Dollah enthused over Pahang's cup success

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Pahang FA
Pahang's head coach Dollah Salleh was full of praise for his side after they completely dominated the FA Cup final to emerge as 2018 champions.

In many ways it was the perfect riposte to the heartbreak at the same stage last season. This time around Dollah and his team were unplayable from the first whistle to the last and could've won the by a bigger margin than 2-0.

Apart from maybe the recovering Afif Amiruddin missing out, the starting line-up selected by Dollah was the best he could have chosen from his squad and it reflected in the manner which The Elephants stamped their authority on the game. 

Even the normally error-prone Bunyamin Omar was impeccable in defence alongside Muslim Ahmad. Nor Azam Azih and Safuwan Baharudin had the keys to the midfield and front trio of Norhsharul Idlan Talaha, Patrick Cruz and Austin Amutu combined to deadly effect.

"Today [Saturday] we got our best XI for the first time in two months and we got the performances that we always expected of them. Thankfully everything turned out as we planned. We did not take Selangor lightly and we played at 100% until the final whistle," said Dollah at the post-match press conference.

The decision before the game was which four import players to select as the rules of the competition is that one from the Super League sides that use up all their quotas must sit out of match. The knife unfortunately fell on Issey Nakajima-Farran, which the Brazilian Cruz getting the nod.

Nor Azam's stunner in the first half opened the scoring for Pahang as they went into half time with the lead but in truth, they could have easily gone in with a bigger margin had their forwards been less wasteful in front of goal.

In the end, Dollah reserved a special praise for one particular player who is picking up form at just the right time and may even piqued the interest of Malaysia national team head coach, Tan Cheng Hoe when the next call-up comes around.

"Patrick Cruz wasn't 100% fit. He only trained two days after a month out but we still used him. Mat Yo has been back to his usual best in the last five matches and his performance today was what we expected. It's something special when he got back his touch. He was one of the best players in the match for us," added Dollah.

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