Terengganu are glad that they managed to overcome their fear of playing on an artificial pitch by edging Singapore 1-0 at the Jalan Besar Stadium to keep pace with Super League leaders Kelantan.
The Turtles now have 12 points from five matches, just one behind Kelantan.
And it was Liberian striker Francis Doe who came to the Turtles’ rescue again on Saturday.
Terengganu coach Mat Zan Mat Aris was a happy man as “I was worried about my players’ ability to adapt to the Astroturf”.
“The first 25 minutes were crucial as we struggled to get used to the turf,” he said.
“We managed to get our game going after the shaky start and, looking back, it wasn’t much of a problem. My boys were able to control the ball well.”
Mat Zan also had to change his team’s style of play from long to short passes to suit the artificial turf.
“The strategy paid off as we were able to dictate the pace of the game,” he said.
Mat Zan was also pleased with Doe’s striking ability and general play.
“He has surpassed my expectations … having scored four goals in five games,” said Mat Zan. “Doe is special … he has lots of tricks up his sleeve and the ability to find the net from the most awkward of angles.”
Two other players – Shukor Jusoh and Faizal Muhammad – also caught the coach’s eyes.
“Faizal did exceptionally well in filling in for injured skipper Marzuki Yusof while Shukor held his own when called on to replace Reshafiq Alwi in midfield,” said Mat Zan.
“We are in a good position in the standings. We intend to take every chance that comes along to grab the top spot if Kelantan slip up.”