Eyes of the tigers

Eyes of the tigers
IN FORM: Miroslav Kristic has been in scoring form for Balestier Khalsa with 10 goals in all competitions this season.
PHOTO: The New Paper

The hot and humid weather in Singapore has been Miroslav Kristic's biggest bugbear since he moved from Croatia's NK Imotski to Balestier Khalsa.

It hasn't affected the striker's form on the pitch, though.

The 25-year-old has been in red-hot form, and a menace to opposing defenders, with 10 goals to his name in all competitions already this season.

One of his strikes helped sink Hougang United 1-0 in a Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League clash earlier this year, and it is one of the reasons Kristic and the rest of the team are confident going into tonight's meeting between the two sides in The New Paper League Cup semi-final at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

Said Kristic yesterday: "The reason I have been scoring regularly is because my teammates have been helping me a lot to adapt, on and off the pitch.

"The fact that coach Marko (Kraljevic) and the other foreign players (Emir Lotinac, Igor Cerina, Robert Pericic and Tarik Cmajcanin) are all from the same region in Europe has been a big help, as well.

"But you cannot compare the previous match (where Balestier won 1-0) and the upcoming match because Hougang have had so many changes in players since then."

Balestier are on a high, after thrashing S.League champions Warriors FC 4-0 and battling star-studded Tampines Rovers to a 2-2 draw in the competition's group stages, to reach the last four.

At the half-way mark of the S.League, the Tigers are fourth in the 10-team standings, while the Cheetahs are ninth.

But Hougang have picked up form in the TNP League Cup after making changes to their playing roster during the mid-season transfer window.

Lotinac and Cmajcanin are from Serbia, while Kristic, Cerina and Pericic are from Croatia.

Kraljevic was born in Germany, but is of Croatian heritage.

The coach, a 49-year-old former midfielder in the S.League, echoed his striker's thoughts on Hougang, and added: "That previous match is history and we focus on the present.

We have done well in the group stages but it doesn't mean anything - one bad day and you're out.

"We must be consistent to the end."

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