JOHOR BARU: Club side Johor FC, who have their back against the wall, will be without Australian striker Jon Angelucci for tomorrow's Premier I match against Sabah at the Pasir Gudang Football Stadium.
The lanky Angelucci, who is the league’s leading scorer with eight goals, is out on a one-match suspension after picking up his third yellow card in the match against Pahang, which Johor FC lost 1-4, in Kuantan last week.
Johor FC coaching and technical director Ronald Smith said: “Angelucci has been scoring regularly and his absence will be felt.”
The Hornets have set a high target of a top three finish this season after signing several experienced hands. But they have been struggling, especially in away matches.
Although they are still unbeaten at home in both the league and FA Cup, they have lost all their away matches. In the FA Cup, Johor FC are in the quarter-finals and they will play against Perlis.
“The away syndrome baffles me. Like in the match against Pahang, we gave away two soft goals from corner kicks. The players were simply not in the game at all, especially in the first half,” said Smith.
Johor FC’s only blemish at home came against Malacca, who held them to a 1-1 draw. Before that Johor FC whipped Kelantan 4-1 and Terengganu 3-1. In the FA Cup, Johor FC beat Malacca Telekom 2-0 in a first-leg second round match.
“We need to collect points at home. We have to beat Sabah to get a boost for the away match against defending champions Perak in Ipoh on April 9,” said Smith.
After Perak, Johor FC travel to Kangar to take on Perlis in the FA Cup quarter-final first-leg match on April 12. The return match is on April 19.
In the 13-team Premier I, Johor FC are in 10th place with seven points from eight matches.