Midfield changes led to Selangor equaliser against Perak, says Nazliazmi

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Zulhilmi Zainal
Selangor were outclassed in midfield by Perak in the first half of their league clash on Tuesday, but were able to get back in the game in the second.


BY        ZULHILMI ZAINAL       Follow on Twitter


After guiding his men to a 1-1 draw against second-placed Perak in their round 16 Malaysia Super League match, Selangor head coach Nazliazmi Nasir praised the Red Giants' fighting spirit.

In the match that was held at the Kuala Lumpur Football Stadium on Tuesday, the visitors dominated the middle of the park in the first half, forcing the hosts into sending long balls up front. The Bos Gaurus' midfield supremacy helped them take the lead, when Selangor centre back Alfonso de la Cruz inadvertently stabbed Nor Hakim Hassan's cross from the left into his own net in the 42nd minute.

But several changes took place in midfield in the second half, first with Perak midfielder Khairil Anuar Zamri taken off the game in the 63rd minute for an injury. Nazliazmi then brought on Syahmi Safari for Evan Dimas Darmono, and substituted off forward Kugan Dhevarajan for midfielder Halim Zainal. The changes allowed the hosts to gain the momentum, resulting in Amri Yahyah's equaliser from a free kick in the 81st minute.

Selangor vs Perak match highlights

In the post-match press conference, the Selangor boss praised his men's ability to capitalise on the midfield changes, to ensure they did not lose at home.

"A draw is better than a defeat. In general, the result was a fair outcome although Selangor were nervous initially and couldn't settle down early. In the first half, Evan, Kugan and Shahrul just couldn't play as well as we had planned, while Rufino Segovia did not receive the support that he needed against the compact Perak defence.

“The introduction of Syahmi managed to fix this, as I told him to help Rufino even though he wasn't able to do it too well. Amri then scored the equaliser, but we could not bag the winning goal," explained the former youth coach.

However, Nazliazmi was elated with the performance shown by his men, as this Saturday they will face PKNS FC in the first leg of their FA Cup semi-final tie.

"My men's performance needs to be praised as there were positive signs, ahead of our match against PKNS.

"We will change things around tactically this Saturday as it is an important clash. I will field my best players," he added.

After the Tuesday match, Perak remained in second place, but will go 13 points behind leaders JDT if the Southern Tigers beat Terengganu on Wednesday. For Selangor, their fourth consecutive undefeated match was not enough for them to avoid dropping down one spot to the ninth place.

 

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