JOHOR BAHRU, Nov 26 – Former international Safiq Rahim was a disgrace, getting sacked for a head butt on Terengganu’s Faisal Halim after 16 minutes.
It was shameful for Safiq, a former national skipper, to lose his head and he deserved the direct red card from referee Nazri Nasaruddin.
The 34-year-old veteran, instead of setting an example to younger players, choose to show his ugly side. The early shower, probably gave him time to reflect on his stupidity.
Putting that aside, the Southern Tigers had already done the damage in the first 15 minutes of play at the Sultan Ibrahim Stadium in Iskandar Puteri, Johor Bahru, to keep their Malaysia Cup final date at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Tuesday (Nov 30).
It was smooth sailing for the Southern Tigers as Benjamin Mora’s team rattled the Turtles with Brazilian Bergson Da Silva scoring a brace – opening the scoring as early as the sixth minute and sealing the match with his second and JDT’s third on 15 minutes.
In between, Gonzalo Cabrera scored in the 11th minute – beating Terengganu goalkeeper Suhaimi Husin from the top of the six-yard box – on a night when individual mistakes in the backline proved to be costly for the Turtles.
The quick goals in succession simply rattled Terengganu after Bergson fired a left footed 35-metre shot that hit the net, catching Suhaimi by surprise, probably never expecting the Brazilian to attempt from that distance through an assist by S. Kunanlan.
That set the tone as one banner inside the stadium read “JDT ON FIRE” and it turned out to be true. Very true indeed.
Terengganu never realised what really hit them as the goals came quick and fast.
Hardly had Terengganu recouped from conceding the first goal the Turtles were 2-0 down on the night and 3-1 on aggregate with Cabrera getting his name into the scoresheet.
It was aggressive football from both sides but the Southern Tigers, despite the numeral disadvantage, made it 3-0 on the night with Bergson netting his second and the Turtles were left with a mountain to climb.
For the record, Terengganu is the only team to have beaten the Southern Tigers in their own den with a 1-0 win in the league through Hakimi Abdullah’s goal.
On Friday, however, there was more hunger from the Southern Tigers and they made it count with ease.
For Terengganu, Jordan Mintah’s missed sitter in the 36th minute was costly. The usually reliable Mintah could not believe himself when he skied the sitter off an assist by Azarul Nazarith Azhar.
It could have been a lifeline for Terengganu but it was not to be the visitors who were drowned by their own shortcomings.
”Yes we lost due to individual mistakes but this happens in football. Still, I am pleased with the players commitment and desire on the field,” said Nafuzi on his teams defeat.
Nafuzi also revealed that he is open to offers from other teams for the new season but Terengganu remains his first choice.
In the same breath, Nafuzi added that he hopes to get some news from the Terengganu FC management on the matter soon.

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