Balestier Khalsa notched their third win of the 2015 S.League campaign on Saturday evening after recording a hard-fought 1-0 win over Hougang United at the Hougang Stadium.
It initially looked as though the Tigers would have to settle for a share of the spoils after missing a host of excellent chances throughout the match.
Ivan Pericic was the biggest culprit as he missed a gilt-edged opportunity a minute after the half-hour mark, heading over despite having the entire goal to aim for after Basil Chan had failed to deal with Tarik Cmajcanin’s dangerous freekick.
Hougang did have their chances too as Fareez Farhan threatened in the 41st minute with a blistering 30-yard drive that sailed just over, before Zaiful Nizam showed clean hands to keep out a firm drive from Shunsuke Nakatake four minutes before the hour mark.
Pericic wasted another good opening in the 67th minute when he headed over from inside the six-yard box, after being picked out by Jonathan Xu’s left-wing delivery, before the Cheetahs were also guilty of profligacy; Matthew Abraham somehow scuffing his shot wide from a few yards out after finding himself unmarked inside the box.
But with nine minutes remaining, the breakthrough did finally arrive when Ignatius Ang found space on the left and did well to drill a low cross into the box, where Miroslav Kristic proceeded to fire a shot past Chan into the bottom corner to win it for Balestier.
Hougang United: Basil Chan, Faizal Amir, Yuki Uchiyama, Kunihiro Yamashita, Lau Meng Meng, Fareez Farhan (Fairoz Hasan 64’), Shunsuke Nakatake, Nurhilmi Jasni, Faiz Salleh (Matthew Abraham 64’), Manato Takahashi, Chupe (Kenneth Chang 85’).
Balestier Khalsa: Zaiful Nizam, Ahmad Syahir, Igor Cerina, Nurullah Hussein, Ho Wai Loon, Tarik Cmajcanin, Emir Lotinac, Jonathan Xu (Ridwan Jamil 74’), Zulkiffli Hassim (Ignatius Ang 74’), Robert Pericic, Miroslav Kristic.