PKNS FC finally had to relinquish their unbeaten start to the 2018 Super League season after finishing on the losing side of a 7-goal thriller at Shah Alam Stadium on Sunday night.
Kedah had just too much firepower for the Red Ants as they suffered their first home defeat of the season. Despite twice leading the contest, PKNS failed to hold onto their lead long enough to keep Kedah under pressure on both occasions.
K. Reuben's own goal in the second half gave Kedah the lead for the first time in the match but PKNS were handed an immediate chance to provide a response. However striker Rafael Ramazotti who had already three goals thus far, failed to beat Ifwat Akmal from 12 yards out.
PKNS' head coach was left in no doubt that it would have been an entirely different result had Ramazotti found the back of the net from the penalty spot.
"I knew that this was going to be a tough match. As usual Kedah used short passes, high mobility and have good players in all positions. Even though we lost two key players in Safee Sali and Zac Anderson, who can organise and is a leader, we gave a good fight."
"We concede quickly after we scored. After they took the lead, we didn't give up. But the turning point was when Rafael didn't score the penalty. Had he scored, the game would have gone either way. I was confident we could have still gotten a result and kept the unbeaten run going but after that we conceded a fourth.
"It was obvious that we gave them too much space to move the ball and our defence wasn't alert enough. A fair result would have been a draw," said Rajagopal in the post-match press conference.
The 61-year-old former Malaysia national team head coach will have just five days to get his players back on track when they welcome the visit of Hanelang FC in the FA Cup second round match on Friday.