Despite coming back from three goals down against Melaka United in their round 14 Malaysia Super League (MSL) match, Kuala Lumpur still ended the match with a 4-3 defeat.

In a pulsating match that was held at the Kuala Lumpur Football Stadium on Tuesday, the visitors raced to a 3-0 through goals from Yahor Zubovich (6′), Syahrul Azwari Ibrahim (23′) and Ifedayo Omosuyi (34′). But the hosts switched to high-pressing in the second half which helped them to tie the game, through goals by Paulo Josue (43′) and Guilherme de Paula (penalty 48′, 71′). However, just five minutes after the equaliser, Ifedayo scored the Mousedeers’ winner, giving himself a brace in his first appearance for Melaka since he signed for them last weekend, just before the mid-season transfer window was closed.

In the post-game interview with the match broadcaster, pitchside commentator Stanley Bernard asked head coach Kuala Lumpur Fabio Maciel about his decision to play a high line only in the second half.

According to the Brazilian, this is because his men’s fitness levels have decreased in the current Islamic fasting month of Ramadan.

“It is Ramadan now, and Melaka had one more day of rest than we did. We only had two days between the games and this made a lot of difference.

“This is why we started by feeling out the game, because I know my men cannot maintain the same intensity if we had pressed high from the start,” remarked Fabio.

The former Timor-Leste manager said that while he was dissapointed with his defenders, who repeated the same errors which led to the visitors’ goals, he was proud of his team’s ability to get back in the game after having trailed by three goals.

“I don’t like to single out my players even when they make mistakes, but tonight Jufriyanto (Ahmad Jufriyanto Thohir) and Syazwan [Andik Ishak] made the same mistakes they had made against Kelantan. We cannot make mistakes like this! They let the opponents have to much of the ball and get the ball where they wanted.

“But I’m proud of this team. We were able to tie the game after having gone three goals down, even if Melaka did find the winning goal,” he said.

The two sides will meet again this weekend in round 15, in Melaka.

 

By Zulhilmi Zainal

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