BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
UiTM FC head coach Wan Mustaffa Wan Ismail was at a loss when asked to comment about his forwards' inability to put away their chances in their 5-0 pummeling by Kedah, and joked that the visitors had used a capable 'bomoh' (witch doctor) to deny his side.
In the team's second Malaysia Cup group match on Friday, which was held at the UiTM Stadium, Syafiq Ahmad opened the scoring as early as the third minute, before Liridon Krasniqi (44'), Ken Ilso Larsen (80'), Sandro da Silva (90') and a Faiz Bandong own goal (90+3') compounded the university boys' misery.
However, that match was far from a one-sided affair, as the hosts foreign trio Akanni-Sunday Wasiu, Dechi Marcel N'Guessan and Do Dong-hyun were denied numerous open goal-scoring chances by the prowess of the Red Eagles goalkeeper and Malaysia U22 international Ifwat Akmal Che Kassim.
UiTM vs Kedah match highlights
But the defeat to Kedah was their fourth consecutive defeat in all competitions, a streak that included 11 goals conceded and only three goals scored.
Speaking to the press after the match, Mustaffa said that the team were let down by their strikers' lack of finishing in the match, although he said he was still proud by his charges' fighting spirit.
"We were once again let down by our strikers' poor finishing, and tonight it's more obvious than in our previous match against Kelantan.
"But I'm still proud of my men, who gave their best especially in the second half. They must never stop trying, as we are still in a learning process," said Mustaffa.
The university side boss however could not explain his players' poor finishing in the cup, especially when they are among the top scorers in the Premier League, but he added that he will not make drastic changes to remedy their goal dearth, when asked by Goal.
"Maybe Kedah's bomoh is more powerful! But on a serious note, I will not take any drastic actions. They need to be hard working. They are students, they need to keep on learning, training, undergo drills.
"Actually I am not worried (about the goal dearth), as Sunday and Dong-hyun are currently among the top scorers in the league. I just don't know why we have only managed to score one goal in two Malaysia Cup matches. What's more disappointing tonight is that the opportunities we had were not half-chances, they were open goal scoring opportunities.
"But I hope they never stop trying until they start finding the back of the net," explained Mustaffa.
The university boys, who are making their first ever appearance in the Malaysia Cup this season, are currently bottom of Group C with no points, and are sixth in the Premier League standings.