PETALING JAYA: Pahang coach Fandi Ahmad expressed huge relief after avoiding an embarrassing defeat to Kuching City in Super League match on Saturday.
Fortunately, a change of position by Stefano Brundo and a first goal by Rafael Silva revived the Elephants in the second half and they went on to win 3-2 in Super League match at the Darul Makmur Stadium on Saturday.
Kuching are languishing at the bottom of the table with just seven points and as the fourth best team, Pahang were expected to romp to an easy win but they certainly lived dangerously.
The first half saw Brundo scoring the opening goal in the 13th minute and Uzbek international Kuvondik Riziev adding another in the 43rd minute while Kuching also did well to score two through Pedro Hendrique (16th) and Abu Kamara (25th).
However, Fandi’s decision to push defender Brundo to midfield to partner Ruziev in the second half saw Rafael Silva, who arrived from Brazilian Zerie B club Ituano in July, scoring the winner in the 61st minute, after combining well with their chief striker Kpah Sherman.
“Kuching were looking for a win and they were pressing hard in the first half and we were not up to the mark. Once the changes were made in the second half, we played with more aggression and purpose,” said Fandi.
“I am also happy to see Rafa (Rafael) scoring his first goal for the club. Although Rafa is not 100 per cent, he managed to give his best.
‘The most important thing is that we did not lose, took full points and we need to focus as there are another five weeks left in the league where we need to be fit to complete the final.”
Fandi said that Pahang need to improve their marking during set pieces while the weaknesses in midfield also need to be plugged.
Pahang however, would lose the services of Sherman, who received a yellow card on Saturday in their next game against Terengganu at home on Oct 29.