BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
Selangor finally recorded their first 2019 pre-season friendly win, after they edged Klang Valley rivals Kuala Lumpur 3-2 in their Saturday friendly.
In the match that was held at the Kuala Lumpur Football Stadium, the visitors went in front first through Sean Selvaraj's seventh minute goal, before Syazwan Andik equalised in the 58th minute. Wan Zack Haikal's header put Selangor in front again just a minute later, but a mistake by custodian Farizal Harun in the 89th minute allowed Paulo Josue to equalise. In injury time, veteran player Amri Yahyah was awarded a penalty, which he put away himself for the winner.
The Red Giants had earlier drawn 1-1 against Pulau Pinang, and lost 2-0 to PKNP FC and 2-1 to UiTM FC in unofficial test matches.
But head coach B. Satiananthan was adamant that the results, including the win, are not indicative of his charges' capabilities, as he has simply been using the encounters to try out foreign signing candidates.
"I did not field Rufino (striker, Rufino Segovia), while I only gave 45 minutes to [Malaysia] players who just joined training such as Syazwan [Zainon].
"I like what I saw in the first half; we were controlling the game, we passed the ball around and created chances. Our defence needs improving however, when contending with set pieces and long balls," he explained to the press after the match.
He commented on the foreign player he fielded as a tryout in the match; 26-year old South Korean centre back Kim Seong-sik. Kim in 2018 played for Sisaket FC in Thailand's second tier.
On top of Rufino, the Red Giants have reportedly signed three other new foreign signings; Vietnamese centre back Michal Nguyen, Grenadian forward Antonio German and former Felcra FC midfielder Endrick dos Santos, leaving them with one remaining spot in their foreign players quota.
"He lacks pace, and I'm not sure whether he's fully fit. We need to find out more. But he's hard to beat in one-one-one situations.
"We need to review his performance again by watching the match footage later. We'll not decide on it soon," said the 60-year old trainer.
At the same time, Satiananthan also remarked that new signing Antonio German will need to time to familiarise himself with his new team.
"Antonio just arrived from England, where it's snowing and at -4 degrees Celcius at the moment. We can't expect too much from him yet as he's only been here for three, four days.
"But he's fast and he can dribble, he just needs time. He missed one chance that he created himself earlier, so there's a chance that his confidence level may have been affected by it. But I'm not worried, because we have time," he noted.
He however had praise for forward Sean Selvaraj, whose goal on Saturday has taken his pre-season tally to three goals in four appearances.
"He's been scoring in all matches, so Rufino is going to have a tough time! But this is good as we can't depend on Rufino solely. If he's absent I now have the option of moving Antonio to the middle, and Sean to the flank.
"We have options now and can avoid being too dependent on Rufino. It's good that the boy has used the opportunity I've been giving to him to prove himself," said the former Felda United and Malaysia head coach.
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