Tigers Trounce Wasps For Emphatic Victory
Written by: Dwyane James
Balestier Khalsa defeated Brunei DPMM 4-1 in the Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League after putting up their best performance of the season thus far.
The victory saw the Tigers open up a five-point gap over the Brunei side, who have a game in hand.
Hazzuwan Halim bagged a brace while Fadli Kamis and Tajeli Salamat netted one each in the win.
On the other hand, substitute Shahrazen Said scored a consolation late on at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.
The hosts had the bulk of possession in the opening 10 minutes of the match but could not find a way past the Balestier defence.
They were on target in the 13th minute after Rafael Ramazotti headed Helmi Zambin’s cross from the right but Balestier goalkeeper and skipper Zaiful Nizam dived down to keep the ball out.
Over at the other end, Hazzuwan had his shot from inside the box deflected out for a corner before Aung Kyaw Naing volleyed over from the ensuing setpiece.
The Tigers would duly grab the lead in the 21st minute after Fadli tapped home off Huzaifah Aziz’s corner kick from close range.
Adi Said could have levelled matters three minutes later but his strike from outside the box was caught by Zaiful.
DPMM came close again as Daud Gazale lifted the ball to send Adi Said through in the 36th minute but his shot was parried away to safety by Zaiful.
The hosts had one final effort just before the halftime whistle but Ramazotti’s header failed to trouble Zaiful.
The visitors needed only three minutes into the second half to double their advantage.
After Tajeli got the better of Abdul Mu’iz Sisa, he sent a superb delivery for Hazzuwan to head past DPMM goalkeeper Awangku Mu’izzuddin.
The Tigers sat back with numbers thereafter, making it difficult for the hosts to break down their defence.
Abdul Mu’iz, who was shifted to a more forward role with the introduction of Najib Tarif at left-back before the hour mark, came close to netting his first goal for DPMM but his header from close range was tipped over by Zaiful.
The Tigers were then awarded a penalty in the 71st minute after Hazzuwan was tripped by Helmi.
The former stepped up to send Mu’izzuddin the wrong way and make it 3-0.
Steve Kean’s side almost grabbed one back in the 83rd minute but Ramazotti’s header came off the crossbar with Zaiful looking to have got his fingertips to it.
Hendra Azam then had another effort slip firing just wide from 12 yards out moments later before the Tigers got their fourth goal of the night two minutes from time.
Tajeli tried his luck from 30 yards out but the ball slipped through the gloves of Mu’izzuddin and rolled over the line.
Zaiful was finally beaten late into stoppage time as Shahrazen tapped home from close range for a consolation.
Brunei DPMM Head Coach Steve Kean: “I thought we were poor tonight. We were nowhere near the level we were against Young Lions or Hougang which we won away from home.
“In the balance of play, when we did have possession, the crossing was not of high enough quality.”
Balestier Khalsa Head Coach Marko Kraljevic: “The key point of the game was when Zaiful made few saves and turned the game in our favour. But I will give credit to all boys as they worked very hard and this is the best game of the season.
“We defended well until the last minute and conceded a goal. But we managed to score four goals and I think this is the best performance this season.”
Brunei DPMM: Awangku Mu'izzuddin (GK), Haizul Rani (Shahrazen Said 65’), Rosmin Kamis (C), Abdul Mu'iz Sisa, Hazwan Hamzah, Helmi Zambin, Hendra Azam, Nurikhwan Othman (Azwan Saleh 59’), Rafael Ramazotti, Adi Said, Daud Gazale (Najib Tarif 59’)
Balestier Khalsa: Zaiful Nizam (GK, C), Fadli Kamis, Hanafi Salleh, Sheikh Abdul Hadi, Ahmad Syahir, Tajeli Salamat, Shah Hirul, Huzaifah Aziz, Nanda Linn Kyaw Chit, Aung Kyaw Naing (Azmeerudin Jamludain 90’), Hazzuwan Halim (Fariz Faizal 87’)