Time to regroup after wins, work on JDT clash begins

April 20, 2014

Pahang coach Zainal Abidin was delighted his players did not show any signs of being affected by the 4-1 loss to LionsXII by recording a similar scoreline win over Sime Darby at the Darul Makmur Stadium on Saturday.

The Elephants were all over Ismail Zakaria men, who entered the match with back-to-back wins over LionsXII and Kelantan.

Zainal was happy his team enters the International break at the top of the table and wants to fine tune his side before their FA Cup semifinal first leg clash against Johor Darul Takzim at the Larkin Stadium on May 6.

Pahang top the Super League standings with 28 points, one more than Selangor but the Red Giants have played a game less.

“My players were fantastic. They did well to forget the mid-week disappointments and can take a well deserved break for a few days before we get back to business to fine tune things. I still feel we could be more focused.

Also, R. Surendran started his first game of the season and did well although he could not last 90 minutes. Matias Conti and Dickson Nwakaeme combined well too. In fact, everyone did they what were asked of them well,” said Zainal.

Surendran opened the scoring in the 19th minute before a brace by Conti in the 35th and 45th minute gave Pahang a well deserved lead into the break. Nwakaeme’s efforts throughout were rewarded with a goal for himself in the 65th minute while Dilshod Sharofetdinov scored a consolation for the visitors six minutes later.

As for Ismail, he insisted Sime Darby had all but one player covered. It was none other Nwakaeme, who played a role in all goals.

“Everything was well planned but just Nwakaeme disrupted our tactical plans. It was difficult guarding him without Mensah. Nwakaem could have created a couple more goals too,” said Ismail

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