PETALING JAYA: Coach Ismail Zakaria has criticised referee Mohd Nazmi Nasaruddin’s performance in Sime Darby’s 2-1 loss to Kelantan at the Sultan Mohd IV Stadium in Kota Baru on Saturday.
Fadzli Saari opened the scoring for Sime Darby after only eight minutes but the Red Warriors stormed back to equalised through Mohd Ghaddar Mahmoud in the 60th minute. Mohd Ghaddar then converted a spot kick in the 81st to give Kelantan all three points.
Ismail felt his side were cruelly penalised towards the end of the match and felt that a draw would have been a fairer result from the tightly-contested match.
“The players did well despite the result, everyone worked hard but I’m disappointed with the referee’s decision towards the end of the match,” said Ismail.
“It was a very soft penalty claim and I was shocked when the referee blew for a penalty. A draw would have been a fairer result for both teams.
“Nevertheless, I’m happy with my players’ performance ... we played to our game-plan and everyone was on the same page.”
It was Sime Darby’s first match in the Super League and Ismail believes his team have showed that they are not the whipping boys of the league.
The only drawback for Sime Darby was the below par performance by Ghanaian striker Wisdom Agblexo.
“He missed several training sessions because of injury. But we expect him to up his game in the next match. The other players did very well and it’s a good sign for us.
“We have been touted as relegation candidates, but we proved in the opening match that we can play. It’s still early days and the season still has a long way to go,” said Ismail, who had been coaching the team since 2010.
Sime Darby take on Armed Forces next in the FA Cup first round at the Selayang Stadium tomorrow.