The Lion City Sailors were held to a 1-1 draw with a spirited Albirex Niigata (S) side at Yishun Stadium on Sunday (18 June) in the Deloitte Women’s Premier League (WPL), but the women are determined to put that result firmly behind them and return to winning ways against Balestier Khalsa at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium this Sunday (25 June).

Ho Hui Xin is confident that the Sailors will bounce back and the midfielder is backing her side to show a fiery energy to beat a Balestier side that is currently seventh in the 10-team WPL table.

The Sailors are currently in second, level on points with league leaders Albirex, who are ahead on superior goal difference.

“We should have closed the Albirex game with the chances we created, but we didn’t do that, and we were punished. We can’t let that happen again,” said the midfield enforcer. 

“Our style of play will be the same against Balestier in the next game and all games in the future, but we need to improve on our finishing – it doesn’t amount to anything if we can’t convert our chances – and I’m confident that moving forward, we will put the ball in the back of the net.”

While she retains a firm belief in the team, Hui Xin has called for the Sailors women to guard against complacency against Balestier. 

“They have quite a few experienced players like Defender Siti Nurerwadah and also Mastura Jeilani who has a commanding presence – we need to look out for her. She can take long shots, and usually, Balestier’s play goes through her,” added the Sailors Women vice-captain. 

“As a team, they have a strong bond and terrific chemistry, I am sure they will give us an excellent fight. We need to be focused, and we need the three points to maintain our foothold in the league.”

Munirah Mohamad was equally adamant to retain focus for the entire 90 minutes against Balestier. 

“We did feel defeated after the draw against Albirex, but we do want to let that affect our morale, and we are determined to improve,” said the defender. 

“We cannot let our guard down because Balestier have key players who can change the game. Any complacency can bring us down, so as a team we must keep our head in the game, score goals and get the three points.”