Philippine clubs triumph over S.League sides
Tigers striker has another horror show as Kaya put Balestier to the sword
BALESTIER KHALSA 0
KAYA FC 3
(Alfred Osei 15, Kenshiro Daniels 25, Louis Clark 73)
He was their top scorer last year, banging in 23 goals in all competitions.
But Balestier Khalsa striker Miroslav Kristic is quickly becoming the villain in the Tigers' torrid start to the season.
Balestier's 3-0 defeat by Philippine side Kaya FC in their AFC Cup Group F match last night means the Croatian forward has now gone 877 minutes without scoring, with the team also still winless in the S.League this season.
Worse, he has contrived to miss two penalties in that time - with the latest blunder coming last night.
With the Tigers 2-0 down, Kristic earned a penalty after buckling in the Kaya box in the 64th minute.
He dusted himself off to take the spot-kick, but could only watch in horror as Kaya's Australian goalkeeper Matt Acton parried the ball behind for a corner.
Kristic also nearly got himself sent off moments later when he idiotically shoved Miguel Tanton in the face in full view of the referee.
He escaped with a yellow card, but Kaya would soon compound his and Balestier's miserable night when Louis Clark slotted home the third goal in the 73rd minute.
Said Balestier coach Marko Kraljevic: "The missed penalty was the end of our story.
"When we missed, I could see all our players' heads go down."
When asked if his under-fire forward has the mental strength to bounce back, Kraljevic said: "I'm not sure, we must ask him.
"But today, he really wanted to turn his luck around.
"It will be tough for Miro - he has zero goals and has missed two penalties - but he has to be mentally strong and come back from this."
In addition to his penalty miss, Kristic also had arguably Balestier's best chance of the evening when he was faced with just Acton to beat barely 10 minutes into the game.
But the forward saw his low shot saved by Acton's legs.
Minutes later, Kaya took the lead through Ghanaian midfielder Alfred Osei's header off a corner.
Kenshiro Daniels doubled the visitors' advantage when he broke through the home defence and finished coolly 10 minutes later.
After Kristic's penalty miss, Kaya's English import Clark made sure of the win.
Kaya were good value for their win, with their speedy attacks cutting through the Balestier defence like a hot knife through butter.
STAGS LOSE TOO
Said Kaya coach Joel Villarino: "Our sacrifices paid off. Our attack and defence played really well, and we made use of our speed and stamina, creating a numerical advantage in many (situations)."
Meanwhile, in a Group E encounter, Ceres la Salle made it a night to remember for Philippine club football when they defeated another Singapore side, Tampines Rovers, 2-1 in Bacolod City.
With one eye on his side's top-of-the-table S.League clash with leaders Albirex Niigata on Saturday, Tampines coach V Sundramoorthy left stars Jermaine Pennant, Shahdan Sulaiman, Jordan Webb and Billy Mehmet on the bench.
The move backfired when Ceres stormed to a 2-0 lead in the first half, albeit through penalties by Bienvenido Maranon (21st minute) and Adrian Gallardo (36th).
Mehmet, who came on as substitute with Webb at half-time, pulled a goal back in the 64th minute, but it was too little, too late for the Stags.
- BALESTIER: Zaiful Nizam, Fadli Kamis, Sheikh Abdul Hadi, Hanafi Salleh, Ahmad Syahir, Gary Loo (Jamil Ali 46), Emir Lotinac, Fazli Ayob, Miroslav Kristic, Syafiq Zainal (Fadhil Noh 58), Zulkiffli Hassim (Hazzuwan Halim 74)
- KAYA FC: Matt Acton, Junior Munoz, Alex Borromeo, Masanari Omura, Shirmar Felongco, Miguel Tanton, Alfred Osei (Louis Clark 56), O J Poteria, Antonio Ugarte, Jovin Bedic (Sean Kane 86), Kenshiro Daniels