| SINGAPORE (13 June 2008) – Super Reds took a 1-0 advantage over Balestier Khalsa in the first-leg semi-finals of the Avaya-J&J League Cup which was played at the Toa Payoh Stadium.
The Super Reds suffered a hiccup early in the 20th minute of the match when captain Yun Bo Young was stretchered out to a serious knee injury.
And even though Balestier tried to take the game to the Koreans, there was just no getting through as the score stood at 0-0 at the break.
Two minutes after the restart however, things began to look up for the Super Reds when Faizal Amir was penalised for a clash on Oh Ddog Yi inside the penalty box.
Sin Hyun Ho did not disappoint from the spot to put his team 1-0 up.
Several minutes later, Balestier found themselves with a man short when defender Sofiyan Abdul Hamid was red carded by referee Abdul Malik.
But that failed to slow Balestier down and they almost came close with the equaliser only for to see Mba Vitus Onyekachi’s well-timed volley expertly tipped over by Kang Su Ho to keep his side in front for the return encounter.
Jeon Kyeong Joon, the head coach for the Super Reds was clearly not satisfied with the level of play.
“I was not entirely happy with the way we played,” said Kyeong Joon.
“It was not easy though, for us to play against them with the way they play their football. But I’m glad we got the 1-0 result but we will need to do better in the second leg if I am to be satisfied with my players.”
Replied Nasaruddin Jalil, the head coach for Balestier: “At times, it felt like the odds were stacked against us but the players never let themselves down at any stage and I can’t fault them for their willingness to play football in a positive way.”