It was a shallow win for Pahang in their opening Group A Malaysia Cup match against Johor at the Darulmakmur Stadium although they won 4-0.
It was a tale of missed goal scoring chances for Pahang the whole night as they only managed to score four goals past Johor when it could have been easily doubled.
Heavy rain 45 minutes before the kickoff saw the match between delayed by forty minutes.
Referee Muhd Nazmi Nasaruddin and his assistants after inspecting the pitch which was waterlogged in certain parts of the field and only drizzling at kickoff time at 8.45pm, he decided to delay the kickoff indefinitely.
The officials came out again at 9pm to inspect the field where the water was subsidising – thanks to a good drainage system – and decided to start the game at 9.40pm.
Both Pahang and Johor had earlier warmed up in the heavy rain before deciding to return to their dressing rooms as there was no signs of the raining letting up,
Pahang loyal Elephant Army kept their Pahang team company by signing songs in the heavy rain.
Both teams at the start of the game settled down quickly and created chances to grab an early lead with Pahang’s Azammuddin Mohd Akil and Johor’s Mohd Aznie Taib having clear chance but saw the custodians safe.
But it was Pahang who was successful with a totally “foreign touch” goal from a corner which went to the other corner for defender Damion Stewart to send a tricky cross which Matias Ruben Conti picked up to slide to Dickson Nwakaeme to slot it home.
Pahang were in total control after that, but simply could not increase their lead until Matias found the net in the 38th minute.
The Elephants goal woes continued to only return to the dressing room with a two goal advantage when they should have piled up the goals.
Pahang’s woes of missed chances continued until Dickson scored in the71st minute of their corner kick set piece to increase Pahang’s lead to 3-0.
To make matters worse for Pahang, goalkeeper Md Khairul Azhan Khalid picked up a yellow card in the 74th minute for time wasting while Mohd Hafiz Kamal in the 84th minute was shown the yellow card for an unnecessary foul on Johor’s Nicolas Delmonte.
Coach Zainal Abidin Hassan brought in fresh legs in the last 15 minutes which saw Azizdan Sarudin replace MOhd Faizol Hussain, R. Surendran take over from Azammuddin Mohd Akil and Mohd Fauzi Rozlan replace Conti but it still did not see Pahang firing from all cylinders.
However, there was some consolation when Mohd Fauzi score in the dying minutes for a 4-0 win.
It was a good start with a win, but Pahang could have done much better with their overall performance and scoring ability.
Let’s hope that it does not come to haunt the when goal difference matters for a place in the last eight.