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Leaky defence a big headache for Rajagopal

12:08 PM GMT+4 26/06/2019
Gabriel Guerra, PKNP FC v PKNS FC, Malaysia Super League, 25 Jun 2019
PKNS FC were held to a 2-2 draw by relegation strugglers PKNP FC causing K. Rajagopal to ponder what can be done to improve his defence.

PKNS are six points clear of the drop zone and with only limited number of matches left in the league, are unlikely to be caught up into that three-way battle between Kuala Lumpur, PKNP FC and Felda United. Yet, yesterday's draw also meant that it is now difficult for them to emulate their third place finish from last season.

The stalemate at Manjung Municipal Council Stadium was not the result Rajagopal wanted but it's another case of his defence unable to keep a clean sheet. The two goals conceded against PKNP made it 10 goals that PKNS have conceded in their last three matches.

R. Surendran put the visitors ahead in the 34th minute but Hafiz Ramdan scored directly from a corner kick at the start of the second half before Giancarlo Rodriguez put the home side ahead with 14 minutes left to play. Luckily for PKNS, they were able to salvage a point through Kpah Sherman's well-taken penalty in the 84th minute.

"We know that it is not easy to come here and play PKNP. Both teams needed the points. We started well to and got into the lead. We had chances to increase our lead but couldn't take it. We tried to maintain our momentum and aggression in the second half.

"The equaliser that PKNP scored gave them a very strong boost, which also enabled them to push on and take the lead. After that we were only concentrating on getting the equaliser. One point is a good point gained even though our mentality was that we wanted to win when we came here.

"Lately our defence has not been as disciplined as we want so we need to continue to improve our defence going forward," said Rajagopal after the match.

With nothing much to play for in the league, the experienced head coach is likely to use the last four Super League matches to get his team back in the right momentum and spirit ahead of the Malaysia Cup competition that will begin in early August.

However that will be no easy task as PKNS have Terengganu FC, Pahang (away), Melaka (away) and Selangor as their opponents in the final four league matches.


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