Balestier Second Team To Crash Out Of Singapore Cup At Hands Of Cambodian Opposition



Aaron Chan
Writer / Editor
The Unofficial S.League Podcast

Christina Seah-Rodrigues
Photographer
The Unofficial S.League Podcast


1 June 2016: -Nagaworld FC became the second Cambodian club to skip past Singapore opposition in the RHB Singapore Cup, edging past Balestier Khalsa with a 4-3 scoreline at the Toa Payoh Stadium earlier this evening.

It was Balestier Khalsa who created the first chance when Jonathan Tan floated a free kick into the 6-yard box in the 2nd minute but Sheikh Abdul Hadi could not get a clean strike on the ball, booting it wide.

Soung Virak then fired off a cracking shot in the 8th minute, forcing Balestier custodian Zaiful Nizam into making a good save.

Virak was in the thick of the action once again just four minutes later when he latched on to Sheikh's half-cleared effort to strike the ball past Zaiful only to be denied by the upright.

Nagaworld’s Ugandan striker Athuheire Kipson then opened the scoring in the 13th minute, pouncing on a loose ball to scramble it home past Zaiful.

George Kelechi extended Nagaworld’s lead nine minutes later when he rose above Ashrul Syafeeq to send a looping head off Leng Makara’s cross above Zaiful and into the bottom right corner.

Hazzuwan Halim proved to be a handful for the Cambodians and the nippy midfielder pulled one back for Balestier moments later, tucking it under Samreth Seiha to cap off a fantastic quick counter-attack by the Tigers.

Raihan Rahman’s deep free-kick in the 29th minute caused some problems for Nagaworld and midfielder Kyaw Zayar Win was let down by a moment of hesitation as the ball was scrambled away amidst a sea of purple shirts before the Myanmar International could take advantage.

Nagaworld nicked another goal just before the break when Kelechi played a magnificent cross to Kipson, who headed it back across goal towards the encroaching Sos Suhana, and there was no way the 25-year-old would make any mistake from 5 yards out.

Hazzuwan's industry paid off in the 54th minute when a Nagaworld defender handled his shot and Raihan bulged the roof of the net with a well-taken penalty.

Nagaworld were not content to sit back and defend the one goal advantage and Kelechi displayed a bit of flair in the 58th minute, firing home a beautiful volley past Zaiful to make it 4-2.

Hazzuwan then reduced the deficit once again in the 67th with arguably the goal of the match, leaving Seiha stranded by whipping a brilliant shot into the top corner.

The latter part of the match must have been frustrating for Balestier fans as they witnessed the Tigers launching a barrage of attacks but they just could not get past a stubborn Nagaworld defence.

Nagaworld Head Coach Meas Channa was in a joyous mood when he spoke to the press after the game. “We arrived three days earlier and got to train a bit before the match. This was helpful for the team as they got to adapt to the weather.” said the Cambodian as he beamed from ear to ear.

Despite having crashed out of the preliminary round, Balestier Khalsa Head Coach Marko Kraljevic was happy with the way the Tigers played today. “Before this game, we only scored one goal in each match we played in. Today you could see that we worked really hard and scored three goals.” 

"They had two big strikers and they were not easy to mark. We just suffered from lapses of concentration and failed to go for every second ball. But having said that, I am still happy with how we fought even after we went behind. We kept our shape and didn’t give up.” he added.

The win sees the Cambodians advancing into the quarter-finals of the Cup alongside Boeung Ket FC, who defeated Warriors FC earlier this week. 



Full-Time at Toa Payoh Stadium - RHB Singapore Cup (1 June 2017):

Balestier Khalsa FC - 3
Nagaworld FC - 4

Scorers:

Balestier Khalsa FC - Hazzuwan Halim 24', 67', Raihan Rahman 55' (p)
Nagaworld FC - Atuheire Kipson 13',  George Kelechi 22', 58', Sos Suhana 41'

Balestier Khalsa FC: Zaiful Nizam (GK & C), Fadli Kamis, Ashrul Syafeeq, Aung Kyaw Naing, Raihan Rahman, Kyaw Zayar Win (Tajeli Selamat 76'), Huzaifah Aziz, Sheikh Abdul Hadi, Ahmad Syahir, Jonathan Tan (Nanda Linn Kyaw Chit 56'),

Nagaworld FC: Samreth Seiha (GK), Nhim Sovannara, Kouck Sokumpheak (C), Soung Virak (Khim Borey 73'), Sos Suhana (Prak Chanratana 90'), Atuheire Kipson, Chheng Meng, Kento Fujihara, Leng Makara, George Kelechi, Kouch Dani (Ngoy Srin 90+3')



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