The mediocre has turned to horrendous for Selangor, who were thrashed 6-1 by Malaysia Super League leaders Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) in their matchday eight encounter on Saturday.
A dubious foul given by referee Zulkarnain Zakaria just outside the Red Giants' penalty box in the first half added time allowed Safawi Rasid to score from the ensuing free kick, but after the interval Zulkarnain made a glaring error.
In the 46th minute Nicholas Swirad fouled Diogo just outside the box, and while the defender escaped a sending off for denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity, Zakaria pointed to the spot instead. Safawi bagged his brace from the penalty, and afterwards it was all the home team. Diogo added their third in the 64th minute, Gonzalo Cabrera their fourth just three minutes later.
Bukan penalti tapi red card. pic.twitter.com/TTF3O2cMPH— Zulhelmi Zainal Azam (@zulhelmizainal1) September 19, 2020
In-form young striker Ramadhan Saifullah took the opportunity to continue impressing when he was introduced, netting a brace in the 72nd and 75th minutes. The visitors netted their consolation goal in the 81st minute through Rufino Segovia's effort.
In the post-match press conference, Selangor boss B. Satiananthan conceded blame for his charges' hammering.
"My team could play in the first half, but they conceded an unexpected free kick just before half time, which then led to the first goal. Then they conceded a penalty very early after the interval, others are saying that the infringement was committed outside of the box, but that changed the game a lot.
"I have to accept this defeat as I'm the one to blame for it. There were players who weren't completely ready to play. Safuwan's [Baharudin] removal affected our midfield... only when Rufino [Segovia] and Sean [Selvaraj] were introduced were we able to score.
"We simply collapsed in the second half, that's what happened," explained the former Malaysia head coach.
He however noted that a top-three finish may still possible for them, if they can bag maximum points from their remaining matches.
"There is still a chance and we will try our best in the remaining three games. I have to hear what the management wants first. But I will continue on for the coming matches, and if we can collect all nine points we will be fine.
"There's the Malaysia Cup afterwards and everything is possible," responded Satiananthan to a question by a reporter.