Foreign players the difference between Hanelang and PKNS - Ahmad Yusof

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Hanelang head coach Ahmad Yusof hopes that their 4-1 cup defeat to PKNS will not affect his side's morale ahead of their next league match.

BY        ZULHILMI ZAINAL       Follow on Twitter

FAM Cup side Hanelang FC were handed a 4-1 thumping by Malaysia Super League club PKNS FC in their round two FA Cup at the Shah Alam Stadium on Friday, and their head coach Ahmad Yusof now wants his team to put the defeat behind quickly.

Although Jafri Chew only needed nine minutes to open the scoring for the hosts, the minnows immediately equalised through Munawar Shavukath Ali's goal three minutes later. However, it was a one-way street affair afterwards, with Romel Morales and substitutes Rafael Ramazotti and Nurridzuan Abu Hassan scoring in the 38th, 57th and 70th minutes respectively for PKNS.

"Praise Allah, we got the instant equaliser after conceding the first goal. But the defence then lost their focus and we paid a heavy price for that.

"However, we have to admit that PKNS are a better side than us. My men gave their best against the hosts," he remarked in the post-match press conference. 

When asked by Goal about his take on the difference in the two teams' quality, Yusof responded that the MSL side's  foreign players proved to be the difference between the sides.

Although clubs are allowed to field up to four foreigners in their FA Cup matches, PKNS fielded no more than three of their imports at anytime in the game. Hanelang meanwhile have no foreign player on their roster, as do all Malaysian third tier sides.

"There was no difference between our local players and theirs, but we lacked foreign players. If we had import players maybe we could have put up a better fight," said the former Sime Darby boss.

But ultimately the FA Cup is not their focus this season according to Yusof, and he wants his men to quickly move on from the defeat and concentrate on their league campaign again.

"We had no particular target for the cup, we just wanted to go as far as we could. My men showed spirit tonight but that wasn't enough to overcome PKNS.

"We need to stop dwelling on the cup, and shift our focus back to the FAM Cup," he noted.