PETALING JAYA: Petaling Jaya City showed that one does not need big names to achieve big things.
PJ City surprised last year’s Malaysia Cup semi-finalists Terengganu 3-0, thanks to a first-half hattrick from Darren Lok, in Wednesday’s Super League match at the MBPJ Stadium in Kelana Jaya.
Darren, who had to withdrew from the national squad after testing positive for Covid-19 last month, scored in the 12th, 32nd and 39th minutes.
It is the second win for PJ City as they moved to third in the early stage of the Super League standings with six points.
Beating Terengganu is no easy feat as the east coast club finished fourth in the Super League 2021 season.
PJ City head coach P. Maniam said the thought of beating Terengganu 3-0 did not cross his mind at all.
“I think the early hattrick from Darren shook the confidence of our opponents’ hopes to make a comeback.
“Every player in my team played their respective roles in the middle, defence and attack well.
“I was worried until the final whistle as we tried our best not to let in goals.
“As a coach, I am surprised because to win 3-0 against a big team is something magical.
“Darren played well to get the early goals and we started playing with better confidence.
“I am proud of the boys as they gave their 200% while trying to defend the lead in the second half,” said Maniam.
“Terengganu were not able to play their usual game because they were under pressure from our three strikers, namely Darren, Mahali Jasuli and S. Kumaahran.”
In Alor Star, Kedah edged Pahang 1-0 thanks to centreback Rodney Celvin Akwensivie’s 55th-minute strike.