Selangor coach Irfan Bakti believes his Red Giants have finally woke up.
Irfan’s assessment comes in the wake of their 2-1 win over leaders Kelantan in their Super League match at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Tuesday.
They looked rudderless after managing only two wins from seven matches. On Tuesday, they finally clicked, thanks to the eleventh hour availability of Croatia striker Bosko Balaban, who netted the second goal to hand Kelantan their first defeat of the season.
“I hope this is the turning point for us. We have been going through a yo-yo spell and I hope the timely win over Kelantan will give us the much needed boost to play catch-up in the title chase,” said Irfan.
Safiq Rahim gave Selangor the lead in the 47th minute and Balaban made it 2-0 in the 75th minute. S. Subramanian netted for Kelantan in stoppage time.
Balaban, playing his first game after receiving his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) just before the transfer window closed on Monday, proved his worth in gold.
“It is a good sign. Balaban has given us extra edge in attack. I hope we can keep up the momentum,” said Irfan.
However, there was a word of caution from Irfan for conceding a late goal.
“It would have been better if we had not conceded a goal.
“We played well in the first half but failed to score. Then, after scoring two goals we lost our focus.
“We played negative football towards the end of the match. We should avoid this in the future.”
Selangor’s next game is against Shahzan Muda of Pahang in the first round of the FA Cup on Saturday.
A delighted Balaban said he would not put himself in any undue pressure and would do his best to get the goals for Selangor.
“I played my normal game and I did not put myself in any kind of pressure,” added Balaban who joined Selangor from Greek Super League side Panionios
“I have not played for 10 months due to my problems with my former club. Now, I need to get back my form by working hard in training. It’s also too early for me to set a goal target this season. I still have to work on my fitness,” said Balaban.