BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
After his side fell to a 3-1 defeat at home to Selangor in their third round FA Cup match on Saturday, Terengganu head coach Irfan Bakti Abu Salim has blamed the defeat on their failure to anticipate the visitors' pressure.
Just days before the match, the Red Giants rested their head coach Maniam Pachaiappan and appointed his assistant Nazliazmi Nasir as caretaker, due to their recent string of poor defeats in the league.
But on Saturday, a different Selangor turned up. The visitors showed marked improvement; equalising through Rufino Segovia's 27th minute goal, just minutes after Terengganu had opened the scoring through Shahrul Aizad Zulkifli in the 24th minute. Evan Dimas Darmono then put Selangor in front with his volleyed goal in the 61st minute, before Rufino put away a 67th minute penalty that was awarded when Fitri Omar fouled Joseph Kalang Tie in the box.
Terengganu vs Selangor match highlights
When interviewed by the match broadcaster, Irfan said that his side did not expect that Selangor would be pressing them as intensely as they did.
"[Terengganu lost because of] the unexpected pressure from Selangor. We were shocked by it and let in their first goal; a very weak and soft goal. That took the wind out of our sails. We were done when they were two goals in front, and we played football only in the final 20 minutes.
"When they pressed us my players resorted to sending long balls to the front, when they should be keeping the ball. Only in the last 20 minutes did they play properly, while I've told them at halftime to not be scared and panic," said the veteran trainer.