PETALING JAYA: Felda United were the least expected team to steal a point from reigning Super League champions Johor Darul Ta’zim but they did just that.
The Fighters, led by coach Nidzam Jamil, defied the odds when they became the first team in the league to hold the Southern Tigers 1-1 at their brand new Sultan Ibrahim Stadium on Saturday.
The home side took the lead in the 21st minute through Syafiq Ahmad, but Felda fought back in the 51st minute when Gabon international Frederic Bulot finished off a brilliant one-two passing move between Japanese winger Ryutaro Megumi and Argentinian striker Nicolas Velez.
The Southern Tigers could have regained their lead but Felda goalkeeper Mohd Muhaimin Mohd pulled off a super stop to deny Gonzalo Cabrera a goal via a penalty in the 62nd minute.
Nidzam said any team would be happy to take a point off JDT.
“I’m happy with the point, but there were some parts of the game where I felt we should have shown more balance, ” said the 39-year-old.
“We were too defensive in the first half. We cannot allow JDT to hold the ball longer, because it will be dangerous for us.
“In the second half, we took advantage of the space left by JDT’s defence and it gave us the opportunity to score.”
Nidzam gave due credit to their new signing Muhaimin for his consistent showing since joining the team early this year.
“Last year, he was with Petaling Jaya City, and helped them beat JDT in the Malaysia Cup.
“Now, he is with us and saved that penalty.
“His preparation and attitude in the last three matches with us have been first class. He deserves an extra day’s break for his efforts today, ” joked Nidzam.
Meanwhile, Benjamin Mora bemoaned his team’s lack of killer instinct.
“Well, it’s not a good night for JDT. We do not like to draw or lose. There are always those possibilities if we do not perform as we should do in every way, ” said Mora.
“We controlled the game and did an excellent job collectively, but we did not score goals. We need to be more efficient and productive.”
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