Standing in fourth spot before the restart, Pahang have now plummeted down to eight in the Super League standings following their second straight defeat, this time at the hands of unheralded UiTM FC. A rush of blood to the head for the experienced Sharbinee Allawee in failing to clear the ball allowed Rafie Mat Yaacob the chance to score the all-important winner.
Still without the injured Ivan Carlos, Dicksown Nwakaeme only half-fit and Mohamadou Sumareh still nowhere to be seen, Dollah Salleh saw his side incapable of offering more threat to the university team and was left dejected with the result and in particular Sharbinee’s mistake.
“I’m very disappointed because the goal was similar to what happened against JDT and to make it worse, that was the only goal of the match. Before the match I was worried because we had a lot of injuries and we took the gamble with Dickson in front and he just couldn’t perform because of the pain.
“Overall, I had no issue with my defence, more towards the midfield and attack. Usually we look lacklustre in the opening period of the match but this time we did well in the opening 15 minutes then it all went downhill from there,” explained Dollah in the post-match press conference.
For the home side, they are on the other end of the spectrum compared to Pahang. This was another precious three points picked up after achieving an away win against Felda United last week. Frank Bernhardt’s team had the upper hand for large part in the match and threatened to scored more.
The win sees UiTM pushing up to fourth in the standings, when many had them pegged for a immediate return to the Premier League. But the lanky German refused to be drawn on his team moving up the table and instead wants his charge to remain focus in ensuring that the team remains in the Super League beyond the 2020 season.
“We do the best what we can and I think our preparations were better than the other teams. At Felda they struggled to keep up with our power and speed and today (Saturday) I can hear from Pahang that they are tired and injured. We have at the moment the power to stay 90 minutes.
“Our season target remained to stay in the league. Right now we are only five points away from the relegation zone, so we need more points and we will fight for this game by game. We don’t look to the top at the moment,” said Bernhardt after the match.
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