Kuching leave City Boys scratching their heads over what went wrong

PETALING JAYA: Kuching City FC gave Kuala Lumpur reasons to ponder over their Malaysia Cup hopes with a surprise 2-0 win in the final Premier League match.

Goals from Brazilian Bryan Jones Anicezio (21st) and Japanese midfielder Yuta Suzuki (34th) in the long-postponed match which was played at the Hang Jebat Stadium on Saturday was a wake-up call for the lethargic KL side.

The loss is bound to give KL coach Nidzam Adzha Yusoff sleepless nights ahead of the Malaysia Cup which starts on Nov 6.

The defeat left KL third in the final standings of the 12-team Premier League with 21 points from 11 matches.

Kuching moved up from sixth to fourth with 16 points. Penang, who like all the other teams have completed their fixtures earlier, are the league champions while Terengganu 2 finished second.

Nidzam is more worried about KL’s fitness as they could not conduct full training when the conditional movement control order (MCO) in the Klang Valley was imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I’m disappointed with the players’ performance, the players’ mistakes enabled our opponents to get their goals. We actually played well at the beginning of the match but couldn’t sustain our game,” said Nidzam.

“We didn’t use the chances we had to score, while our opponents took their chances well.”

In the Malaysia Cup draw conducted yesterday, KL drew Sabah, who have been dropped from the Cup competition for not abiding by the SOP rules, and will get a free ride into the quarter-finals.

“I hope we can train better for the Malaysia Cup. We couldn’t train as a team before this game due to the restrictions and I really hope the situation improves. We need to be more prepared besides bettering the quality of our performance,” said Nidzam.

Kuching skipper Joseph Kallang Tie was full of praise for his men after the win over KL. Kuching will make their debut in the Cup against defending champions Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) in the first round.

“This win is a good result for us ahead of the Malaysia Cup. Everything looks positive for the team,” said Joseph.

“For me, upsets are a norm in football. If everyone works hard, we can surprise our opponents JDT. I think the knockout format makes the competition more interesting.”

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