KUCHING, April 17 (Bernama) — Kelantan head coach Bojan Hodak was full of praise for his team after defeating homesters Sarawak 2-0 in the second leg FA Cup quarterfinal despite having to go through a tiring week.
He said the players appeared to have followed the instructions given to attack as soon as the match began.
“As I told the players, they must attack from the beginning, and you could see after we scored the first goal, Sarawak was mentally down, after the second goal I could see that we had ‘finished off’ Sarawak because they needed four goals and I did not think they were ready for that,” he told reporters after the match at the Sarawak State Stadium in Kuching, Tuesday night.
The Croatian coach was also pleased with the performance shown by the striker, Ahmad Fakri Shaarani, whom he said was really impressive, and the right choice fielded after foreign player, Dickson Nwakaemi had a muscle problem.
Meanwhile, Sarawak head coach Robert Alberts said his team was seen as not aggressive, simply losing the ball and giving easy goals to Kelantan, something that should not be done against teams from the super league.
“We did not live up to expectation after the first-leg match, we made it easy for them (Kelantan). We were not aggressive to win the ball, and the Sarawak players simply gave the ball to them (Kelantan). Once they (Kelantan) had the ball, they became dangerous and attacked us.
“We should have given a better fight, we made it easy to them with two simple goals. From tonight’s match, we could see the quality difference between two teams from two different leagues,” he said
In a related development, Junior Eldstal made his debut for Sarawak in the match Tuesday night.
Born to a Sabahan mother and Swedish father, Eldstal or his Malaysian name Putera Nadher Amarhan holds a Malaysian passport and is eligible to play for Sarawak as a local player.
Speaking to reporters, Eldstal, who was previously playing in the Vauxhall Football League in England, said he was still trying to adjust to the environment around and was pleased with the oppurtunity given to play for Sarawak.