* Sarawak latest victims of trumpeting elephants

* ‘We are too soft in our game’ – Sarawak coach Robert Alberts

* ‘Pahang’s overall performance surprised me’ – Zainal


Super League leaders Pahang are brimming with confidence and spirit soaring as they ended their Ramadan campaign with another sparkling performance for a 3-1 win over Sarawak at the Darul Makmur Stadium in Kuantan on Wednesday. 

As the league takes a three-week break for the festive season Pahang head coach Zainal Abidin Hassan is one happy man but had a strong message for his players “don’t be over confident” with the achievements during the fasting month.

“It was a test of character and will power that saw as achieve what we had set out to do. But let us not get carried away as the battle is far from over,” said Zainal from Shah Alam on Thursday.

Pahang next face bottom-placed Sime Darby away. The plantation giant are still winless after 14 matches but Zainal stressed that it does not make Sime Darby an easy opponent.

“I have told the players to spend quality time with your loved ones during this break but do not indulge in over eating. They are aware that there is no compromise on performance and keep the momentum going.

“It is a mission  accomplished for Pahang during Ramadan. It was tough but I knew we could achieve with discipline, commitment and focus on the field. Our performance graph took an upswing during Ramadan and we hope to keep it that way.

“Let us ride on this,” said Zainal, adding that “Boss” Tengku Muda (Pahang FA president) has been a source of inspiration to the team.  

Once again it was Zesh Rehman (50th minute) who paved the way for Pahang’s win – just like he did in the 3-1 win over Selangor at Shah Alam last week.  Dickson Nwakaeme (70th) and Azamuddin Akil (79th) completed the scoring while international Joseph Kalang Tie (64th) scored for the Crocs.

Sarawak coach Robert Alberts was a disappointed man with his team’s third defeat in row.

“The result is not a surprise as Pahang are one of the best teams in the Super League…but I disappointed with Sarawak’s performance,” said the Dutchman before leaving for Kuching with the team.

“We are too soft in our game. We lack aggressive football and this has caused us dearly. Many a time we have also conceded soft goals.”

Meanwhile Terengganu continued their revival after six straight defeats with a 2-0 win over Sime Darby. Former international Ashari Shamdudin netted a brace in the 27th and 80th minutes for their second straight win. Last week the Turtles beat Sarawak 4-2 at home.

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