|FROM PASIR GUDANG STADIUM
By Khalis Rifhan
Despite suffering a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Harimau Muda at the Pasir Gudang Stadium, Courts Young Lions coach Aide Iskandar was proud of his players' mentality after watching them give their all untill the end of the match even with two men down.
“It is definitely very encouraging even though it is not an ideal situation to be in and probably the most difficult position to be in," he admitted after the game.
"I give credit to the boys as they gave their best but I feel sorry for the boys as they went away with nothing after working so hard.
“Before this game, we are probably one of the teams that have the least yellow cards and never a red card before, and this shows the level of discipline in the boys.”
Substitute Sheikh Abdul Hadi was sent off for a second bookable offence in the 57th minute, while captain Al-Qaasimy Rahman was shown the straight red by referee Farhad Mohd for a late challenge on Ridzuan Abdunloh 25 minutes from time.
But Aide refused to comment on both incidents and stressed that his players have always been in good conduct since the start of the season.
“I did not see it, so I could not comment on it," he said.
"For me this match was well-controlled and we have two teams with young players who may tend to be temperamental when things don’t go well for them.
“My players are well disciplined and there was no act of violence at any point in time.”
Harimau Muda coach Razip Ismail however was not a happy man despite getting the three points, as he felt his players did not play to their full ability and had expected a better showing from his young charges.
“Although I am happy with the three points, I am not satisfied with my players’ overall performance as there were several occasions when we made things difficult for ourselves," he said.
“After the first goal, we made quite a number of mistakes and eventually the Young Lions equalized.
“In the second half, when they were down to nine men, it looked easy for us but still, I am not pleased with what I saw in the field from my team.”
With fan favourite Maxsius Musa starting the match on the bench, the limelight was taken over by speedy and adventurous winger Iskandar Hanapiah, whom Razip feel was worth a mention after his brilliance performance.
“He was livelier in the second half compared to the first and I did urge him during the half-time break to raise his game after the restart, and he made lots of dangerous crosses and was more involved in the attacks in the second half," he praised.