of the match.
Balestier on the other hand are in seventh position on ten points, with only two wins and four draws in the league this campaign.
Both teams are coming into this match on the back of a good results with the Eagles eking a slender 1-0 win over Hougang United while Balestier Khalsa holding Warriors FC and Brunei DPMM to successive 2-2 draws.
Although the Tigers are not enjoying the best of season, Geylang head coach Noor Ali has cautioned against complacency and to focus on their own game plan instead.
“There is no guaranteed win game in the S.League. Balestier are a hardworking team and they play to their strength,” said the former international.
“They have a good mix of experienced and young players who are energetic. They have two good results against Warriors and DPMM and they are definitely not an easy opponent.”
With Geylang scheduled to take on stronger opponents such as Warriors and Home United after this match, Noor Ali feels that a convincing performance against Marko Kraljevic’s charges will set them in the right mood before the next matches.
“Preparations are going on well and the boys worked hard in training during the break. We need to get the momentum back and stay positive after a good result against Hougang,” he added.
“It is important for us to win this match against Balestier to set us in the right direction before we take on Warriors and Home. We are going for the win and our target is to move up the table as high as possible.”
For Balestier, they are hoping to keep up their positive results and take away a point off Geylang.
“But there’s lots of positives to take away. We were playing well and dominating the game, especially in the first half. We trained hard with the combination of Hazzuwan and Jonathan in attack,” said Kraljevic after their 2-2 draw against DPMM.
“It’s just that as a young team, we got to learn to deal with pressure. We were rushing in unnecessary situations like throw-ins when we were still leading,” added the Tigers head coach.
Kraljevic will be having the full squad for selections except for Fadli Kamis who is serving his suspension.
For Noor Ali, he will be likely to miss the services of Safirul Sulaiman, Stanely Ng and Isa Halim who are still receiving treatment for their injuries.
But despite the absence of the trio, Noor Ali believes he can rely on his younger players such as Ifwat Ismail, Noor Ariff, and Ahmad Zaki to fill the gap.
“We have few injuries and I don’t have a full squad, but I can depend on the younger players. They have shown that they are able to slot into the starting eleven and ready to step up,” explained Noor Ali.
Suspension: Fadli Kamis (Balestier Khalsa)
Geylang International - DLWLW
18/08/17 Hougang United 0-1 Geylang International
05/08/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 5-0 Geylang International
24/07/17 Brunei DPMM 0-1 Geylang International
18/07/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 4-0 Geylang International (The New Paper League Cup)
14/07/17 Brunei DPMM 3-3 Geylang International (The New Paper League Cup)
Balestier Khalsa - WLDDD
21/08/17 Balestier Khalsa 2-2 Brunei DPMM
17/08/17 Balestier Khalsa 2-2 Warriors FC
29/07/17 Balestier Khalsa 0-0 Hougang United
26/07/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 2-1 Balestier Khalsa
14/07/17 Balestier Khalsa 3-0 Tampines Rovers
Head to Head (S.League)
26/05/17 Balestier Khalsa 0-1 Geylang International
04/03/17 Geylang International 2-0 Balestier Khalsa
25/08/16 Geylang International 2-1 Balestier Khalsa
14/05/16 Balestier Khalsa 1-3 Geylang International
03/03/16 Geylang International 0-0 Balestier Khalsa