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Marko Kraljević: “Singapore can reach the semi-finals of the AFF Suzuki Cup” – football news

He led Balestier Khalsa to a sixth place finish in the league, while securing the third spot in the Singapore Cup earned The Tigers $25,000 in the process. These achievements aren’t in itself bad considering how Balestier’s budget is that of much lesser compared to other clubs in the Singapore Premier League.

Goal Singapore sat down with Balestier’s head coach Marko Kraljević to get his reflections on Balestier’s season, and his prediction on how Singapore will fare in the upcoming AFF Suzuki Cup.

1) What are your overall reflections on your team’s performance this season?

At the start of the season we were in the top three. But problems started to seep in after a few of our players started to get injured and we didn’t have the squad depth to maintain our performance.

That caused every department of our team to struggle and we failed to score goals because our key players got injured. Those who came off the bench did not have the desired impact because the gap of abilities was too far.

But at the end of the day we finished sixth and I am happy.

2) How frustrating was the semi-final of the Singapore Cup for you. Your team played so well against Brunei DPPM but unfortunately defensive frailties reared its ugly head again. What are your thoughts on this?

In the first leg of that tie I thought we played very well till we conceded a harsh penalty. Still we had a few chances to score and then we conceded the second goal.

But coming back to Singapore, the boys put on an excellent show. We went 2-0 up in the first half then again with ten minutes to go we conceded.

Again I felt the injuries to key players played a part in defeat. We didn’t have the depth to push on harder in the second half. We did not have the game-changers that I would have like.

3) Huzaifah Aziz has been called up to the national team. Do you think it was deserved?

Last year Huzaifah was nowhere. We took him for trials and we didn’t sign him immediately because he did not play much with Hougang (United).

But this is a player that has improved so much and has become an excellent midfield player. He can hold the ball; pass the ball and works so hard. He is combative and has character and I am not surprised that he has been called-up.

Even in the SOS (Sultan of Selangor Cup) game in Shah Alam, he was one of the best players and was superb in the midfield of that team. I sincerely do hope that he will be selected for the AFF Suzuki Cup squad.

4) Coach, for the AFF Suzuki Cup, what do you think Fandi Ahmad and his team will need to do if they are to have a deep run in the competition?

Every game in this tournament will be tough because most of the other Asean countries have closed the gap. But we have to understand that the gap is not that big between Singapore and them.

Even the last Suzuki Cup, if you look at the results, most of the defeats Singapore suffered were all by narrow margins. Also, the format for this year’s competition is good for the fans.

For me if Singapore wants to experience a deep run in the competition or to even win it, the first game against Indonesia at home will be very important. If Singapore does manage to win their first game at home, the chances for them to progress will be great.

Even a draw will be insufficient because Singapore is playing at home and will need to get the fans on board. Going to Thailand and Philippines away will be very tough. Two home games the Lions must win. One draw away will be enough to see them through to the next round. Seven points can take them to the second round.

5)Lastly coach what is your prediction for Singapore. How far will they reach in the AFF Suzuki Cup?

I am confident that a semi-final place isn’t beyond them.

 

 

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Brunei DPMM dodge Balestier bullet to seal Singapore Cup final spot – football news

It’s official. The final of the Singapore Cup will see two foreign teams compete for the trophy but it could have all been so different had Brunei DPMM FC not regain their composure after throwing away their two goal advantage from the first leg.

It must be said that The Wasps started the match poorly and it was absolutely normal for Coach Rene Weber to be absolutely livid with his players. They simply looked disjointed in the first half as Balestier enjoyed the lion’s share of possession.

Marko Kraljević’s charges bossed the first half as they kept on creating chance after chance. Their efforts finally paid off as they earned a penalty due to clumsy defending by their opponents. Up stepped The Tigers’ star man Hazzuwan Halim and the midfield maestro made no mistake from the spot kick as he coolly dispatched the ball.

Balestier kept up their attacking forays and three minutes before the first half ended, Huzaifah Aziz popped up with the second goal to ensure, the Bruneians’ two-goal advantage was lost. But then again football is a game of two halves and while Balestier entered half-time on top, they would soon find themselves at the bottom.

Conversely, whatever coach Weber said to his players during the break must’ve worked because his team were worlds apart from their torrid display in the first half. The Bruneians looked like a different outfit in the second half as they began to assert their authority on the game.

DPMM’s pressure would finally break Balestier’s backline in the 79th minute with Shahrazen Said stabbing the ball in after Brian McLean’s header came off the crossbar. And when Balestier’s defenders failed to deal with a high ball barely three minutes later, DPMM’s Volodymyr Priyomov had the easiest of tasks shooting into the empty net to restore his side’s two goal cushion.

DPMM will take on Singapore Premier League champions Albirex Niigata in the cup final on Saturday after Albirex dispatched Home United to win the other semi-final tie 4-2 on aggregate, while Balestier will take on Home in the third/fourth placing match earlier on the same day.

 

 

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Kcdtran

Quality is Amazing

Just subscribed and tried, I gotta say the streaming quality is amazing! Very clear and no delay at all. I watched Man United match last Sunday, fatanstic video quality and I really enjoyed with my friend, great work and keep it up!

David

Plenty of stuff

Many thanks! Plenty of stuff.

Cialis

I love the app

I love the app interface so simple and straight forward to use. The content is High Definition and finally the services are affordable.

Kelvin m.

Incredible

Incredible good service

Diego Salomon

Quality was excellent

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