Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Selangor looking for goals from Croatian striker Balaban against Singapore

Selangor coach Irfan Bakti has demanded goals from his team when they take on Singapore’s Lions XII at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil tomorrow.

The Red Giants are fifth in the Super League standings with eight points from five matches and have only hit the back of the net five times.

Irfan believes new signing – Croatian international and former Aston Villa striker Bosko Balaban – will end their scoring woes.

“We must start finding the net if we are to achieve anything this season. We have been playing good football but failure to convert the chances created has cost us dearly,” said Irfan.

“I believe Balaban will solve our problem but he will need some time to settle down. He is very experienced and, having played in Europe, I don’t think he would have much problem making an impact here.

“Balaban has been working hard in training and is adapting well to our brand of football.”

The Klang Valley giants are keen to settle an old score as their last competitive match against old rivals Singapore 18 years ago ended in defeat. Selangor were beaten 3-2 on aggregate in the 1994 Malaysia Cup semi-finals — having lost the first leg 1-0 at the Singapore National Stadium and drawing the return 2-2 at the Shah Alam Stadium.

However, the 32-times Malaysia Cup winners, will be without influential Lebanese centre-back Ramez Dayoub as he is serving a one-match suspension after collecting three yellow cards. 

“Encounters between Selangor and Singapore have always been mouth-watering affairs and I want my team to collect full points this time,” said Irfan.

“I’m not too worried about losing Dayoub, who has been tremendous for us so far, as we have capable replacements in Mohd Nasriq Baharom and Mohd Asraruddin Putra Omar.”

Meanwhile, Indonesia’s Bakrie Group have snapped up the remaining stake in Brisbane Roar to wholly own the Australian domestic champions in a landmark investment, according to a Reuters report.       

The group, controlled by the family of Indonesia’s Golkar Party chairman Aburizal Bakrie, took a 70% stake in Brisbane last October and have bought the remaining 30% from league administrators Football Federation Australia (FFA). They also own Indonesian side Pelita Jaya FC, who recently made the news when they got former Selangor and Malaysian striker Mohd Safee Sali to sign a two-year contract worth RM$2mil.       

The Bakrie Group holds a number of soccer-related interests across the globe through their sporting arm Pelita Jaya Cronus, including stakes in a Belgian Division Two side and a club in Uruguay.

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