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Saturday October 26, 2013 MYT 3:34:00 PM
Saturday October 26, 2013 MYT 4:09:36 PM
by k. rajan
Kelantan skipper Mohd Badhri Radzi (centre) was named man-of-the-match in Friday's semi-final second leg match against Armed Forces in Kota Baru, seen here tussling with Forces' Hairuddin Omar (right). - The STAR
KOTA BARU: Armed Forces coach B. Sathianathan condemned the refereeing after his side were held to a 2-2 draw by Kelantan and knocked out 4-3 on aggregate in the Malaysia Cup semi-final second-leg match in Kota Baru on Friday.
The Gladiators were cruising into the final on 3-2 aggregate with Marlon James’ first-half brace (in the 18th and 37th minutes) when the Red Warriors staged a late comeback with goals from substitute Mohd Fakri Saarani (82nd minute) and skipper Mohd Badhri Radzi (85th) to book their berth in the final.
Sathia felt that Fakri’s goal should have been disallowed by referee Nafeez Abdul Wahab as it came off a high challenge from the substitute striker on Forces’ defender Fitri Omar.
The former national coach added that his boys played very well and feels bad that they were knocked out of the competition.
“The first goal should have been disallowed. Fakri’s leg was high and close to Fitri’s face ... it was dangerous play and it was a bookable offence,” said a frustrated Sathia after the match.
“That goal spoiled the game for us and I feel sad to be knocked out this way. We played well, our work rate was high and we should have scored more goals from the chances we had.
“I will take a short break before discussing my future. I believe the Armed Forces will come back stronger next season,” he added.
Kelantan coach Bojan Hodak who will be eyeing his fifth title with the Red Warriors in the final said it was a 50-50 game and his half-time team-talk yielded the result.
The win over Forces came at a cost for the defending champions after centreback Obinna Nwaneri picked up a booking and will be suspended for the final at the Shah Alam Stadium on Nov 3.
“Forces played a high-pressing game in midfield, while we were too casual ... they had two good chances and they managed to convert them to go ahead,” said the Croatian.
“However, it’s hard to maintain the pressing game and we capitalised when Forces tired out towards the end of the match.
“I knew that we could get the result and I just pointed the mistakes the players were making and corrected them. The credit goes to Fakri who made the difference for us.”
Tags / Keywords:
Kelantan, Armed Forces, Malaysia Cup, football
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