Balestier United RC Maintain Perfect Record In Division One

Photo: FAS National Football League

Muhd Yazid
The Unofficial S.League Podcast

National Football League Division One (14 May 2017) - Balestier United RC claimed a convincing 3-0 victory over Tiong Bahru FC at the Yishun Stadium on Sunday evening to maintain their 100% record in the National Football League Division One.

Ruhaizad Ismail and ex-internationals Masrezwan Masturi and Precious Emuejeraye all had their names on the scoresheet, while Tiong Bahru suffered their first defeat of the season.

It however started out to be a pretty evenly-matched affair, as both Balestier and Tiong Bahru went into the game after 3-0 wins over Singapore Cricket Club and Bishan Barx FC respectively in matchday one.

Tiong Bahru came the closest to opening the accounts in the early stages of the game, with Hafsyar Farkhan forcing custodian Daniel Ong to a low save.

Balestier on the other hand were focused on letting possession do the work as precise passes throughout the pitch presented them with the confidence to surge forward. They almost found the back of the net soon after when Ruhaizad was unfortunate to see his lobbed finish cleared off the line by Tiong Bahru skipper Tan Yong Geng.

The former Gombak United and Balestier Khalsa star eventually found the back of the net in the 31st minute. From 30-yards out, Ruhaizad audaciously stepped up to take a free-kick which dipped over the wall and beautifully sailed its way into the bottom corner of the net.

That goal seemed to have set the momentum for the men in white, as they embarked on a second and duly doubled their lead just five minutes later after former international Masrezwan timed his run perfectly to beat the offside trap before clinically toe-poking the ball past a hapless Khairul Syahmi.

With two goals to catch up with, it was high time Tiong Bahru started having their say in the game, as they tried to grab one goal back before half-time. However, things did not pen out the way they wanted as Hafsyar’s finesse shot after beating a defender was too easy for Ong late in the first half.

Tiong Bahru started the second half the same way they ended the first, but with more hunger and aggression. The introduction of former Warriors FC winger Matthew Abraham gave some hope for Tiong Bahru, but they just could not break through the rock-solid Balestier defence commanded by Emuejeraye.

Balestier almost diminished their opponents’ chances of getting back into the game half-way through the second half when Zamri Kamal rose the highest to meet a delicious cross from the right, only to see his thunderous header ricochet off the crossbar before Fareez Nazari’s half-volley off a corner-kick flew inches over the goal.

Tiong Bahru attempted to snatch a late consolation but Ong had other plans as he comfortably denied R Pradeep’s low finish.

Balestier were not content with the two goals and capped off their win with a third goal deep into injury time through Emuejeraye, who headed Syafiq Zanial’s free-kick over the goal-line.

The referee blew his final whistle soon after to assure Balestier of their second win out of as many games.

Full-Time at Yishun Stadium - NFL Division 1 (14 May 2017):

Balestier United RC - 3
Tiong Bahru FC - 0


Balestier United RC - Ruhaizad Ismail 31', Masrezwan Masturi 36', Precious Emuejeraye 90'
Tiong Bahru FC - N/A

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