Warriors down Balestier
|WARRIORS FC||BALESTIER KHALSA|
|(Joel Tshibamba 9)|
Warriors FC snapped a three-game winless run by beating Balestier Khalsa 1-0 at the Jalan Besar Stadium last night.
But their players left the pitch feeling far from satisfied, considering that they had enjoyed numerical superiority for much of the game.
Balestier, who had two men sent off, played more than half the game with only 10 players, and the final 30 minutes with just nine, but the Warriors could not capitalise on that.
Ironically, Joel Tshibamba scored the winning goal for the nine-time S.League champions by heading home Jordan Webb's cross in the ninth minute, when Balestier had all 11 players on the pitch.
The Warriors were handed a boost when Balestier defender Sheikh Abdul Hadi was sent off in the 39th minute for throwing a punch at Firdaus Kasman.
And, just before the hour mark, Huzaifah Aziz joined Hadi for an early shower when he picked up a second booking.
But, even with two extra men on the pitch, Warriors looked bereft of ideas and lacked decisiveness in the attacking third.
Fadhil Noh, Shahril Ishak, Poh Yi Feng, Webb and Tshibamba all missed chances, with the match-winner even comically falling over in the 66th minute as he bore down on goal with just Balestier goalkeeper Zaiful Nizam to beat.
The Warriors' best opportunity of scoring a second goal fell to Baihakki Khaizan, whose 77th-minute header was clawed behind by Zaiful.
Warriors coach Razif Onn said: "I'm happy with three points, but we had so many chances. Why couldn't we finish them?
"We were holding the ball too long... And when the crosses came in, our players did not anticipate them.
"But I don't want to criticise my team. Whatever it is, they still gave me the three points.
"That's the important thing."
Balestier coach Marko Kraljevic praised his team for their work ethic after the two red cards, but was unhappy with the way they conceded the goal.
He said: "What is Warriors' main threat? Stop Jordan from crossing and get tight on striker (Tshibamba)... It's not rocket science.
"But we didn't do either, even though we worked on it in training. So we have only ourselves to blame."
- Geylang Int’l v Hougang United (7.30pm, Jalan Besar Stadium)
- Tampines Rovers v Albirex Niigata (7.30pm, Jurong West Stadium)
- Young Lions v Home United (7:30pm, Jalan Besar Stadium)