After two Super League matchdays, favourites Pahang are still without a point; with the Elephants losing both matches through late goals.
BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
Things are quickly spiralling out of control for Pahang. It seems that their inadequate pre-season preparations are making things difficult for them in the Super League.
On Friday, they fell to their second league defeat, on matchday two. Goals scored by Demba Camara (12′), R. Barathkumar (59′), Dickson Nwakaeme (p. 15′) and Ivan Carlos (51′) seemed to bring the encounter between Petaling Jaya City (PJ) and Pahang to a draw, with seconds remaining in injury time. But a free kick by former Elephants man Kogileswaran Raj in the dying moments of the match took a deflection against the wall, sent goalkeeper Sharbinee Allawee the wrong way and sailed into the back of the net for a dramatic winner.
In the previous weekend, Pahang fell to a 2-1 defeat to Selangor at home, through a late winner as well.
Speaking to the press after the match, Elephants boss Dollah Salleh noted several factors behind the defeat.
“My team lost their concentration everytime PJ went on a counter attack, which had happened in our first game as well. We are catching up, but improvements must be made especially in the defence line.
“Our defenders needed support from the midfielders against the PJ strikers; in one-versus-one situations between an attacker and a defender, the striker is going to win 70 per cent of the time. The midfielders were late in tracking back down.
“Our two strikers were not playing well, especially Dickson who didn’t do what was asked of him. But this is football, a team game, and everyone on the team needs to shoulder the blame, including the coaching staff.
“No matter how well we play, questions are going to be asked if we lose. And we’ve gone two matches without picking up a single point,” explained the former Malaysia head coach.
Worse still for Dollah, star attacker Mohamadou Sumareh was not deemed fit yet to return to action following his injury recovery, despite having been allowed to play for a few minutes in Saturday’s encounter.
“He has not recovered fully. To be honest, he was 50-50 today, but he had asked me to be on the matchday squad.
“He tried to play but I don’t think it’s time yet for him to start in matches again,” noted Dollah.
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