S.League Team of the Week

Balestier Khalsa got back to winning ways in the Great Eastern-YEO's S.League on Friday after recording a 2-0 win over Courts Young Lions at the Toa Payoh Stadium.

Kim gets the plaudits after opening the scoring.

By Gabriel Tan

Goals from Kim Min-ho and Patrick Paranjody were enough to ensure the Tigers bounced back from last week's 0-0 draw with Geylang United in the best way possible, but it was their solidarity at the back again that saw them pick up all three points.

Harimau Muda picked up their fine run of form on Saturday with a 4-1 triumph over SAFFC, while bottom side Woodlands Wellington showed plenty of resolve in their 2-2 draw at Hougang United.

Defending champions Tampines Rovers gave their prospects of retaining the title a real boost by beating Home United 2-0 at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Thursday, while Geylang United and Tanjong Pagar United played out a 0-0 draw.

Friday's other game saw Gombak United hold title hopefuls DPMM FC to a 1-1 draw at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

Here, ESPNSTAR.com picks our best eleven players from the latest round of S.League action.

GK: Lionel Lewis (Home United)

For the second week running, the ex-Singapore international gets the nod in our Team of the Week, despite being on the losing end on Thursday against the Stags.

Lewis may have been culpable for the second goal Home conceded, when he misjudged an Imran Sahib cross and allowed Aleksandar Duric to play the ball back across the face of goal for Sead Hadzibulic to prod home into an unguarded net.

However, had it not been for the experienced custodian, the Protectors could have found themselves on the receiving end of a real trashing, after he denied Tampines on several occasions in the second half.

Lewis did extremely well to keep out stinging drives from Duric and Mustafic Fahrudin shortly after the break, although his best save arguably came just before the hour mark when he kept out Benoit Croissant's bullet header from point-blank range.

RB: Mahalli Jasuli (Harimau Muda)

Despite being a Malaysia international, Mahalli hasn't exactly taken the S.League by storm this year and has been overshadowed by some of his less-illustrious team-mates.

Still, the right-back has managed to maintain a good level of consistency for Ong Kim Swee's side and was as steady as ever on Saturday against the Warriors.

Mahalli was never afraid to help his centre-backs out when they were on the back foot, but equally eager to push forward to support the attack and gave SAFFC real problems down the right wing all game long.

CB: Goran Subara (Balestier Khalsa)

The Tigers centre-back partnership of Paul Cunningham and Subara is regarded by many as the best in the league, and they certainly showed why on Friday as they dominated the Young Lions' attack in a 2-0 win for Darren Stewart's side.

With goalkeeper Joey Sim looking slightly nervous when handling high balls, Subara's towering presence was extremely important and the Australian even managed to contribute up the other end, steering the ball into the path of Kim to net with a stooping header.

CB: Obadin Aikhena (Gombak United)


DPMM were unbeatable at home in the first half of the season but on Friday, Gombak became only the third team this term to come away from Brunei with something to show for their efforts after forcing a draw.

Bulls captain Aikhena played a vital role as he marshalled his defence with authority, leaving DPMM strikers Patrick da Silva and Shahrazen Said with little room to work with, even though the latter managed to get on the scoresheet.

And with his side a goal down and having wasted an excellent chance to equalise when Mustaqim Manzur's penalty was saved by Wardun Yussof, the Nigerian showed tremendous poise to step up and fire home a second spot-kick Gombak were awarded ten minutes from time.

LB: Fazly Hasan (Hougang United)

Despite not being in Cheetahs coach Nenad Bacina's starting XI at the start of the season, Fazly has done extremely well to force his way into the first-team reckoning, and is now one of the first names in the line-up.

Given Hougang's wealth of attacking talent, his no-nonsense approach at the back allows his team-mates to push forward safe in the knowledge that should they lose the ball, there is someone at the back ready to deal with any counterattacks their opponents may muster.

Against Woodlands on Saturday, Fazly was extremely sharp in the tackle and also showed good reading of the game with a number of timely interceptions.

RM: Goh Swee Swee (Woodlands Wellington)

One player that engaged Fazly in an intriguing duel all evening long at the Hougang Stadium was Goh, who put in a spirited performance that epitomised Woodlands' display on Saturday.

The right winger never stopped running in a bid to find a way in behind the Cheetahs backline and also tested Fadhil Salim with a couple of long-range efforts.

And it was Goh who gave his side a lifeline in the 35th minute when his 20-yard freekick found its way into the back of the net, setting the stage for Daniel Hammond to rescue a point with his second-half equaliser.

CM: Mustafic Fahrudin (Tampines Rovers)


Tampines' triumph over the Protectors was largely based on a dominant display in the middle of the park, with Gligor Gligorov and Ahmad Latiff providing them with a real spark in the engine room.

However, neither of them could match the influence Mustafic had as he broke down everything Home tried to create, forcing Lee Lim-saeng's side to resort to long-ball tactics which failed miserably.

The 31-year-old also did well to retain possession for his team with short, simple passes and was never afraid to test Lewis with his long-range strikes.

CM: Ivan Jerkovic (DPMM FC)

Despite his side being held to a 1-1 draw on Friday evening, Jerkovic was a real standout for DPMM and was unlucky to have not been on the winning side.

The ex-SAFFC man was at the heart of everything good Vjeran Simunic's men created and cause plenty of havoc in the opposition area with his creative deliveries, which his strikers were unable to make better use of.

LM: Michael King (Geylang United)

King was the one bright spark in an otherwise dour encounter at the Bedok Stadium on Thursday as he looked the only player interested in doing any sort of attacking.

With Geylang missing Stefan Milojevic, the Englishman took it upon himself to carve open the Jaguars defence, and did so on a number of occasions with his mazy dribbling, although he failed to get into any real goalscoring positions that could have seen him grab a winner for the Eagles.

ST: Aleksandar Duric (Tampines Rovers)

One week after being deployed by coach Tay Peng Kee in an attacking-midfield role and having one of the worst games in his career, Duric - restored in attack - returned with a vengeance as he put in a man-of-the-match performance against Home.

The evergreen 42-year-old opened the scoring in the 29th minute when he got in ahead of Kenji Arai and glanced a header into the bottom corner, before laying one on for Hadzibulic when he selflessly played the ball back across the face of goal despite having an unguarded net to aim for.

And had it not been for an inspired second-half showing from Lewis, Duric may well have gotten a hat-trick as he proved too much for the Protectors backline to cope with.

ST: Ahmad Hazwan (Harimau Muda)

The Labuan native has already showed glimpses this season that he could go on to become one of the region's most-deadly strikers, and he did his growing reputation no harm on Saturday with a clinical display against SAFFC.

Just two minutes in at the Yishun Stadium, Hazwan calmly slotted the ball past Shahril Jantan after catching Razaleigh Khalik unaware, and played his part in his side's second as he and Affize Faisal combined to set up Wan Zack Haikal.

Hazwan then grabbed his second - and Harimau's third - in the 35th minute when he capitalised on another defensive error by the Warriors, before capping off a fine day at the office by completing his hat-trick in the 89th minute by drilling a low strike past a hapless Shahril.



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