Felda United FC pulled off a surprise win in the penultimate round of the 2017 Super League season when they won 3-2 against newly-crowned Super League champions, Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT). It was a lackluster night for the Southern Tigers as continuous defensive howlers put paid to their hopes of claiming their 16th win of the campaign.
The Fighter took the lead twice in the match, only to be pegged back by JDT both time. However the fightback could not be completed by the reigning champions when Thiago Augusto Fernandes scored his second goal in the match to clinch a close encounter in favour of Felda.
Thiago grabbed his first in the match when he capitalised on Junior Eldstal's poor back pass. The JDT centre back would redeem himself with the equalising goal minutes later but his heavy challenge at the start of the second half proved costly for his team as it meant that JDT had to play the remaining half with only 10 men.
"We started the game well and created a few chances. But our individual mistakes was what penalised our team. We had a good reaction to get it back to 1-1. Some moments in the first half we don't play how we like. We conceded a soft second goal, which wasn't good."
"We wanted to start the second half well but we had Junior sent off. Still we managed to get it back to 2-2 but after that it was another mistake. That said, it was a good game. We have 15 days more to work and to get things right for the semi-final," said Ulisses Morais after the match.
Ifedayo Olusegun scored late in the first half to put Felda back in front just before half time but Gonzalo Cabrera produced an unstoppable long range strike to level things up at 2-2. When Eldstal was sent off, Morais was forced to reshuffle to a back three, with Afiq Fazail pushed to the defence.
However that didn't quite work so well as Afiq failed to deal with the run of Thiago, which led to the concession of the third and winning goal. Despite the numerous mistakes, Morais refused to specifically criticise either players, electing to state that as a team, they could have defended better.
"We don't like to talk about individual mistakes or any particular player. We know we made some mistakes and we paid for that. We lose as all and we win as all," added Morais.
With no matches scheduled until the middle of October, the team will get a couple of days of break before resuming training ahead of the Malaysia Cup semi-final clash against Perak. JDT's last Super League match is another away one, where they will face Kedah in Alor Setar.