Balestier finally win after Young Lions victory

Balestier Khalsa scored two goals in the first half to secure their first win of the season against the Garena Young Lions. 

Balestier Khalsa ended their poor start to the season as they took full advantage of a naive Garena Young Lions defence to earn their first league triumph of the campaign.

It took 11 games but star striker Miroslav Kristic finally ended his goal drought by finding the back of the net in the fourth minute of the match.

On the counter. Ahmad Syahir played a peach of a ball that rolled right in front of Kristic, and left in a one-on-one situation, he slotted past Benjamin Bertrand to open the scoring.

Bertrand was tested 20 minutes later, as another Balestier counter led to Jamil Ali finding Zulkiffli Hassim with a cross but the Balestier winger failed to beat the goalkeeper.

Balestier extended their lead in the 37th minute, with Fadli Kamis putting the ball in after the Young Lions failed to deal with a corner kick.

The Lions could have pulled a goal back before the break but Ammirul’s tame shot was easily dealt with by Zaiful Nizam while Firdaus Kasman missed an open header despite being unmarked.

Khairul Amri made his return from injury and came on for his debut in the 75th minute but he was unable to contribute in any manner.

The Singapore international came close to grabbing a goal just before the game ended but his free-kick was deflected just wide of goal.

Balestier coach Marko Kraljevic was relieved to see his side earn their first league victory of the season.

“It is not easy to play under this kind of pressure and I am happy with the victory we had today. I am pleased for him (Kristic) and hopefully we move uphill from here.” said the 52-year-old.

On the opposite dugout, Frenchman Patrick Hesse lauded his boys and their possession game, even though his team has now suffered defeat to every S.League club.

“I think not all the team are better than our young team. I like it when they keep the ball and switch the ball,” Hesse said.

“The problem is our striking department because we only have one player who has scored five goals and that is why Khairul Amri’s important can be very important.”

Photo: S.League