Written by: Darren Ho
RHB Singapore Cup 2016 (3rd Place Match)
Balestier Khalsa vs Ceres La Salle
(Saturday, 29 October, 5.00pm, Jalan Besar Stadium)
RHB Singapore Cup 2014 champions Balestier Khalsa will be hoping to restore pride when they take on Philippines’ club Ceres La Salle in the third placing match at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Saturday.
The Tigers had earlier ended their eight-game winless run in all competitions with a 2-0 victory against Brunei DPMM in the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League season final match, and beating the Busmen will be the perfect way to end their season.
Marko Kraljevic’s charges will face a Ceres’ squad that are missing three key players due to suspensions. Although the trio, Carlos De Murga, Paul Mulders and Martin Steuble are regulars for the Busmen, Balestier cannot afford to be complacent as the United Football League outfit are keen to pick up the third placing honours.
Ceres’ coach Risto Vidakovic will need to contemplate on the tactical changes he needs to make and map out his team’s winning formula following their recent 1-0 slip to JP Voltes in their domestic league which could have dampened his players’ spirits and preparation efforts for this clash.
Despite their recent setback, Ceres have been on a bountiful scoring spree lately, tallying 28 goals in their last six domestic league matches.
Tiger’s coach Kraljevic is well aware of the scoring threats from Stephan Schrock and Bienvenido Morejon, but he is determined to patch this season up on a winning note.
“We’re upset not to play in the (Singapore Cup) final and now we want to win and finish third with a medal.
“Everyone has to work hard and winning this final game is very important as it is a good build up for next season and it adds confidence to the team,” said Kraljevic.
This contest will also draw attention to both ends of the pitch as Schrock (Ceres) who has bagged six goals, and Niko Tokic (Balestier) with three goals to his name, will go head to head, in not only lifting their side to a silverware but finishing as the competition’s top scorer.
Unfazed by Ceres’ and the current Singapore Cup top scorer, Kraljevic continued,“We have kept a clean sheet in our previous game against DPMM and we defended really well against (S.League top scorer) Rafael Ramazotti. So if we can deal with him (Ramazotti), we can cope with Schrock.”
Suspensions: Nurullah Hussein (Balestier Khalsa); Carlos De Murga, Paul Mulders and Martin Steuble (all Ceres La Salle)