* Premier League outfit Felda stun JDT 4-3
* We deserve to lose, says JDT coach Bojan Hodak
Johor Darul Takzim coach Bojan Hodak eas straight forward when he said “we deserved to lose” after his star-studded side fell to Premier League outfit Felda United 4-3 in the first-leg Malaysia Cup semi-final match at the Selayang Stadium on Monday.
The defeat was all the more hurting for the Super League champions and favourites to land the prestigious Malaysia Cup as well this season because Felda had a player sent off on 55 minutes when defender Nasriq Baharom was given an early shower for a second bookable offence by referee Samsuddin Ibrahim.
“Our defence was in shambles and when you conceded three goals due to defensive lapses it does not speak good of your team,” said The Croatian after the match which was played in torrential rain in the first-half.
The Fighters, as Felda are now known, once again showed their “never say die” attitude in carving out a sensational victory over the new football giants when Makeche Ndumba gleefully netted the winner deep into the four minutes of injury time with a cheek lob over JDT custondian Al-Hafiz Hamzah who had come off his line when he defenders failed to check Felda’s move.
Felda chief coach Irfan Bakti, although happy with the result which gives his team a one-goal cushion for this Saturday’s return-leg at the Larkin Stadium, lamented the on “two gift goals” his team conceded.
“We conceded two soft goals to JDT but we still take a one-goal cushion and the win is motivating for us for the second-leg,” said Irfan, whose team knocked out Selangor 7-3 on aggregate in the two-leg quarter-finals.
It was a dream start for Felda on a soggy pitch with Edward Junior Wilson opening the scoring after only seven minutes of play – left footer which deflected off JDT skipper Aidil Zafuan Abdul Radzak – beating JDT goalkeeper Al-Hafizh Hamzah all the way. Felda went into the break with 2-0 lead when Syamim Yahya’s left footer also took a deflection – this time off Fadhli Shaas – hit the inside of the right post and spun into goal.
JDT, however, reduced the deficit on 52 minutes when Argentine hot-shot caught the JDT back-line napping and found enough space inside the box and his right footed attempt grazed the left post before hitting the back of the net.
Then disaster struck Felda when Nasriq was given the marching order for a crude tackle and from the ensuing freekick JDT nearly scored but goalkeeper Farizal Harun denied JDT a sure goal when he put his right foot out to turn the ball away from Norshahrul Idlan Talaha’s attempt.
The numerical disadvantage was “magic” for The Fighters as they fought tooth and nail against their opponents and stretched their lead to 3-1 when Ndumba outran his markers and rifled a stinging shot into the JDT net. Felda 3-1 on 61 minutes.
JDT made a series of changes after this and replaced Norshahrul with Luciano Figueroa (64th minute), Mahali Jasuli replaced Daudsu Jamaluddin (70th) and Jasazrin Jamaluddin came in for Nazrin Nawi (76th). The changes worked for the Southern Tigers.
Figueroa made it 2-3 for JDT when he managed to put his foot out to guide the ball into the Felda net despite taking a fall inside the box and the fight was on. Jorge Pereyra Diaz made it all square in the 89th minute but Felda had the last laugh when Ndumba’s lob hit the back of the JDT net for a slim one goal cushion for the return-leg in Larkin.