Forward Yoshikatsu Hiraga’s injury time winner was the decisive factor in awarding the White Swan’s their first victory of the season. The sense of delirium and relief was felt by the whole team and their supporters at the final whistle.
Deep into injury time, a long ball was played towards the Balestier’s goal which smacked of desperation as the White Swans chased for all 3 points. The Tiger’s centre back, Nurullah Hussein, seemed to have it covered. However, he hesitated to play a back pass to GK Zaiful Nizam or to clear it away with Hiraga lurking. Eventually he played a half hearted pass to Zaiful and Hiraga pounced. Hiraga got to the ball before Zaiful. The ball seems to take forever to trickle over the line, but when it did, the home stand exploded with cheers.
On the other hand, to add insult to injury, Zaiful suffered a suspected torn achilles tendon and have to be sent to Raffles Hospital for further treatment. It is hoped that the injury would not be a serious one as Zaiful is a key player in the Tiger’s den.
The Tigers took an early lead in the 4th minute through a well taken free kick by forward Huzaifah Aziz. They were content to sit back after the lead and hit the White Swans with counter attacks. GK Kengo Fukudome and his defence had to be alert to thwart their dangerous forays.
The White Swans came out more aggressive in the second half as they knew they had to score at least a goal to maintain their unbeaten record in Jurong East Stadium which had lasted for more than 3 years. However, they have not scored a goal in 4 official games and for more than 80 minutes, the fans thought that defeat was on the cards.
Left back Shoki Ohara had other ideas instead. From a corner, he rose highest to meet the ball and directed his header to the far corner leaving Zaiful no chance. This is the first goal for the White Swans in all official matches for this season.
The White Swans sensing blood, kept on pressing the Tiger back for a winner. At injury time, Hiraga delivered the dramatic winner.
With the win, Head Coach Shigetomi praises the team for their never-say-die attitude and hopes that the team will kick on from here for the season.
■Date & Time
Saturday 6th April 2019, 5:30pm Kick Off
Balestier Khalsa FC
Jurong East Stadium
Albirex Niigata FC (S)：2
Balestier Khalsa FC：1
85’ Shoki Ohara
90’+4′ Yoshikatsu Hiraga
46’ Zamani → Daichi Tanabe
61’ Daniel → Yoshikatsu Hiraga
【SPL 5th Leg】
vs Warriors FC
@Jurong East Stadium
Saturday 13th April 2019, 17:30 Kick Off!
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