Nafuzi left disappointed after '20 min' match in cup exit

Lee Tuck, Safawi Rasid, Terengganu FC v Johor Darul Ta'zim, Malaysia Cup, 21 Sep 2019
Sports Regime
Terengganu FC went into the second leg with a plan but it was all thrown out of the window after a blistering first half from Johor Darul Ta'zim.

A contentious penalty that was quickly followed by a debatable free kick awarded against Terengganu put paid to their hopes of coming back into the Malaysia Cup quarterfinal encounter against JDT to repeat their cup final appearance last season.

On both occasions, JDT scored and Nafuzi Zain's boys were undoubtedly riled by the referee's decision to blow his whistle. Heads were temporarily lost as JDT continued to deliver the hammer blow with two further goals and Nafuzi was at pains to understand his players' failure to keep their emotions in check.

"I'm saddened by the players. We know they are focus and played their hearts out but they were affected by several decisions that didn't go our way. We came here expecting a good game for both teams. But the real game tonight (Saturday) was only 20 minutes. After 2-0, there was no joy to play and not just us but we can feel that from the fans too.

"Every time we come here, it's the same script. I don't want to comment anything on the referees because officiating is not my expertise. Everyone can see that decisions that should have been given and vice versa, maybe the referee was also confused. 

"My team are only players that we took from feeder club and we gave them the exposure. I know what they can do and show are already more than what I expected. We needed a goal, so we had to take a risk in pushing our full backs forward and we got punished," explained Nafuzi in the post-match press conference.

The result puts the shutter down on what is effectively a disappointing 2019 season for TFC. At the start, they were looked at as the team who could potentially make some headway towards the upper echelon of the Super League as well as being one of the prime candidates to lift a cup. 

But TFC only finished 7th in the league and exited the FA Cup in the quarterfinals. Their poor outing this season also led to the departure of Irfan Bakti, after which Nafuzi took over the reins as head coach. It remains to be seen if Nafuzi would remain in the role but having managed to somewhat steadied the ship, the young coach has a fighting of staying on the job.


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