BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
Following Selangor's 1-1 draw against Melaka United FC at home in their Super League match on Friday, the Red Giants head coach P. Maniam praised their opponents for putting up a strong challenge against his men.
"Of course we could see that Melaka are a good side. They simply dominated the first half. I think they are one of the best teams at the moment as they have good players.
"But at the same time, after we made some changes, I think we managed to get back in the game and create better chances to finally score the equaliser.
"After that, we also created several more chances to score.
"Regardless, of course it's a good result for Selangor to collect one point. Once again I want to say that Melaka are one of the best teams and they have quality players. You could see that for yourselves," said Maniam during the post-match press conference.
He also praised new foreign signing Victor Astafei, who scored the equaliser for Selangor in the 81st minute, after having come on as a 53rd minute substitution.
ictor Astafei (in the air) heading in his Selangor's equaliser against Melaka United. Photo by Hazrin Mohd Zaidun/CSN
"The introduction of Astafei at the beginning of the second half certainly changed the game. But I could see that Francis Doe still needs to work on his fitness because he previously lack practice time. The fitness is there but it still needs improving.
"Another of our new import players, Juliano Mineiro (Brazil-born Timor Leste player) has been registered. But he was not in the squad tonight because we want to prepare him ahead of our next match, against PKNS FC on Saturday.
"We are still monitoring his fitness. If it is good, there's a good chance he will be picked for the first time," said Maniam.
And in an interview with the match broadcaster, the 48-year old also praised the performance of the Selangor youngsters he fielded against the Mousedeers.
"Of course for young players, it's not easy for them to perform (at the senior level), but I think Adam (forward Adam Nor Azlin) and Syahmi (winger Syahmi Safari) gave their best, and Kannan (defender Kannan Kalaiselvan) as well came on and took the team to another level.
"Of course we have these players so we have to work with them, and I believe with them in the squad, we can do a good job," he explained.