‘I WILL TAKE THE BLAME’ – SATHIANATHAN ON SELANGOR’S BIG DEFEAT

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JOHOR BAHRU, 19 Sept – It was a match of two halves for Selangor as the Red Giants collapsed in the second half and ended with a 6-1 defeat at the hands of six-time champions in Saturday’s Super League at the Sultan Ibrahim Stadium in Iskandar Puteri.
Selangor coach, B. Sathianathan (pic below) blames no one but himself on the defeat for making the “‘wrong choice of players” against the Southern Tigers who ran riot after the break and never looked back to register their second-biggest score at the new stadium.
JDT’s biggest win was the 7-0 hammering of Perak two weeks ago.
Selangor felt the heat after restricting the home team to a 1-0 lead with international Safawi Rasid hitting home a 30 meter free kick which Selangor’s second choice keeper Farizal Harun could have saved.
First choice goalkeeper, Khairul Azhan Khalid was not on the team as he got married on the same day of the match.
Selangor’s influential playmaker, Brendan Gan was also missing in Sathianathan’s match plans and strategies as he was serving a one-match suspension.
“There is no doubt about it…JDT is the best team in the country and fully deserves to be playing in the AFC Champions League and not the AFC Cup,” said Sathianathan.
The former national coach reminded at a post-match the press conference that JDT is a team that has equal depth even on the bench.
The tide turned for JDT when referee Zulkarnain Zakaria stole the show with a disputable penalty for the home team.
Zulkarnain deemed it right for the spot kick when Selangor’s Nicholas Swirad tripped Diogo Luis Santo inside the box when it was clearly outside the box.
”That was the turning point for us and we never really recovered from the referee’s decision. The players lost hope and we crumbled,” added Sathianathan in disappointment.
Safawi went to score a brace and so was substitute Ramadan Saifullah who has been in terrific form since being promoted to the first team from JDT II. JDT’s other goals were from Diogo Luis Santo and Gonzalo Cabrera.
Spaniard came off the bench to net Selangor’s consolation goal.
The match ended with a red card for JDT’s Syamer Kutty Abba for a second bookable offense.
Meanwhile, Super League rookies UiTM continued with their fine run with a 2-1 win over seasoned Terengganu at the UiTM Stadium in Shah Alam to move into third spot with 13 points from eight matches.
Terengganu slipped to sixth place on 10 points – head of Selangor on goal difference.

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