IT was not a dream start for Malaysian Indian Sports Council-Malaysian Indian Football Association (MISC-MIFA) in the FAM Cup competition.
MISC-MIFA, making their debut in the event, went down 2-1 to the more experienced Kuala Lumpur at the Plus Persada Mini Stadium in Kelana Jaya.
Playing in front of about 500 supporters, MISC-MIFA were unlucky to return without a point as they had a fair share of the game but failed to convert the chances that came their way count.
Kuala Lumpur, coached by former international Tang Siew Seng, started the match on an aggressive note.
It did not take long for the City boys to score. The opening goal came in the 10th minute when B. Prabaharan fired from close range past MISC-MIFA goalkeeper Mohd Al Husairi Ibrahim.
The goal woke up the MISC-MIFA players. After several failed attempts, MISC-MIFA equalised in the 18th minute.
Forward B. Tinagaran headed beyond the reach of Kuala Lumpur goalkeeper Hafiz Arbaen.
However MISC-MIFA’s joy was shortlived as Kuala Lumpur scored their second goal two minutes later. Zulkifli Affendi, capitalised on a defensive error, scored to make it 2-1.
After the break, MISC-MIFA dominated the match. They had several chances but could not get the equaliser and Kuala Lumpur collected maximum points in their opening match.
MIFA president Datuk T. Mohan said they would have been happy to share the points with Kuala Lumpur.
“We dominated the match in the second half but somehow the goals did not come. It was an eye opener for our players who are still considered first timers in the competition. It could be first game jitters. The coaches have to work on the shortcomings.
“The match also gave an indication on the challenges the players have to face in the competition. They must realise that it is not going to be a easy ride.
“We are also grateful to the supporters, who came in full force, to cheer the young players,’’ said Mohan.
Siew Seng admitted the match was quite scrappy but was happy to get a favourable result.
“We are not like before. Most of the players were picked from the KL League. MISC-MIFA looked hardworking. But they were not effective and it could have been the jitters. Both teams were eager to finish the game,’’ said Siew Seng.
Kuala Lumpur MOF FC started their campaign in the FAM Cup on an impressive note when they edged Harimau Muda C 3-2 at the Maybank Sports Complex in Bangi.
In their next match, Kuala Lumpur will take on Kuala Lumpur MOF FC at the Inspens Stadium in Bangi. Siew Seng expects another tough match.
“Kuala Lumpur is not like before. The players have to work hard to match their rivals in the competition,’’ said Siew Seng.
MISC-MIFA, playing their first home match, will meet Kedah Malays at the UPM Sports Complex in Serdang.
Mohan said they would like to see the strikers get the goals.
“The experience, gained against Kuala Lumpur, will be valuable when they meet Kedah Malays,’’ he added.