Fandi Ahmad, Johor Darul Takzim's head coach, hailed his players for giving 200 per cent against the Red Giants in their FA Cup quarter-final clashFandi Ahmad, head coach of Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) was in jubilant mood as the Southern Tigers made a great comeback to book their place in the semi-finals.
JDT were trailing Selangor 3-1 at on aggregate at one point, but their new import player Leonel Nunez scored two goals in to bring the tie into extra time and eventually a penalty-shootout, where goalkeeper Al-Hafiz made two heroic saves that sent JDT through.
Fandi said: "What a comeback!
"We always said that we have to decide our own destiny and we didn't want to lose for the third time. We want luck to be on our side but luck would not come if we don't work hard.
"The boys gave 200 per cent today and we did a good job. We changed our strategy from 4-1-4-1 to 4-4-2, and then in the end, we used 4-3-3 because we had three strikers at our disposal."
Fandi also praised his three strikers and goalkeeper Al-Hafiz, who saved two penalties in the penalty shoot-out.
"We knew Safee was ready to go and Nunez was also eager to play, despite being a bit overweight from not playing lately, he saved us.
"It was our plan to bring him on for Azwan Roya 30 minutes into the game. We knew that he had the firepower, the finishing quality and he did very well. I also believed in Al-Hafiz, who I am sure, will dedicate this win to his children," Fandi added.
He also praised Safee and Norshahrul, as the two players made several physical challenges and running to help Nunez find space in the box.
JDT are set to meet Pahang in the semi-finals of the FA Cup.