It wasn't the result that Terengganu FC (TFC) were looking home, what with the first leg being played at home. They knew that they had to prevent Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) from getting an away goal and look to bring an advantage to the second leg in Johor Bahru. But Nafuzi Zain's boys did not fare as they wanted on both accounts.
They lost to a spirited JDT side as Diogo Luis Santo showed just why the Super League champions spent a lot of money to sign him. A spectacular goal in which he skipped past Serhii Andrieiev with his right foot then unleashing a volley from just the edge of the box right into the bottom corner with his left, a goal worthy to seal any win.
Yet for Nafuzi, he was left frustrated that his side was unable to build any form of momentum in the match, claiming that the match officials were whistle-happy. Fouls aplenty made it tough for the home side to get a proper footing on the match.
"Honestly in terms of the performance of my team, I have no issue. They gave 100% and it isn't easy against JDT. My expectations is for both teams to give a good performance for the watching fans. Of course we want to win and to lose 1-0 is part of the game and we still have an opportunity in JB. But sometimes the flow of the game was affected. There were too many stoppages and you can see what happened.
"I'm positive even though we are behind. It will be an open game because we have to go there to attack. It will be hard to win there but we have to believe and if luck is on our side, then we maybe we can do something," said Nafuzi in the post-match press conference.
The first leg saw JDT being the one walking away feeling that they probably should have settled the tie in the first leg given the number of good chances that they created. Nafuzi knows that his side are still in the tie is purely down to some last ditch defending and one great close range save from Wan Azraie Wan Teh from Leandro Velazquez.
TFC missed several options in the first leg with neither Syamim Yahya nor Thierry Chanta Bin available for selection. There's still close to a week before TFC take on JDT on September 28 and Nafuzi will be hoping that he will have a stronger squad for what is looking increasingly like an impossible job.
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