FROM JALAN BESAR STADIUM
By Khalis Rifhan
Malaysian Super League (MSL) leaders Pahang FA were outclassed by the LionsXII at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Saturday night, as they went down to a heavy 3-0 defeat.
Former Courts Young Lions player Faris Ramli scored in the first half on his debut, while Singapore internationals Safuwan Bahrudin and Fazrul Nawaz found the back of the net in the second half to lead the home side to an impressive victory.
Speaking at the post-match press conference, Tok Gajah coach Dollah Salleh conceded that they lost to a superior side.
“We have to accept the way LionsXII played tonight. I believe my players also struggled to play in on artificial grass," he said.
“We tried to kill them with our strength but unfortunately it’s the other way. I did not expect LionsXII to play fast football. That is actually our strength but tonight we were defeated by that.”
The former Malaysian international was also full of praise for winger Faris, who tormented Pahang down both flanks with his trickery and skill.
“Faris Ramli is the best [player] tonight [and] even in the second half, my players were finding it difficult against him," Dollah said.
"I am surprised that this is his first game. It shows something about him [to look more] experienced and more skilful than some other players.”
Dollah soon turned his attention to his own team, and he hopes that they will pick themselves up and prepare for their next MSL game.
“The players have to wake up as we were at the top of the table and suddenly we were beaten by three goals," he warned.
"It is very tough [to take] but at least it’s a lesson for my players. We have to go on and improve for the next match."
Pahang will next travel to Lumut Stadium, Ipoh to face Perak on February 19 with the match scheduled to kick-off at 8.45p.m.