De­feat not a prob­lem for Dol­lah

New Straits Times - - Sport - Devin­der Singh

ac­knowl­edg­ing cham­pi­ons Darul Ta’zim were the bet­ter team on the day, Pa­hang coach Dol­lah Salleh be­lieves his side are more than ca­pa­ble of giv­ing their ri­vals a run for the Su­per League ti­tle.

Fri­day’s 3-2 win at Larkin, cour­tesy of a double strike by Ah­mad Hazwan Bakri, al­lowed Darul Ta’zim to cut the gap to Pa­hang to two points and with a game in hand.

Dol­lah, how­ever, knows there is still a long way to go in the ti­tle race with Malaysia Cup cham­pi­ons Kedah also in the mix.

“I can­not deny Darul Ta’zim are one of the strong­est teams in the coun­try but I think Pa­hang can match them and give them a run for their money right to the end,” in­sisted Dol­lah af­ter Pa­hang fell to their sec­ond de­feat in the league.

Dol­lah said he was upset with the ref­eree’s per­for­mance although he did not elab­o­rate on which in­ci­dent specif­i­cally with Darul Ta’zim be­ing awarded a penalty af­ter Afif Amirud­din han­dled in the area.

Af­ter Matheus Alves scored in the 15th minute, Hazwan bagged a double be­fore half-time, in­clud­ing scor­ing off a re­bound af­ter Safiq Rahim’s penalty was stopped by Wan Azraie Wan Teh.

“I think we only started play­ing in the sec­ond half,” said Dol­lah. “In the first half, we were on the back­foot and we were wait­ing a lot with Darul Ta’zim at­tack­ing.

“In the sec­ond half we pushed more and had one or two chances which we didn’t take. I’m also not pleased with the ref­eree’s per­for­mance which was re­ally dis­ap­point­ing.”

The vic­tory ex­tended Darul Ta’zim unbeaten Su­per League run at Larkin to 56 matches while they have not lost in any com­pe­ti­tion at home for 29 matches.

Coach Ben­jamin Mora, who fielded an un­changed line up for a third con­sec­u­tive game, felt Darul Ta’zim were the bet­ter team on the pitch.

“For­tu­nately, we are a team that not only know how to at­tack but also to de­fend,” said the Mex­i­can.

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