Losing in the derby will always be painful not only the fans but also the players involved. That was what Mohamadou Sumareh felt in the narrow 0-1 loss that Malaysia suffered at the hands of Singapore on the opening day of the 2019 Airmarine Cup.
The 2019 version of the Causeway Derby was a disappointment from the Malaysia perspective as Zaquan Adha, Syazwan Zainon and Sumareh himself had opportunities to find the back of the net, particularly in a dominating spell at the start of the second half.
For the Pahang attacker, he knows that Malaysia should have taken at least one of the many chances created in the 90 minutes against Singapore and they are responsible for not being more clinical in front of goal.
"It's very disappointing when you know the whole game you had more chances. We dominated the whole of the second half with 5-6 chances. They had one chance late in the game and they scored. It hurts a lot because we deserved to win but luck wasn't on our side. We did everything right but the ball just didn't want to go in," said Sumareh.
The match on Wednesday will also be remembered for the absence of fans in the stadium as only less than 4,000 spectators turned out at Bukit Jalil National Stadium. Having saw full stadiums during the Suzuki Cup, the difference couldn't be more marked for the Airmarine Cup opener.
Ultras Malaya announced their boycott of the match on Tuesday and their absence meant that there was a deafening silence during the match between Malaysia and Singapore. An atmosphere that was also keenly felt by Sumareh, who knows it's up to the team to do well with or without the fans.
"We know how supportive the Ultras are. In the Suzuki Cup, even though we were one nil or two nil down, their support will also spur us on. The first game was really quiet. We need them and that's the honest truth. They not being there is not an excuse for us to do better but it would have helped us."
"If you do well, the fans are behind you but if you don't, they are againt us. This is what happens and we have to move on. The fans all they want to see is win and it's the same for us. It's not like we go out there and lose on purpose. Loyal fans will be with us whether it's good or bad times, that's what we need from them. We totally understand their frustration as well. We'll try to make it up for them in the next game," added Sumareh.
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