Selangor goalkeeper Mohd Farizal Marlias (right) congratulates his team-mate and goalscorer Andik Vermansyah after the Super League match against Pahang in Kuantan on Saturday. Selagor won 1-0. - BERNAMA
PETALING JAYA: Selangor coach Mehmet Durakovic was full of praise for his all-local backline after a 1-0 win over Pahang in a top-of-the-table Super clash.
The Red Giants ended Pahang’s seven-match unbeaten home record at the Darul Makmur Stadium on Saturday to take over the lead at the top of the table. Selangor have 31 points compared to Pahang’s 28 after 15 matches.
Mohd Rizal Fahmi Mohd Rosid, Mohd Bunyamin Umar, Muhd Shahrom Abdul Kalam, Mohd Azmi Muslim and goalkeeper Mohd Farizal Marlias withstood Pahang’s onslaught before winger Andik Vermansyah nicked the winner in the 64th minute.
Durakovic admitted his team were second best in the match.
“Pahang are a good side and we expected them to come at us in full force. Fortunately, we held on and nicked a winner. But we had to run all day for this result,” said the Australian coach.
“This is football. Sometimes you look second best throughout the game but go on to win it. My players deserved all the credit, especially the back-line and the goalkeeper,” he added.
Selangor fans are excited and believed that their team will end their title drought this season but Durakovic believes “it’s still early to talk about it”.
“It’s a massive boost for the team to go top of the league, but it’s too early to talk about winning the title. With seven more matches to go and coupled with how the league has been thus far, anything can just happen,” said Durakovic.
For Pahang coach Zainal Abidin Hassan, he was left to rue his side’s poor finishing.
“We should have scored on several occasions, but we just could find a way past Farizal and his defenders,” said Zainal.
“Anyway the league is not over yet and we will come back stronger. We have to redeem ourselves by picking up points so we can claw our way back to the top.”