Coach Kim Swee says Sabah were let down by poor finishing

Towering figure: Johor Darul Ta’zim’s Fernando Forestieri (right) vying for the ball with Penang’s Mohd Azmeer Aris Nor Rashid during the FA Cup quarter-final match. — Bernama

PETALING JAYA: Sabah coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee rued the poor finishing of the forward line that led to his team losing their eight-game unbeaten run at home.

Kuala Lumpur knocked out Sabah 2-1 from the FA Cup competition to advance to the last four at the Likas Stadium on Sunday.

The City Boys will take on Terengganu, who overcame Kelantan 4-2 on Saturday, for a place in the final.

The match in Kota Kinabalu saw all three goals scored in the first half.

Sabah took the lead in the sixth minute through Brazilian Gabriel Peres. But it was Kuala Lumpur who had the upper hand in the end after goals from Colombian Romel Morales (29th) and T. Saravanan (44th).

Kim Swee admitted Sabah did not play to the best of their abilities.

“We did not play like we normally would. We took the lead but lost our focus. KL did not give up fighting and came back with two goals. We showed improvement later in the second half but it was too late,” he said.

“We created many chances but were let down by our finishing.

“This has happened in the last three matches. There are many areas that we need to look at now and improve on it,” said Kim Swee.

They will focus on the Super League campaign where they are currently fourth in the standings and take on Kedah in Alor Setar when the Super League campaign resumes on Friday.

Defending FA Cup champions Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) had no problems advancing to the last four as they crushed Penang 5-0 at Sultan Ibrahim Stadium in Iskandar Puteri on Sunday.

Penang made it easy for JDT by scoring an own goal in the 32nd minute through French import Ousmane Fane before scoring their own through Indonesian Jordi Amat (38th), Arif Aiman Hanapi (penalty, 49th), La’vere Corbin-Ong (58th) and substitute Syafiq Ahmad (90+3).

Coach Esteban Solari was happy with the contribution of his reserves – goalkeeper Farizal Marilas, Brazilian Diogo Luis Santo, Australian Shane Lowry and Corbin-Ong.

“I’m satisfied as they translated what they have been practising in training during matches. They were a bit anxious in the knockout stage, but when they started to open up the game, the goals came.”

JDT will take on Selangor in the semi-final next.

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Ong Kim Swee , Sabah , FA Cup


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