PETALING JAYA: Sarawak skipper Joseph Kallang Tie is still rankled by his moment of madness.
Joseph’s five-match ban for violent conduct will see him miss the Crocs’ crucial Malaysia Cup Group B match against Super League champions Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) at the Larkin Stadium in Johor Baru tonight.
The 28-year-old Joseph and Perak’s Mohd Nor Hakim Isa were slapped with five-match bans and RM1,500 fines for violent behaviour during their Malaysia Cup clash at the State Stadium in Kuching on Oct 17.
Joseph will be sitting out his third match Saturday and, if Sarawak qualify for the quarter-finals, the home and away matches.
“I have learnt my lesson ... my rash action has earned me my first-ever sending-off and now I can’t play when the team need me the most,” said a remorseful Joseph.
The East Malaysian side face a daunting task against newly-crowned AFC Cup champions JDT, who have already secured their berth in the quarter-finals. The Southern Tigers are unbeaten with 15 points and have not lost at home since PKNS took three points off them in September 2013.
Sarawak, with seven points, have not won away from home since beating Kelantan 1-0 in April 2014 and have lost 14 of their 20 away games.
Third-placed Armed Forces, who have four points and stand a mathematical chance to qualify for the quarter-finals, will take on already-eliminated Perak, who prop up the group with three points.
“The race to the quarter-finals is still open and Forces will have a chance to go through if they beat Perak. It will be good if Perak do a favour for us ... but in football, you can’t rely on the results of other matches to help you,” said the Miri local.
“We face an uphill battle against JDT, who are playing in front of their home crowd, but I still believe we can get a positive result from the match.
“A draw will do for us and I have told my team-mates to cut down on their mistakes and not to give up against JDT. We have a strong fighting spirit and I hope we can show it against JDT.”
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