PETALING JAYA: Selangor’s coach Karsten Neitzel is over the moon after his boys played like “Die Mannschaft” (German national team) in their come-from-behind 3-2 win over Melaka in a Super League match at the Hang Jebat Stadium.
German Neitzel is obviously happy to have imbued his country’s tenacious attitude in the sport, which saw them winning the World Cup four times (1954,1974,1990 and 2014), into the Selangor team.
And it was evident against Melaka when Syahmi Safari scored the winning goal in the 88th minute.
Melaka took the lead through Montenegrin striker Stefan Nikolic in the 45th minute but the Red Giants responded in the 51st minute through Nigerian striker Ifedayo Olusegun to make it 1-1.
Melaka went ahead when Ahmad Syamim Yahya headed S. Kumaahran’s corner kick into goal in the 59th minute. Selangor’s Olusegun made it 2-2 in the 70th minute.
Syahmi became the Red Giants’ hero with a half-volley goal for a deserved three points.
Neitzel could not contain his excitement as he enthused that his boys played as a team.
“They had the winning mentality. The opponents led twice but they never stopped creating chances and playing football. Melaka made it hard for us, but I am glad we etched out a win, ” said Neitzel.
“I want all the players to be focused and in the last two matches, everyone – the regulars and the substitutes – have worked so well as a team. This must go on for each game.”
Selangor are now fifth with 14 points while Melaka remain 10th with seven points.
Neitzel also praised Olusegun, who has finally found his scoring touches having netted five goals in the last two matches.
“Of course, I am happy. In the first game, he worked a lot for the team, got into good positions to score, but the final pass wasn’t coming. Now he has seven goals. Happy for him. He never stopped working for the team.”
Meanwhile, Melaka coach Zainal Abidin Hassan said he is disappointed with the team’s last two outings.
“Two straight losses at home. We usually take the lead and then carelessness slips in. Selangor’s last two goals were defensive mistakes. Our marking must be tighter and this must be worked on.
“Concentration must be better. A post-mortem will be done and I hope to rectify the shortcomings, ” said Zainal.