90 Minutes With: Mislav Karoglan

Ian Griffiths was at the Jalan Besar Stadium to watch SAFFC ace Mislav Karoglan in S.League action against Woodlands Wellington on Thursday.

It takes four Rams to stop one Croat Warrior.

Last season's Player of the Year and leading scorer Mislav Karoglan has been one of the few bright lights in an otherwise gloomy start to the 2012 Great Eastern-YEO's S.League season for Singapore Armed Forces.

Despite the Warriors struggling in defence and with three goals to his credit thus far, the talented Croat striker - although clearly not firing on all cylinders - has looked reasonably sharp while forming a decent partnership with fellow forward Fazrul Nawaz.

Here's a look at how the 29-year-old fared for Richard Bok's charges in the 2-2 draw with Woodlands.

Kick-off - SAFFC's number 9, resplendent in white, looks fit and up for the challenge as he gets the game underway with Fazrul.

2 mins - First tussle of the evening sees Karoglan eased out by Woodlands defender Edward Tan, who also robs the forward of possession shortly after. Quite a battle developing there already.

9 mins - Karoglan gets into the game with a neat twist and turn on the edge of the box before firing a shot wide. Moments later, and clearly warming to the task, he deftly takes the ball off Fabien Lewis' foot.

13 mins - The first aerial challenge for Karoglan with Woodlands captain Daniel Hammond. The giant defender wins out on this occasion though.

15 mins - GOAL WOODLANDS - A great finish by Korea Republic striker Moon Soon-ho gives the Rams a 1-0 lead. Terrific pass from Armanizam Dolah. Karoglan looks suitably unimpressed.

21 mins - GOAL SINGAPORE ARMED FORCES - Karoglan scores. Having won the free-kick, our man under the microscope rises superbly in the box to head home Tatsuro Inui's delightfully struck set-piece. A great effort.

23 mins - Karoglan in the thick of things again, this time crossing for Fazrul who, from close range, can only manage to shoot straight at the advancing Ahmadulhaq Che Omar.

31 mins - With SAFFC pouring forward, Karoglan peels away and finds acres of space at the far post, only to see Fazrul's attempted cross sail over the bar. A wasted opportunity which leaves Karoglan scratching his head.

43 mins - In his last two bursts of the first half, Karoglan, moving a little deeper to get involved, plays a neat one-two with Shimpei Sakurada before losing possession - much to his own disgust. Just seconds later he surges across the box before playing a neat pass to Inui who blazes over.

HALF-TIME ANALYSIS - Bright and lively, Karoglan has constantly prodded and probed the Woodlands backline. His goal was the highlight of a very decent first period for SAFFC and their prolific marksman.

SECOND HALF - Karoglan back on the pitch for the second period as his side chase the win, and he is straight in the action, challenging Hammond and getting a slight blow to the head for his efforts. Nothing serious though.

53 mins - A quiet start to the final 45 minutes for Karoglan. Still working hard though as he attempts to move the Woodlands defenders around, making space for both himself and others.

60 mins - Karoglan wins yet another free-kick after a bout of holding from Edward Tan who has now been tasked with marking the Croat. Inui, however, wastes the free-kick.

64 mins - Yet more smart play - peeling away from his marker - sees Karoglan, not for the first time, find space at the back post. Once again though, Fazrul's cross lacks the accuracy.

66 mins - GOAL WOODLANDS - It's the second of the night for Moon who after a terrific run beats Shahril Jantan at his near post.

68 mins - GOAL SINGAPORE ARMED FORCES - Having beaten two players, Karoglan forces a terrific save out of Ahmadulhaq before, from the rebound, Ruzaini Zainal lashes home a cracker to level matters. Yet another quick response from the Warriors in which Karoglan more than played his part.

81mins - Karoglan is in the mix again, causing chaos as Shimpei Sukada's corner finds Fazrul, but the SAFFC man fails to convert a half chance at the back post.

89 mins- In his last meaningful action of the game, Karoglan twists and turns and surges into the penalty area before his shot is deflected narrowly wide of the far post. To his obvious anger, he is not even awarded a corner.

FULL-TIME ANALYSIS - SAFFC's early season jitters still seem to be primarily confined to their defence, with two more goals being conceded. Up front, however, Karoglan is still clearly key to the Warriors after a more than satisfactory performance. Karoglan took his goal delightfully, and contributed well to the overall team effort. All this, despite not always getting the service his display perhaps warranted. Nevertheless, these are worrying times for SAFFC.

ESPNSTAR.com's '90 Minutes With' Rating = 7.5



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