Vincent Bikana (top) of Cameroon and Azlan Ismail have been the heart of Terengganu's defence together with seasoned goalkeeper Mohd Sharbini Allawee.
PETALING JAYA: Kelantan face an acid test when they meet their neighbours in an east coast derby on Saturday night, as Super League leaders Terengganu hold the best defensive record in the competition so far.
The Kelantan strikers will have their work cut out for them trying to break Terengganu’s defence, which has only conceded five goals in eight matches.
Terengganu striker Norfarhan Mohamed said the team have been very disciplined at the back, keeping their opponents’ strikers at bay.
“We are in a creditable position thanks to our defence. We are not the favourites in the competition but the players have blended well as a team. The defence has held out well and the result is evident. The other departments are getting better, too,” said Norfarhan.
They had clean sheets against Pahang (2-0), Johor Darul Ta’zim (1-0), Lions XII (0-0) and Armed Forces (3-0).
Vincent Bikana of Cameroon and Azlan Ismail have been the heart of defence together with seasoned goalkeeper Mohd Sharbini Allawee.
Despite their sound defence, Norfarhan doesn’t believe their bitter rivals Kelantan should be taken for granted, even though the Red Warriors have had a tight playing schedule.
Kelantan coach Steve Darby had complained of the hectic schedule, which has seen them play 14 games (Super League and AFC Cup) in 42 days. This had led to fatigue and injuries among the players.
“I have the utmost respect for Kelantan. I won the treble with them in 2010. They are an unpredictable side and are still one of the strong contenders for the title,” said Norfarhan.
The Red Warriors, with 13 points, are in sixth spot in the Super League standings. They are three points behind Terengganu, who have a game in hand.
Norfarhan believes that despite Kelantan’s poor start in the AFC Cup Group G, with one win and two defeats, they are still the team to watch.