Balestier end campaign with win over Hougang
|HOUGANG UNITED||BALESTIER KHALSA|
|(Hazzuwan Halim 59-pen)|
Balestier Khalsa ended their Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League season with a 1-0 win over Hougang United at Hougang Stadium last night.
Ironically, in a match that saw plenty of goalscoring chances for both sides, it took a spot-kick to settle the issue.
Hougang skipper Nurhilmi Jasni handled the ball in the box in the 59th minute and from the resulting penalty, Balestier striker Hazzuwan Halim scored his fifth league goal of the season to hand his side the three points.
Balestier will finish seventh in the nine-team league unless eighth-placed Brunei DPMM win both their games in hand against Tampines Rovers and Garena Young Lions.
Balestier coach Marko Kraljevic, who celebrated his 52nd birthday on the eve of the match, said: "It was a good (belated) birthday present for me.
"The boys have worked very hard and defended very well, which was enough to win this game.
"For us, it will be good if we finish seventh, because we also conceded less goals this season."
Hazzuwan's goal yesterday saw him end the season as Balestier's outright top scorer in the league.
No wonder he was all smiles when supporters approached him for wefies after the match.
He said: "The team played very well, and it was a good last game to end the season.
"I'm also very happy with the goal I scored. Definitely more to come."
The result also confirmed Hougang's sixth-placed finish for the season, as they trail nearest rivals Warriors FC by four points with one match left.
Hougang coach Philippe Aw said: "It's disappointing that we can't go against Warriors to give them a good game and fight for the fifth spot.
"We knew that today was going to be a tough game because Balestier are difficult to break down, and after we conceded the goal from a penalty, it was an uphill task for us."
Hougang's final game is against the Warriors at Choa Chu Kang Stadium on Nov 17.