Mehmet proud of Perak's resilience in epic final

Mehmet Durakovic, Perak
Perak had to dig deep in the 2018 Malaysia Cup final before coming from behind to clinch an amazing come back against Terengganu.

Whatever game plan that Mehmet Durakovic and his team thought of going into the final, it was thrown out of the window within the first minute of the match. Idris Ahmad's back pass to Hafizul Hakim was short and Tchetche Kipre opened the scoring for Terengganu.

Another mistake in the first half from Hafizul this time double Terengganu's lead and at half time, it looked like that final was slipping away from Perak's grasp. But credit to Durakovic and Perak who came out in the second half a different team.

Firdaus Saiyadi's goal right after the restart in the second half sparked Perak's revival and despite losing influential striker Gilmar Filho to a red card, The Bos Gaurus still managed to find a way back into the game in the dying embers of normal time through Brendan Gan's equaliser.

"This game will go down in history. To come back after 2-0 and after 3-2, these boys never ever gave up. They deserve all the credit. I'm just a coach, these guys do all the work on the pitch. Very happy for them and their families, the supporters, my staff and my family."

"Basically at half time, I told them to believe in themselves. There are mistakes in football but needed to forget about it and go again. I cannot ask for anything more, they gave their all. Even at 10 men, I knew these players can fight. They stuck by their guns and deserved everything they got," said Durakovic in the post-match press conference.

It was another stirring effort from Perak in extra time and just when it looked like the chance had gone to cancel out Faiz Nasir's goal, came Igor Zonjic with the unfortunate touch in the final minute of extra time to send the match into penalty shoot-out.

It was there that Hafizul redeemed himself for the first half error. Saving the first two Terengganu spot kicks from Zonjic and Thierry Chanta Bin, he set Perak up to eventually win 1-4 in the shoot-out.

Durakovic had nothing but praise for his young custodian despite his earlier mistake and stressed that in the final, only the final result mattered. The win sees Durakovic take his Malaysia Cup tally to five, three as a player and two as a coach.

"Hafizul has been different class and one of the best keepers in the country. Idris has had a fantastic season. The four players at the back are all local and tonight (Saturday) they were brilliant. People make mistakes, you forgive and forget." 

"To be quite honest, everybody makes mistakes. My two players made mistakes but they came back big and strong. The referee make mistakes, the linesman, we all make mistakes, we are all human beings," added Durakovic.


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