PETALING JAYA: Kedah coach Aidil Sharin (pic) hopes his men have learnt something from their last-gasp 3-3 draw at home by Pahang in the first leg of the Malaysia Cup semi-final.
The Red Eagles had to dig deep into their reserves at home after the Elephants raced ahead at the Darulaman Stadium in Alor Setar on Saturday.
Veteran striker Mohd Zaquan Adha Abdul Razak’s late equaliser deep into added time kept Kedah in the game ahead of the second leg at the Darul Makmur Stadium on Oct 26.Visitors Pahang had earlier taken the lead through winger Wan Zaharulnizam Zakaria (13th minute), Nigerian hitman Dickson Nwakaeme’s spot-kick (26th) and midfielder Nor Azam Azih (72nd).
Kedah got their goals through Spanish striker Fernando Rodriguez’s quick brace (32nd and 39th minute, penalty).
Aidil praised his team for the remarkable comeback and said their failure to settle down at home cost them.
“We managed to score the late equaliser... we didn’t settle down in the first 15 minutes, maybe it was because of the pitch. I brought on Azamuddin (Akil) after trailing by two goals and our team spirit spurred us to draw level by half-time, ” said the Singaporean coach.
“After the break, we still failed to settle down within 10 minutes and gave too much space to Pahang... but that’s football and I can’t blame my players.
“We have to learn from what happened and work doubly hard than what we produced today.
“Tonight is over and we cannot dwell on it... what’s important is the next match and the fact that both teams are still in it. Pahang have the home advantage but we have to keep on believing and work hard.”
Pahang coach Dollah Salleh could only rue his men’s failure to put Kedah to the sword.
“We played well but made mistakes and conceded soft goals. The defence was not good in set-piece situations and not disciplined in marking, ” said the former international.
“We dominated 50-60% of the game but couldn’t convert our chances.
“I’m still pleased and proud of the performance despite the draw. We’ll be better at home in Kuantan for the second leg as long as my players don’t repeat their mistakes.”
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