BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
After seeing his side fall to their first defeat in eight matches in all competitions, against Felda United on Wednesday, Selangor boss Maniam Pachaiappan has blamed the result on the fatigue now creeping among his players.
In the Super League match which ended with a 3-1 scoreline, the visitors were without Spanish forward Rufino Segovia and Indonesia winger Andik Vermansah who were recovering from their injuries, while evergreen striker Amri Yahyah had to be taken off early in the second half, although Malaysia U22 internationals Adam Nor Azlin and Syahmi Safari, fresh from their success of helping the Young Tigers qualify for the 2018 AFC U23 Championship very recently, were back in the starting lineup.
The round 18 encounter, held at the Tun Abdul Razak Stadium, was the eighth competitive match for both sides, since the second stretch of the season began on July 1.
"My men were very tired and fatigued, but they tried their best to keep up. However, the opponents scored two from set-piece situations when the marking was poor.
"In the first half we did not create many chances, but after making some changes at the start of the second half, in the first 20, 30 minutes we managed to create more chances.
"But ultimately they were tired, and that was the one thing lacking with Selangor tonight," explained the 48-year old trainer.
"Amri Yahyah has hurt his hamstring tonight, I don't think he can start against Terengganu. I hope Rufo (Rufino Segovia) and Andik [Vermansah] can recover on time to play in the match.
"At the same time the rest of my players are already exhausted so I may rotate one or two players, but I think we can do well in Kuala Terengganu," he remarked.
In the Super League match, Thiago Fernandes opened the scoring in the 40th minute, heading in a corner kick, before Ifedayo Olusegun doubled their lead in the 44th minute. Although the visitors were able to pull one back through former Felda star Forkey Doe's goal just one minute later, Shukor Adan's 76th minute goal was enough to let the Fighters come away with the three points, and let them pip the Red Giants to the fourth spot in the standings.
In the Malaysia Cup, Selangor are leading Group D with seven points; three poins ahead of JDT in second place.