National goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi Che Mat was given leave to be with his wife to celebrate a new addition to the family but his absence proved costly as he left a big gap in the last line of defense.

Stand in keeper Zamir Selamat made costly errors that cost Melaka precious points at home in their 4-2 defeat to Kuala Lumpur at the Hang Jebat Stadium on Saturday.

After two away wins on the trot, Melaka United were expected to make it three in a row when they faced Kuala Lumpur at home and looked good for another win after taking a 2-1 lead at halftime even after KL pulled a goal back through Indra Putra Mahayuddin.

The defeat is all the more painful for chief coach E. Elavarasan as KL were reduced to 10 players after Zhafri Yahya was given the sack for two bookings.

Instead, Indra Putra plundered his second and the winner for KL – thanks to Zamir’s poor reading of the game.

Elavarasan was left shell-shocked with the manner his players surrendered the game – conceding goals when Melaka failed with their offside traps.

“Things were going well for us in the first-half…but I cannot say the same about the second-half,” said a disappointed Elavarasan on the defeat.

“We handed KL a win on the platter. They got the goals through our mistakes and it is disappointing to lose in such manner after two good away wins. A win would have taken us to mid-table.”

Melaka players will be given a short break starting on Wednesday for the coming Hari Raya.

“It is best we do not dwell on the defeat to KL. Instead, we have to move on and look towards the next match which is also a tough one,” added Elavarasan.

Melaka next plays PKNP (Perak SEDC) at the Perak Stadium in Ipoh on June 19.


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