Balestier end winless run with 2-0 victory over DPMM


Balestier Khalsa ended an eight-game winless streak in all competitions after edging Brunei DPMM 2-0 at Toa Payoh Stadium on Wednesday evening. 

The tight affair was settled after two goals in the second half by Niko Tokic and Miroslav Kristic to ensure the Tigers would end an otherwise disappointing campaign on a high.

The result of this match was already inconsequential as both teams’ position in the league were already determined, with DPMM finishing in third while Balestier took eighth.

However, both teams still gave it a real go and Paulo Sergio could have scored the opener only for his shot to curl just wide after five minutes of play.

His strike partner Rafael Ramazotti was presented with another good opportunity just a minute later but he blazed over instead.


Tokic found a way through to give Balestier the lead

DPMM were given a scare of their own on the half-hour mark, after Hazzuwan Halim had released Tokic. But the striker failed to make his chance count after rounding goalkeeper Wardun Yussof and instead saw his shot cleared to safety by a defender.

The next chance of the half came in the 36th minute, after Azwan Ali had chested down the ball for Ramazotti but from outside the box the latter lashed over.

Balestier finally broke the deadlock after the break, as Hazzuwan embarked on a mazy run into the box before squaring the ball for Tokic to stab home in the 67th minute.

Substitute Miroslav Kristic came close next with a curling effort before Zaiful Nizam had to be called upon to hold firm Sergio’s 35-yard free-kick.

Overall this season I would give ourselves a rating of six out of ten

- Balestier Khalsa Marko Kraljevic

The Tigers finally sealed the game in the dying minutes of the game, after a quick counter allowed Kristic to face Wardun alone and slot the ball in.

Balestier coach Marko Kraljevic praised his side after they finally eked out a winner, as he reflected on ‘decent season with lots of players out’.

“Overall this season I would give ourselves a rating of six out of ten,” Kraljevic added. “We could have done better but it was hard with injuries, especially to our foreign players.

“If we had all our foreign players this season, I am confident we would have been top four.

“But it was a good win, the boys worked hard and it was good to end the season on a high.”

For DPMM, the loss meant that their run of seven games without defeat ended in a disappointing fashion to the second-from-bottom side.

“It is always disappointing to lose but the boys played well all season and secured third place,” Kean shared.

“Maybe they were (unmotivated), because if we had lost we are still third, and if we had won it still have been third but it’s still disappointing to lose.”

Photos: S.League