On a six game winless streak and with four games remaining, there’s a distinct possibility that Hougang United might end the season in the same way that they started it – with an unwanted ten games winless run. The Cheetahs will have an opportunity to eliminate that potential when they play their next match on Sunday evening but it will be a difficult challenge as their opponents is none other than Balestier Khalsa.
The two sides have already met three times this season and in each of those three games, the victors have been the same – Balestier Khalsa. The aggregate scoreline for those three games? 7:4. The only other team that have enjoyed a perfect record against Hougang United this year was Tampines Rovers. The Tigers though could better the Stags’ trifecta with an imposing quadrella.
With 45 goals in 30 games in local competition, Balestier Khalsa boasts a scoring rate only less than title rivals Brunei DPMM. Six points separate the two teams with three games to play but one of those will be a meeting with each other in their final match of the season. With Brunei DPMM dropping points to Tampines Rovers in their previous game, the Tigers would have rued blowing their chance at closing the gap when they lost 2:0 to Home United. Before that game, Balestier Khalsa was on a good run with four clean sheets in a row. They had lost only once in their last 14 league games. Now it’s twice in their last 15.
Their top scorer, Miroslav Kristic, has 14 goals in the league and is still in the running for the Golden Boot. He sits third in the table, four goals behind both Fazrul Nawaz and Rafael Ramazotti. With Tampines Rovers and Brunei DPMM their other two remaining opponents, Kristic could be forgiven for viewing the game against Hougang United as his best chance of catching up with Ramazotti and Fazrul.
Robert Pericic is Balestier Khalsa’s second top scorer with 9 goals in the league. He has been on a good scoring form with three of those goals arriving in their last four games. Neither Kristic nor Pericic played against the Cheetahs the last time around with the former suspended and the latter injured. They still won that game with goals from three different players – Ignatius Ang, Tarik Cmajcanin and Jonathan Xu.
It makes for a contrast to Hougang United’s current goalscoring woes. They have scored only one goal in their last three matches and only two players have scored goals in their last seven matches – Vuk Sotirovic and Nurhilmi Jasni. At the same time, they’ve conceded nine goals in the same seven games. And those are the seven games they’ve played since their last encounter with Balestier Khalsa.
Hougang United F.C. vs Balestier Khalsa F.C.
2015 Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League
1st November 2015, Sunday
7:30 pm, Hougang Stadium