PETALING JAYA: It was a bittersweet feeling for the Federal Territories (FT) football team coach Khalid Shahdan as his squad chalked up a 1-0 win over his home state Johor in the Malaysia Games (Sukma) in Perak.
The former international, a Johor legend in the late 80s, said FT were lucky to edge the 10-man Johor at the Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI) Stadium in Tanjung Malim yesterday.
Muhammad Amirul Nizam Mohd Azmi scored the winner in the 39th minute for FT in the match which saw Johor’s Mohamad Khairullah Abdul Halim sent off in the 70th minute.
Khalid, who had previously coached Johor in the M-League in 2004-2006 before training the national youth teams at the Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI) from 2008-2014, said Sukma is a stepping stone for his players to move up to a higher level.
“I’ve fond memories playing and coaching in Johor but I’m a professional and my focus is with my current team. Johor played well and were the stronger team so I’m happy to steal full points from them,” said the 54-year-old, who won two Malaysia Cup in 1985 and 1991
“Our team had a poor campaign in the President’s Cup as we were eliminated early so this is the chance for them to prove their worth.”
“The coaches from the national Under-23 team will be here to look for players so I hope ours will make an impact and earn a call-up to national team or get a contract with M-League sides.”
Meanwhile, Negri Sembilan started their Group A campaign with a 2-1 win over Perlis at the Manjung City Council Stadium.
G. Durrkeswaran opened the scoring for Negri in the 38th minute before K. Aathishesan equalised for Perlis in the 44th minute but Nor Syafiq Syazwan Abdul Rahman ensured full points for Negri with the winner in the 65th minute.
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