Wednesday, 11 June 2014 | MYT 5:50 PM
Mehmet: The team did it for Rangel
Selangor's Brazilian striker Paulo Rangel was sent off against Terengganu for an off the ball incident. - filepic
PETALING JAYA: Selangor coach Mehmet Durakovic has leapt to Paulo Rangel’s defence following the striker’s sending-off in the 4-1 win over Terengganu at the Sultan Ismail Stadium on Tuesday.
The Brazilian, who scored the opening goal in the 46th minute, went from hero to zero after being sent off for allegedly elbowing Terengganu’s Mazlizam Mohamad in an off-the-ball incident after the goal.
“I didn’t see the incident but Rangel is a professional. He is not a dirty player ... he just put his arms across the Terengganu player and I’m 100% sure he would have not hit him on purpose,” said the Australian.
The 10-man Red Giants came out with all guns blazing in the second half despite being a man down and doubled their lead though Abdul Hadi Yahya’s spot kick in the 49th minute.
Terengganu clawed their way back into the game through Moustapha Dabo’s strike in the 53rd minute. But Selangor put the game out of Terengganu’s reach with two late goals – by S. Veenod and S. Kunalan.
The Red Giants remain top of the 12-team league with 37 points after 18 matches while Terengganu are third on 31 points.
Durakovic said that Rangel was in tears in the changing room.
“Rangel was upset with the sending-off and cried ... the others did well to win the match for him. I’m happy and proud of my team’s camaraderie and fighting spirit,” said Durakovic.
“It was not an easy match because Terengganu are a very good side, we played 4-4-1 after the red card and kept attacking in the second half. I was confident of winning but I didn’t expect it to be 4-1.
“It was like watching Selangor in the old days ... the players didn’t give up although we had to play 45 minutes with 10 men. I just love their spirit ... everyone did well.”