PETALING JAYA, April 26 – Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) club owner His Highness, Major General Tunku Ismail Ibni Sultan Ibrahim showed his sporting side to go to the Terengganu FC dressing room to personally thank the players for their splendid over the seven-time Malaysian Super League champions.
The 1-0 win achieved at JDT’s new state of art Sultan Ibrahim Stadium in Iskandar Puteri, Johor Bahru on Saturday was JDT’s first defeat at their new home. It also shattered JDT’s 21-game unbeaten streak.
All that disappeared in the 56th minute – thanks to a mix-up in the JDT backline – and young Turtle Hakimi Abdullah grabbed the golden opportunity that came his way and he gleefully lifted the ball over the on-rushing JDT custodian Farizal Marlias who is also the national number one.
Terengganu head coach Nafuzi Zain attributed the win to his highly motivated players plus guts, determination and character against a team that not only has depth on the bench but players who have hogged the limelight on the Malaysian football scene.
JDT’s long-serving Mexican chief coach Benjamin Mora put up a brave front at the post-match press conference but deep inside he was “weeping” over the shock defeat. This was translated from his comments on the defeat.
“It is very sad to lose. However, after scoring the goal Terengganu players were unsporting and wasted time by faking an injury.
“JDT found difficulty in breaking into the Terengganu side as the visitors also parked their ‘players inside their own half,” said the Mexican.
“JDT will bounce back and move on. The defeat is a blot in our impressive records in Malaysian football. There will be more to come from the team.”
This has irked the Terengganu fans who have taken to social media to voice out their disappointment over Mora’s negative comments on Terengganu’s win. The fans said Mora, instead, should be sporting and accept the defeat.
Nafuzi remained humble on his team’s win and said: “‘We should ride on the momentum to keep up the pressure at the top.”
With the win over JDT, the East Coast outfit is in second place in the 12-team league with 21 points after 10 matches – two points behind leaders JDT. Kedah is in the third spot with 20 points with Penang fourth a point below.