Newly Promoted Balestier United Stun Singapore Cricket Club On Opening Day

Aaron Chan
Writer / Editor
The Unofficial S.League Podcast

Christina Seah-Rodrigues
The Unofficial S.League Podcast

While they have just gained promotion from the Island-Wide League (IWL), Balestier United Recreation Club proved to be the proverbial opening day banana skin for Singapore Cricket Club as the Cricketers suffered a 3-0 drubbing on their National Football League (NFL) opening day last evening. Masrezwan Masturi and Zamri Kamal both got on the scoresheet after SCC captain Jonathan Huang headed the ball into his own net in the 20th minute.

The Cricketers only had themselves to blame for their profligacy when they surged forward on several occasions throughout the game only to be let down by poor finishing with Justin Kong, Chang Guo Guang and M. Arvin all ruing their chances and failing to test Daniel Ong in Balestier's goal. 

The way Masrezwan took his goal for Balestier in the 30th minute was a testament of his years of experience of playing in the S.League and the former Singapore international was cool as a cucumber as he slotted the ball home after being put through with a brilliant through pass by Zamri Kamal.

Zamri, who churned out an impressive seven goals for GFA Sporting Westlake last season, then turned from provider to scorer in the 72nd minute when he made no mistake from 12 yards after Chong Wen-Kang gave away a penalty by hacking down a Balestier player in the box.

SCC looked to be struggling in the final third without their suspended Moroccan forward Hamza Gharfane and Chang cut a frustrated figure upfront which restricted him to shots from distance.

Balestier substitute Ruhaizad Ismail should have made it 4-0 four minutes from time when he launched a speculative lob goal-ward after SCC custodian Daniel Lightfoot came out of his box to clear an awkward backpass from Sim Shun Hai but the ball was too high to cause any real damage.

SCC swept forward just before the final whistle was blown when Chang led a promising drive forward but he chose to shoot while surrounded by three gray shirts instead of threading it to an open K. Saseetharan, and moments later the referee called for time, handing Balestier a dazzling opening day win.

In a match played on the same ground earlier that evening, Tiong Bahru Football Club shook off the off-pitch jackpot allegations surrounding the club with a 3-0 win over Bishan Barx Football Club.

Full-Time at Jalan Besar Stadium: NFL Division One (7 May 2017):

Balestier United Recreation Club -3
Singapore Cricket Club - 0


Balestier United Recreation Club - Jonathan Huang 20' (OG) ,Masrezwan Masturi 30', Zamri Kamal 72' (p)
Singapore Cricket Club - N/A

Consolidated NFL Division 1 Results - Matchweek 1:

Eunos Crescent FC 1-2 GFA Sporting Westlake
SAFSA 5-0 Admiralty FC
Katong FC 1-0 Police SA
Yishun Sentek Mariners FC 6-1 Siglap FC
Tiong Bahru FC 3-0 Bishan Barx FC
Balestier United RC 3-0 Singapore Cricket Club

NFL Division 1 League Table - Matchweek 1:

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