Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Both Johor teams still hoping to recover despite loses

The show goes on for the two Johor flag bearers -- Johor FC and Johor -- in the Malaysia Cup competition after both picked up their second straight defeat in their respective groups but still believe they are very much in contention for the second round.
It was heartbreak for Johor FC, last year's beaten semi-finalists, in Kota Baru in a Group C match. A cruel twist of luck gave Kelantan full points and their second straight win in a match which the visitors could have easily drawn or even won after taking the lead through Eddie Helmi Abdul Manan.

But Lady Luck deserted them when Johor FC defender Hamzani Omar deflected the ball into his own net to give the hosts a lifeline before super-sub Ramzul Zahini Adnan got a late winner.

Johor FC's stand-in coach Sazali Saidon, who took over the reins from Azuan Zain who has been told to take an "indefinite rest" from the competition, took the defeat in his stride as he looks forward to the trip to Kuching when his team complete their first round matches against Sarawak tomorrow.
"It was heartbreak for us when everything was going smoothly. There was commitment and discipline from the players and we even took the field. But sometimes the unwanted happens and we lost in the last few minutes of play," said Sazali.

"But I must admit our finishing is still not up to mark. If we had been sharp in front of the goal it would have been a different story," said Sazali.

"We have no choice but to win all our remaining matches. I still see hope in the team. Our revival starts with Sarawak ...we need to win against the East Malaysians. Even a draw in Kuching will not be enough.

"Our second matches also start with an away match -- against Felda. So we got to get a positive result against Sarawak to haul ourselves back. There is zest and enthusiasm among the players and I am counting on this to make up for the disappointment in Kota Baru."

Azuan, who has high blood pressure, was told to take a rest after Johor FC lost 2-0 to Felda United in their opening match in Pasir Gudang.

It was a disappointing performance by Johor FC against Felda who drew flak from the Super League club's top management. Led by Johor FC deputy president Rozan Sa'at, secretary Tahir Hamdan and treasurer Shahrom Mohd Yasir, the management called for an emergency meeting last Thursday to take immediate remedial action to "rekindle" Johor FC's quarter-final hopes.

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