Another major obstacle ahead for the Elephants


JOHOR BARU: Pahang, who suffered a shocking 1-2 defeat by Perlis in their first league match at home on Saturday, are staring at another tough assignment at Kuantan's Darulmakmur Stadium tomorrow when they play Kelantan in the FA Cup first round second leg match. 

The Elephants go into the midweek match with a slim one-goal cushion, having won 2-1 in the first-leg at the Sultan Mohamed IV Stadium on Feb 19. 

The winners tomorrow will advance to the second round and play against Negri Sembilan. 

Pahang coach Ralf Borges Ferreira, however, is not losing any sleep over the defeat to Perlis, though he has called on his players to “look forward” to the coming matches. 

“As I have said before, we need to continue to work on our weaknesses. There were several glaring weaknesses when we played Perlis ... and I am not too happy with our defence,” said Ferreira from Kuantan. 

For the FA Cup match, the Brazilian will not have international Fadzli Shaari, who has been called up for training with the national Under-21 squad. He will decide on Fadzli's replacement today. 

“Overall, we did okay against Perlis, who benefitted from our mistakes. It was a rather lucky win for Perlis,” said Ferreira.  

“It is now up to us to improve our game. The players will have to fight to get a place in the second round. We only hold a slender one-goal cushion and it will be tough on us. We need to put the defeat by Perlis behind us and look at the coming matches positively.” 

Pahang have strengthened their team for the new season with the acquisition of three former Terengganu players – Hairuddin Omar, Subri Sulong and Rosdi Talib. 

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