Losing three players was key - JDT Assistant Coach

Darul Takzim's Assistant Coach, Ismail Ibrahim, said that losing three players in the first half was the key to the defeat in the FA Cup final to Kelantan

Losing Safiq Rahim, Safee Sali and Andrezinho, who were all forced off due to injuries in the first half, was the reason Johor Darul Takzim lost the FA Cup final, said Assistant Coach Ismail Ibrahim.

Ismail said that the absence of the three players had clearly affected the strategy arranged by Head Coach Fandi Ahmad before the game started.

According to Sinar Harian, Ismail said: "We lost our three players - Safee and Andre had thigh injuries while Safiq hurt his ankle - it weakened our midfield and Kelantan took advantage of it to control the game.

"I do not want to say anything but we are truly disappointed and the whole team feels that way.

"But this is football; there will be a winner and a loser.

"I want to congratulate Kelantan on becoming the champions of the FA Cup this year," he added.

Ismail also said that experience was a key factor in Kelantan’s triumph as they have more experience playing in finals, but he hopes that this occasion will be used by the JDT players to do well lin the remaining fixtures.

The Southern Tigers' mission to end their 15 year wait to lift the FA Cup trophy ended in disappointment after losing to Kelantan 1-0 at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.