Friday, 9 March 2012

Kelantan coach confident of progressing to second round of AFC Cup

Kelantan are not too concerned about losing two points in the AFC Cup Group H 0-0 draw with Navibank Saigon at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Wednesday.

Since the other Group H clash bet­ween Arema FC and Ayeyawady United ended in a 1-1 draw, it leaves all four teams in the group tied on a point each.

And Kelantan coach Bojan Hodak is confident his men can still make the second round of the competition.

“It’s not that bad a result … we didn’t lose the match,” said the former UPB MyTeam coach.

“We are capable of getting six points from our home matches and we just need to win one of our away games,” he told the post-match conference.

Hodak said he made six changes to his starting line – as he needed to test his foreign players and rotate the squad ahead of their FA Cup second round clash against Kuala Lumpur tomorrow.

Among the players given a run-out were strikers Mohamad Ghaddar (Lebanon) and Dennis Antwi (Ghana). The duo, who last played in a competitive match in January, were given a chance to prove themselves with Nigerian striker Onyekachi Nwoha.

However, the changes made the team look disjointed, especially in attack as the foreign trio lacked cohesion and sharpness.

“The transfer window opens in April and I was asked by the management to evaluate the foreign players to be registered for the Super League,” said the Croatian coach.

“Ghaddar and Antwi are registered for the AFC Cup and we can only evaluate their performances when they play in this competition. These players are still not at their best and are improving. They just need more matches under their belts.”

Navibank coach Pham Cong Loc reckons that his side were unlucky “but I will accept the result”.

“I’m generally pleased with the result but we could have won it. In the first half, we had at least three chances which we failed to convert,” he said. “We were unlucky in the second half as the Kelantan’s side of the pitch was water-logged and this made it hard for us to play our normal game. I believe if the field was in a better condition, one of us would have scored. Still, we will accept the result and I think we can go far in this competition.”

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