Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) suffered their first lost in the 2017 Malaysia Cup, going down 3-2 to Selangor in Tuesday night's clash at Selayang Stadium. The defeat drops the team down to second place in the Group D behind their victors.
It was an evenly contested first half until two costly mistakes in succession cost the visitors dearly as the match headed into half time. Defence was static during a corner kick to allow Fairuz Aziz to head home the opener before Amri Yahyah capitalised on more JDT defensive errors to send the home side 2-0 up at the break.
The introduction of Gabriel Guerra and Gonzalo Cabrera at half time sparked JDT into life and they managed to find their way back into the back. Hazwan Bakri and Darren Lok scored to levelled the match but a late penalty conceded by Aidil Zafuan, allowed Amri the chance to nick the winning goal.
"The second half is more better than the first because we played like we know and it worked. We know too that we play against a good team and players in Selangor. The second half is more near to what we want to do and what we want our game to be in the future."
"It's true in the first half we made some mistakes and that's the reason we are down 2-0 at half time. In the second half we had 4 - 5 chances but at the end we concede a penalty," said Ulisses Morais at the post-match press conference.
Morais again made changes for the cup competition, electing to introduce another wholesale change to his team. Only Marcos Antonio and Afiq Fazail remained from the XI that started against Sarawak at the weekend. Haziq Nadzli, Nazmi Faiz, S. Chanturu and Safawi Rasid all earned a rare starting opportunity.
Chanturu and Safawi were replaced by the aforementioned Guerra and Cabrera after half time and it was a substitution that worked in favour of JDT. When Darren arrived on the scene and managed to the equaliser, it looked like if anyone is going to get the winner - it was going to be JDT, such was the momentum swing.
However, Darren spurned a chance to give JDT the lead late in the game and they were eventually punished for some sloppy defending. But Morais refused to put his first loss since taking over the reins at JDT purely down to selection. The Portuguese remains committed to give more opportunities to the players but want better concentration in their game.
"Tonight we give chance to some players. It's our job to give chance to some players because they work hard and all of them play for JDT. The reason for the loss is not the players but the mistakes we made in the first half."
"Even then, in the first half it's just the result and not the performance. In the second half, we think we deserve to win the game but this is football. Congratulations to Selangor but the show will go on for us," he added.