Ace up Zainal’s sleeve does the trick for Melaka


PETALING JAYA: You have to play your ace when the time is right.

Melaka coach Zainal Abidin Hassan timed it perfectly by pairing up Jang Suk-won and Razman Roslan to shackle Terengganu’s striker Dominique Da Sylva to carve out a 1-0 win in their Super League clash.

Nigerian striker Uche Agba netted the winner for Melaka in the 61st minute although Terengganu’s Montenegrin defender Argzim Redzovic was clearly pulled down by Haitian attacker Sony Norde in the build-up to the goal at the Hang Jebat Stadium on Friday.

However, nullifying the threat of Mauritanian Da Sylva, who was in red-hot form after scoring three goals in the last two matches, was a stroke of genius by Zainal.

The second win propelled Melaka, in a hopeless position before the M-League restart on Aug 28, to third with nine points from six matches in the 12-team table.

Melaka were languishing in the relegation zone prior to the restart following a three-point deduction for failing to settle their players’ salaries.

“The players showed their spirit in this game... Terengganu are a dangerous side.

“We took our chances well to score the winner and overall I’m happy with the performance, ” said Zainal.

“Da Sylva is a good player and everyone knows how lethal he can be but we did our homework before the game.

“Razman and Suk-won did very well to not give Da Sylva the space to inflict damage.

“After we were docked three points, we dropped to the relegation zone and we needed the wins to give us the impetus for the remaining matches.

“We also have to thank our president Datuk Sulaiman (Md Ali) for his backing and motivation.

“He has promised to take care of the team and that is certainly a boost for the players.”

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