BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
Kelantan opened their Boost SportsFix Super Cup pre-season tournament on Tuesday with a 1-0 win over Indonesia's Persija Jakarta.
The only goal of the match that was held at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium was scored by Bruno Lopes, who converted a penalty in the 75th minute. Coincidentally, the Brazilian had played for Persija in 2017.
Speaking to the press after the match, Red Warriors head coach Sathit Bensoh said he was pleased with the result, as Persija had earlier recorded a 3-1 win in the three-team meet, against Thai club Ratchaburi FC.
"This is a good game and a good chance for us, because we got the three points from a very difficult game. Persija played a compact game and they had motivation as they had won their first game.
"I have to thank my players and my coaching staff for working hard and for fighting for the win. Now on to the next game, and to win the tournament
"Hopefully we can win it, because when we won this game we've gained confidence. But we won't take the next game for granted, we have to focus," said the Thai.
When asked about his team's low goal count in their most recent pre-season matches, the 42-year old is not troubled by it.
"This is normal. Persija are a good and strong team, and this is a difficult game.
"We have to improve in the attacking third, which is our weakness. We have created chances, but we need to put them away," he remarked.
He too wants more time for the Red Warriors' foreign legion to shine.
"Nobody can play well in long stretches," said Sathit, "this is normal. They played well before, but not tonight. We need to see what did not work out and improve in training."
However he singled out one foreign player for praise; Indonesian winger Ferdinand Sinaga who filled their Southeast Asian slot.
"He (Ferdinand) is our lucky player. He last played in the Indonesian league, which runs around the same time as the Super League.
"When he came, he was a good fit, around 70 per cent. I think he can play in our first match (of the season)," he praised.
Kelantan are now second in the standings with three points. Persija are first with three as well, but the Jakartans have played both of their matches in the tournament. Ratchaburi are last without any points. Kelantan need only a draw against the Thais in the last match of the tournament this Saturday, in order to leapfrog Persija and win the tournament.