Sunday, 22 January 2012

Kedah fans show frustration over team's poor form

Four games without a goal and no closer to resolving their poor form, Kedah fans expressed their displeasure by holding a demonstration immediately after a 3-0 Super League defeat to Kelantan at the Darul Aman Stadium in Alor Star on Friday.

Their ire was directed at team manager Datuk Khazali Din, who they hold responsible for the depths Kedah have plunged so soon into the new season.

With shouts of "out Khazali out" resonating outside, the team manager was adamant that Kedah will recover from their present slump.

"It is their right to express their anger but it is not for them to decide what we should to do," Khazali, who had to be given a police escort out of the stadium, told RTM.

Earlier when speaking to reporters after the game, Khazali said Kedah are prepared to replace both their under-performing Brazilian imports -- Daniel Soares Neves and Danilo Vivaldo -- with players from South Africa and South Korea.

Defender Vivaldo has only played one game after injuring his ankle in a training incident and is expected to be sidelined for three months while Neves has struggled to fit into the team.

"We are focused on strengthening our defence and strike-force. They are playing well but unable to score a goal," said Khazali.

Following last Tuesday's 0-0 draw with PKNS, Kedah coach Nidzam Adzha Yusof said he would not hesitate to field an all-local line up against Kelantan and he was true to his word.

Lack of strikers in the squad meant Nidzam was forced to play Baddrol Bakhtiar, making his first start of the season, and Khyril Muhymeen Zambri in attack rather than their preferred roles on the flanks.

Neves only came on in the 69th minute for Amar Rohidan and at that point Kedah were still in the game, trailing to a 36th-minute penalty scored by Mohammed Ghaddar after Fauzie Nan tripped Norshahrul Idlan Talaha in the box.

Kedah should have been level in the 70th minute but Faizal Abu Bakar's well-struck effort rocked the cross bar and nine minutes later Norshahrul squeezed a shot in off the far post for Kelantan's second goal.

The home team's misery was completed in embarrassing fashion when Kelantan substitute Dennis Antwi dispossessed Kedah goalkeeper Helmi Eliza Elias to slot into an empty net three minutes into stoppage time.

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