2014 S-League champions Warriors FC kicked off the 2015 domestic season with a narrow win over Balastier Khalsa in Sunday’s Charity Shield match at Jalan Besar Stadium.
Having played AFC Cup matches during the week, both teams showed fatigue in their attacking and quality of finishing, with Warriors striker Nicolas Velez scoring the solitary goal of the affair.
The Argentinian forward received the ball on the left touchline in the 27th minute and was given an acre of space to turn inside, sending the ball into the back of the net with a low shot towards the near post from the edge of the box.
Hafiz Rahim came close to doubling the Warriors’ lead with an audacious effort from long-range, forcing Zaiful Nizam to stretch and tip the ball over the crossbar.
Bhalestier came close to equalising with new Croatian striker Miroslav Kristic after a goal kick and series of headers left the 25-year-old with a chance that instead hit the upright.
Marko Kraljevic’s men seemed destined not to continue their success from last year’s Singapore Cup when Tarik Cmajcanin’s second shot from his own rebound curled onto the top of the crossbar.
Warriors barraged the Balastier goal, but Nizam continued an impressive display of goalkeeping, parrying away multiple attempts including a close-range diving header by Miroslav Pejic that looked sure to hit the net.
The Charity Shield raised SG$133,790 (US$98,075) for The Straits Times’ School Pocket Money Fund, which helps children from low-income families across the country.