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Friday August 30, 2013 MYT 4:57:00 PM
Friday August 30, 2013 MYT 4:59:31 PM
by loganath velloo
Pahang midfielder R. Surendren getting a red card during the opening day draw against Kelantan. Surendran is back Saturday for the match against Terengganu.
GEORGE TOWN: Pahang are hardpressed and will have to collect points away from home after failing to win their two home matches thus far in Group C of the Malaysia Cup.
After playing to 1-1 draws against east coast neighbours Kelantan and Terengganu in Kuantan, the Elephants’ away form will now determine the team’s fate in the competition.
Pahang coach Dollah Salleh admitted that his charges need to put the points on the board regardless of the venue, beginning with the match against the Turtles in Kuala Terengganu Saturday.
Despite failing to win at home, the Elephants are still top of Group C on goal difference from defending champions Kelantan, courtesy of their 5-3 away win over Negri Sembilan.
Pahang and Kelantan both have five points each, ahead of Negri Sembilan (three) and Terengganu (one).
“It is disappointing that we have not won at home. I feel we could have done better against Terengganu in Kuantan, but my players looked tired and could not raise their game after playing three tough games in 10 days,” said Dollah on Friday.
“On the bright side, we are still unbeaten. Pahang are leading the group at the halfway mark and have a good chance of qualifying for the quarter-finals.
“But we have to do it the hard way, by seeking points from the two tough away ties in Kuala Terengganu and Kota Baru. We cannot take it easy and just defend away from home.”
While he wants his boys to play for a win away from home, Dollah knows that it is Pahang’s sole remaining home match against Negri Sembilan on Sept 17 which holds the key to his team’s survival.
“Group C is very open and all the four teams stand a chance of going through.
“There is only one more chance to get it right in Kuantan - against Negri (on Sept 17). Other match results in the group have aided us so far but we need to help ourselves first by not dropping more points at home.”
Dollah’s only worry ahead of tonight’s match is Argentine striker Matias Conti, who is a doubtful starter after suffering a groin injury during the 1-1 draw against Terengganu on Tuesday.
The Elephants welcome back midfielder R. Surendren from a two-match suspension. The lively winger was sent off during the 1-1 opening day draw against Kelantan at the Darulmakmur Stadium.
Tags / Keywords:
football, Malaysia Cup, Pahang, Elephants, Dollah Salleh, R. Surendren, Matias Conti
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