Balestier Khalsa stretched their unbeaten run in the S.League to six games on Monday after claiming a 2-0 win over Albirex Niigata (S) at the Toa Payoh Stadium.
The Tigers, who only narrowly sealed a top-half berth after winning their last three matches of the second round of the campaign, entered the clash in good form following last Wednesday’s victory over Warriors FC, which followed an impressive triumph over Tampines Rovers in the semi-finals of the Singapore Cup.
It took them just eight minutes to break the deadlock after Croatian striker Goran Ljubojevic climbed highest inside the box to send a header past Kenjiro Ogino.
Despite their best efforts, the White Swans were just unable to put the ball into the back of the net as their finishing let them down even though they carved out their fair share of chances.
And in the 90th minute, the hosts went on to wrap up the three points when they were awarded a penalty after an Albirex defender was penalised for handball inside the box; Ljubojevic stepping up and sending an unstoppable effort into the top corner for his second of the evening.
Balestier Khalsa: Zaiful Nizam, Jaslee Hatta, Paul Cunningham, Nurullah Hussein, Syed Thaha, Jonathan Xu (Yusiskandar Yusop 90’), Emir Lotinac, Ruhaizad Ismail (Zulkiffli Hassim 79’), Park Kang-jin, Ho Wai Loon, Goran Ljubojevic.
Albirex Niigata (S): Kenjiro Ogino, Kento Fujihara, Taiyo Nishida, Norihiro Kawakami, Itsuki Yamada, Koki Akasaka (Kento Nagasaki 60’), Kosuke Matsuda, Keisuke Ota, Kazuya Okazaki, Hiroki Morisaki, Kazuki Sakamoto.