Monday, 16 January 2012

Kelantan coach calm despite being held by PKNS

Peter Butler's changes did not have the desired effect as Super League champions Kelantan stumbled in their home debut in a 1-1 draw with PKNS on Friday.

 Indra Putra Mahayuddin and Mohammed Ghadar were relegated to the bench while goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi Che Mat was missing from the squad with a groin injury as his replacement Syazwan Yusof conceded a penalty to allow the visitors to leave Kota Baru with an unlikely point.

Butler refused to blame the 20-year-old Syazwan, who brought down Rudie Ramli in the 80th for Fauzan Dzulkifli to stroke home the penalty and cancel Badhri Radzi's 71st minute effort.

"Fahmi has a groin injury and we had to leave him out but Syazwan did well although he made a mistake. It was a misunderstanding (with the defenders)... worse things have happened to more experienced players.

"We dominated the game for long periods but did not take our chances. With the quick turn-around from Singapore, we looked flat at times and were sloppy. It's a game we should have won," said Butler when contacted by Timesport yesterday.

Butler started with Dennis Antwi and S. Chanturu in place of Ghaddar and Indra and though they carved several chances, the finishing was lacking with PKNS goalkeeper Razi Effendi Suhit rarely troubled.

Kelantan's goal was a result of an error by Razi who flapped at a cross which allowed Badhri to hammer home and the home were indebted to Syazwan, who redeemed himself by saving Helmi Remeli's point-blank header with six minutes remaining.

The point put Kelantan top of the table ahead of yesterday's matches although Butler feels that an away win -- 2-1 against the LionsXII -- and a home draw is not a bad start.

Meanwhile, B. Sathianathan was a far happier man after his star-studded Armed Forces side trounced Johor Baru City Council 5-0 in a Premier League match at the Sultan Ibrahim Stadium in Muar with Marlon Alex James on target four times.

James took his season tally to six as Forces put behind them their poor showing in a 2-0 win over Betaria on Monday.

Forces lead on goal difference from Pahang and Sime Darby with all three teams on six points after two games.

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