The race for championship is particularly keen in S League this year. Three teams, Home United, Tampines Rovers and Etoile, vie intently for top honours and there is a new name at the top of the league once every few days. The French outfit reclaimed leadership of the league after a one sided 3-0 win over Balestier Khalsa at the Queenstown Stadium last Friday. It was also Queenstown Stadium's first 'live' broadcast' for the past few years.
After 29 games this season, Etoile FC leads the table with 61 points, one ahead of Tampines and two in front of Home United. First half goals by Flavien Michelini, Frederic Mendy and Karim Boudjema settled the match though the scoreline ought to be larger with some glaring misses from Frederic Mendy in the second half.
Player of the Month Presentation to Home United Player Shahril Ishak
Pre-match activities include a presentation to S league Player of the Month Shahril Ishak, who scored 16 goals this season. Etoile fans were spotted waving flags of the beloved club enthusiastically. 'Live' broadcasts were usually held in Jalan Besar Stadium and the arrival of a dozen cameramen appeared to lift the crowd!
Enthusiastic fans waving flags for their team
The combination of sublime skills and wonderful atmosphere had attracted fans from all over the world to watch S League! Martin, an English fan watching Etoile FC for the first time, was one of them. He predicted a 2-0 victory for Etoile!
Martin from England
Balestier Khalsa kicked off the match under the floodlights.
Etoile FC's line-up for the match
A defensive error in the 6th minute gave Etoile the best possible start in the title race when Flavien Michelini slotted home past goalkeeper Ahmadulhaq Che Omar.
A long shot from Karim Boudjema in the 13th minute whiskered the roof of the net.
Etoile continued in search for the elusive goal to finish off Balestier as the launch series of attacks. Despite having first choice centre backs Loic Leclercq and Mansour Lakehal suspended, Etoile's defence were not tested at all throughout the match.
In the 32nd minute, another defence error from Balestier allowed a Boudjema's cross to be bundled over the line by Frederic Mendy for his 18th goal of the season.
5 minutes later, a calamitous error from Poh Yi Feng as his attempt at chesting the ball back to the keeper fell instead to Frederic Mendy. The striker laid the ball on for the incoming Boudjema to tap in.
Half-time score: Etoile 3-0 Balestier
There was a diverse crowd at the stadium. Etoile's fans, rivals' fans and residents of Queenstown filled the stadium. There were several fans blowing whistles and vuvuzelas fervently as the night sky of Queenstown came alive! The No.1 fan award must go to Pierre. He lived in Singapore for the past ten years and supported Etoile since last year. He loved the footballing atmosphere in Singapore and found it safe to bring kids home late in the night after football matches.
Rival fans also came to "spy" on Etoile FC. One of them came from Tampines!
I'm wearing yellow-the colour of Tampines Rovers!
The ball boys!
Second half arrived and players from the both clubs felt that the match was over apparently! Balestier's miserable evening was completely early in the second half when Vikraman was sent off for throwing at elbow at Mendy's midriff.
The disgraceful Vikraman marching off the pitch
Balestier's players were particularly listless after the sent off and Etoile capitalise on their one man advantage with some brilliant counter attacking.
In 65th minute, Serge Souchon missed on a easy tap in opportunity to put Etoile 4-0 up.
Cross by Boudjema was missed by Mendy
In 73rd and 77th, two wonderful dribbles by Boudjema was completely missed by Frederic Mendy.
The game ended 3-0.
Etoile's next match would be held against Gombak United tomorrow.
Do enjoy an evening with Etoile FC and their brand of attacking football!
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