BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
Although Selangor edged Kuala Lumpur (KL) 2-0 in the Klang Valley Derby in their first Super League match of the season on Sunday, the victory came at a high cost.
The Red Giants' new signings Azamuddin Akil, Alfonso de la Cruz and Ilham Udin Armaiyn had to be substituted off through injuries, and forward Rufino Segovia, who scored both goals, was later seen limping in the final 10 minutes of the match, as head coach Maniam Pachaiappan was unable to substitute him.
Speaking to the press after the match, Maniam said that he will have to take stock of his men's conditions and availability in the coming days, as they will face Melaka United this Wednesday on matchday two.
"Alfonso is injured, Ilham as well, while Alex (Azamuddin) has a knock on his knee. These are our key players, so we will observe them in the next two or three days before making a decision.
"I think Ilham and Rufino have only picked up light injuries, and hopefully they can play in our next match," revealed the former Selangor player.
He also commented on the performance of Alfonso, who only arrived to join the club one week before the match.
"He did very well in winning the ball and doing the dirty job,
but by the 70th minute he was tired.
"That's why I replaced him with Saiful [Ridzuwan Selamat], who also performed well," he remarked.
Surprisingly, Rufino has very little criticism over the cause of almost all of their injuries in the match; the hosts' tough tackling.
"In football it's normal... And tonight it's a derby, with KL returning to the Super League. They were just as excited as we were.
"The tackles were normal as both teams wanted to play football, and it was a good match," said the Spaniard in the same press conference.