Balestier boosted by set-pieces
YOUNG LIONS 1
(Adam Swandi 85 pen)
BALESTIER KHALSA 3
(Niko Tokic 8, Miroslav Kristic 18, Fadli Kamis 25)
It has been five weeks since the Garena Young Lions played competitive football.
And that inactivity showed yesterday when they suffered a 3-1 defeat by Balestier Khalsa in an S.League match at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
The Tigers, on the other hand, had worked on set-pieces during training and were able to claim two goals from it last night.
"With the kind of players that I have, the set-pieces seem to be working well," said Marko Kraljevic, coach of Balestier Khalsa.
"We have scored many goals and I think that it is actually one of the traits of the team.
"I was really looking forward to keeping a clean sheet tonight but we're just unlucky to have conceded the penalty."
The Young Lions started promisingly as Christopher van Huizen's seventh-minute through-ball found Fareez Farhan, but was eventually stopped by Balestier's goalkeeper Zaiful Nizam. Responding immediately, Niko Tokic scored the opening goal when his header connected with Fadhil Noh's cross.
They extended their lead 10 minutes later from a set-piece which saw Miroslav Kristic find the net.
Fadhil earned yet another assist when his well-taken cross found Fadli Kamis in the 25th minute to give Balestier a 3-0 half-time lead.
Adam Swandi grabbed a consolation goal via a penalty for the Young Lions five minutes from time when Joshua Pereira was brought down in the box.
Young Lions coach Patrick Hesse was disappointed with his team's performance.
"Never in my worst dreams would I have ever imagined them playing so poorly," said the Frenchman after the game.
"I have already warned the players about how dangerous the set-pieces are and two goals from two set-pieces is just unacceptable.
"They are young players but they must learn quickly, I cannot be happy with how they performed today."
GARENA YOUNG LIONS:
Zharfan Rohaizad, Amirul Adli, Shannon Stephen, Dhukhilan Jeevamani, Rusyaidi Salime, Joshua Pereira, Fareez Farhan (Gareth Low 76), Christopher van Huizen (Ryan Syaffiq 71), Jonathan Tan, Hami Syahin (Shafeeq Faruk 52), Adam Swandi
Zaiful Nizam, Fadli Kamis, Hanafi Salleh, Sheikh Abdul Hadi, Ahmad Syahir, Ho Wai Loon (Hazzuwan Halim 83), Shah Hirul, Fazli Ayob, Niko Tokic, Miroslav Kristic (Jamil Ali 71), Fadhil Noh (Smajovic Sadin 62)