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Selangor v PKNP

Anything can happen in the remaining matches, says defiant Nazliazmi

5:04 pm AEST 5/8/18
Nazliazmi Nasir, Selangor, 28042018
Selangor opened their Malaysia Cup campaign with an underwhelming 3-0 defeat to PKNP, the same team they edged 2-0 away from home one week earlier.

BY        ZULHILMI ZAINAL       Follow on Twitter

Despite having finished their Super League campaign with two consecutive wins, Selangor fell to a demoralising 3-0 defeat at home to PKNP FC in their Group D Malaysia Cup opening match on Saturday.

Playing as the home team at the Shah Alam Stadium for the first time since 2016, but without three key players who are away for the 2018 Asian Games with their junior national teams, there was to be no jubilant homecoming for the Red Giants.

Syahmi Safari are away with Malaysia U-23 in preparation for the men's football event of the 2018 Asian Games, while Evan Dimas Darmono and Ilham Udin Armaiyn have joined Indonesia U-23. They are expected to miss one or two more Malaysia Cup matches for the 33-time champions.

The goals in the match were scored by Hafiz Ramdan (23'), Fandi Ahmad (32') and Ritus Krjauklis (62'). PKNP's Azraei Omar received his marching order following a second booking in the second half, but the hosts could not take advantage of their numerical edge. Interestingly, just a little over a week earlier, Selangor had beaten PKNP 2-0 away from home in their second last league match this season.

Goals scored in the Selangor-PKNP match

Speaking in the post-match interview with match broadcaster RTM, Red Giants head coach Nazliazmi Nasir said that he is not surprised with the result, as cup campaigns have different dynamics.

"Ccongratulations to PKNP; they were very aggressive, and energetic tonight," said the former assistant head coach. 

"We did not lose because my men did not create enough chances, instead it's because we failed to put them away. Malaysia Cup matches are different from league matches in the sense that the team that is more clinical and less error-prone will win.

"We were wasteful in front of the goal, and made many mistakes in defence tonight. The defence was very poor, and PKNP made it even harder for us when they had a player sent off."

Despite this, he is still optimistic of his charges' chances of going far in the tournament, as well as in their next match, against Pahang, who recently edged them in the FA Cup final match.

"Although we lost in our opening match, I am confident of our chances. There are still five matches to go and anything can happen.

"I'm behind my men and hopefully they will perform much better against Pahang," he noted.


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