Sarawak's Asri Chuchu (top) being tackled by a Kelantan player during their Super League match at the State Stadium in Kuching on Saturday. The Crocs lost the match 1-0. - Filepic
GEORGE TOWN: Sarawak coach Robert Alberts pointed to the lack of a cutting edge from his foreign strikers as the main reason for his team’s 1-0 Super League defeat at home to Kelantan on Saturday.
The Crocs fielded Serbian Milorad Janjus and Iranian Alireza Abbasfard up front against the Red Warriors. The home side enjoyed more possession than their opponents, but both the strikers failed to trouble Kelantan goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi Che Mat.
Instead, it was Sarawak’s midfielders Ashri Chuchu and Joseph Kallang Tie who showed more creativity and were involved in most of Sarawak’s best attacking moves.
Skipper Joseph had the ball in the Kelantan net in the 43rd minute but his effort was ruled out for offside.
“We did not deserve to lose because we played well and more than held our own against Kelantan. It is disappointing to lose to such a late goal,” said Alberts.
“The biggest difference was the performance of our two foreign strikers. The Kelantan strikers played a positive role and delivered the winning goal but the Sarawak frontmen had a tough time taking on the Kelantan defenders.”
Unlike the Sarawak front duo, Kelantan’s foreign strike partnership of Lebanon’s Mohammed Ghaddar and Liberia’s Francis Doe played a positive role in the match and were a constant thorn to the Sarawak defence.
Ghaddar laid on an inch-perfect cross for Doe to thump home in the 90th minute for the winning goal.
‘To be honest, we were quite lucky to score the late goal for the win. I am happy with the workrate of my team as it is not easy playing Sarawak in Kuching,” commented Kelantan coach Steve Darby.
The Crocs dropped to the bottom of the standings as the only side in the 12-team league yet to win a point. Kelantan surged to the top with maximum points after becoming the only team to win their first two league fixtures.
Sarawak face Sime Darby next at home tomorrow while Kelantan take on PKNS in Kota Baru.