Negeri Sembilan produced an outstanding performance in the Malaysia Cup as they defeating Pahang 2-1 at Tunku Abdul Rahman Stadium, a win which helped leapfrogged them into second place behind already-qualified PKNP FC.
The Deers scored two first half goals through Faderin Kadir and Khairul Anwar and was thoroughly on top for majority of the match. Even though the visitors managed to pull one back late on in the match through Heo Jae-Won, the three points remained with Negeri Sembilan.
Captaining the side, Lee Tuck was adamant that the team spirit that the home side had was just better. The midfielder praised the effort put in by his team mates and opined that the tie was won because Negeri Sembilan were just mentally more prepared than Pahang.
"It was a great performance, everyone played well. We all worked hard and I think we won because we wanted it more than Pahang. Second half we were under a lot of pressure, they played very well. We worked hard defending and they deserve one goal but we deserved the win," said Lee in a post-match interview with the host broadcaster.
Negeri Sembilan had to do without the services of key attacking duo of Jonathan Behe and Bruno Suzuki but still managed to produce a wonderful performance against a team, one division about them.
The Deers are also in contention to be one of the sides to be promoted from the Premier League and head coach Asri Ninggal was pleased to see his charges bring their league form into the cup competition.
"Even though we only put out 2 imports, I though our team played well. The difference between us and Pahang is our good team spirit. We knew they have a good midfield but we didn't give them the space and put a lot of pressure on them."
"Our priorities more on the Super League. But we will make the allocation for the players and we'll make full use of the squad rotation for the next game," said Asri.
Negeri Sembilan will next play bottom-placed T-Team FC on Tuesday in Match Day 5 of the 2017 Malaysia Cup.