BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
Selangor's dramatic 4-3 win away to Melaka United in their round eight Super League match last weekend took their winning streak to four this season, overturning the Red Giants' earlier poor start to the 2019 season.
However, an incident involving goalkeeper Farizal Harun and the away fans on that evening left the Red Giants' fans with a bad taste in their mouth. A bizarre mistake by the custodian in the 20th minute, who misjudged a long ball towards his penalty box, allowed it to bounce over him and Patrick Reichelt to equalise for the hosts.
While walking towards the tunnel at halftime, Farizal was reportedly harangued by their own fans, and he responded by making a provocative gesture in their direction.
In the second half, the visitors conceded two more goals to allow the Mousedeers to take a 3-2 lead, compounding the former Felda United goalkeeper's misery. Fortunately, B. Satiananthan's charges never gave up, with Sean Selvaraj rising to the occassion to score a brace in the final 10 minutes of the match, and steal a late win.
The dramatic win helped temper Selangor fans' anger towards him somewhat, and the 33-year old goalkeeper was then seen signalling his apology to the travelling supporters, while the team celebrated with them.
When met by Goal after training on Thursday, Farizal did not deny losing his cool in the encounter, but asked the Red Giants faithful to meet him and the team halfway.
"It was a heated situation and I was wrong for letting the fans' words get to me. But I want to put that behind me, and ask for the fans to be more professional in their support for the team.
"They need to support us for the 90-minute duration of a match. Don't pile on a player who has just made a mistake, like what happened to me. They need to emulate the good example shown by fans in Europe, even Chinese fans have been showing maturity in their support,"
When asked whether joining Selangor, one of the better-supported teams in the country, from Felda, and previously ATM FA, has exposed him to more intense fan expectations, Farizal agreed with the take.
"It's definitely more different here. Felda as a club side are not as well-supported as the state teams, especially when I started out at Negeri Sembilan.
"Selangor fans are active and vocal on social media. Admittedly, that's why we need to keep improving in order to satisfy our supporters and attract them into attending our matches," he noted.
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