S.League: Tigers on the march

S.League: Tigers on the march
TIGERS STRIKE: Balestier’s Kim Min Ho (above, in white) has his effort saved by Tanjong Pagar goalkeeper Aurelien Herisson.

TANJONG PAGAR 0

BALESTIER KHALSA 3

(Kim Min Ho 6, Goran Ljubojevic 30, Park Kang Jin 57)

It looks as if Balestier Khalsa have finally turned their season around.

Buoyed by their slick win over high-flying Warriors FC in last week's preliminary round of the RHB Singapore Cup, the Tigers mauled Tanjong Pagar United 3-0 in a Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League clash at Queenstown Stadium last night.

Tigers' coach Marko Kraljevic has consistently talked about his South Korean star Park Kang Jin over the last few months.

Balestier suffered when the forward had a lengthy spell out with an injury, and the Croat always said the team's fortunes would turn around when he returned.

Park came on as a substitute in the Warriors' Cup tie, and played his first full game last night.

This time, though, Kraljevic didn't want to talk about his star man.

"I won't talk about Park (Kang Jin) any more, but our defence was great," he said, after the game.

"We looked and played like a real team, our defenders did well to cut off their attacks, and our communication was great.

"When you beat teams like the Warriors, you gain a lot of confidence. You think you can beat anyone, you express yourself on the pitch better and you're not scared to fight for the ball."

REWARD

The visitors deserved victory, attacking the Jaguars right from the first whistle.

They got their reward after just six minutes, when South Korean duo Kim Min Ho and Park combined to unlock the hosts' defence before Kim rifled home his seventh goal of the season.

Balestier continued to pile on the pressure and at the half-hour mark, a Syed Thaha corner was forced in by a waiting Goran Ljubojevic for his 11th goal of the campaign.

The Jaguars came out fighting after the break, but they lacked the cutting edge to finish any of their moves.

The visitors looked comfortable, and even with their foot off the pedal, they found a third goal.

Park was allowed to run through the heart of the Jaguars' engine room unchallenged and he made them pay with a thumping strike in the 57th minute from just outside the box.

Not surprisingly, Tanjong Pagar coach Patrick Vallee was not a happy man at the post-match conference.

Said the Frenchman: "Tonight, we got what we deserved, and we got zero points. That's enough.

"It's not that the style of Balestier beat us tonight, but Tanjong Pagar didn't play at all."

TONIGHT'S GAMES

Albirex Niigata v Hougang United (7.30pm, Jurong East Stadium)

Harimau Muda B v Warriors (8.45pm, Pasir Gudang Stadium)

redzwank@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on June 05, 2014.
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