After finishing runners-up to Johor Darul Ta'zim in the league last season, much was expected from Perak in 2019 having been able to see out the overtures for their top players as well as head coach Mehmed Durakovic. But a poor start which saw them languishing in the bottom half of the table speaks of the difficulties that Perak have faced.
One lonely win against PJ City FC was all Perak had, going into the match against PKNP FC. But The Bos Gaurus ended the first half of the Super League season with some style through goals from Brendan Gan, Gilmar Filho (2) and Shahrul Saad.
The win puts Perak at 13 points which is exactly the gap between them and league leaders JDT who have a match in hand. While bridging the gap may be an insurmountable job, Durakovic will be pleased that some of the cobwebs are starting to be cleared as Perak look to reduce to arrears.
"The match was a very pleasing performance because for 90 minutes we controlled the match. But it was not easy because PKNP are a very good side. We've been creating so many chances and finally we're converting them, so I'm very happy.
"We go back after this match and see how the recoveries are. The two players that are injured Hakim and Fikri are doubts. We don't have a big squad but we'll how everybody is on Tuesday," said Durakovic after the match.
Gilmar struck two goals but his lack of confidence in front of goal has been one of the main reasons for Perak's struggles this season. The big Brazilian who got 11 goals in the league last season is a shadow of his former self this year and even missed a penalty in the second half of this match.
Just like the team in general, an up turn in form for Gilmar is worth its weight in gold for Perak as they seek for a far better second half of the league season as well as continuing their fight in the FA Cup, starting with the first leg quarterfinal against the same opponents at the same ground on Tuesday.
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