Coach Mora has no complaints about draw as Darul Ta’zim show mettle despite playing with 10 men
DARUL Ta’zim coach Benjamin Mora regards the 1-1 draw with Myanmar’s Magwe FC in Tuesday’s AFC Cup Group F match as satisfactory considering that his team played with 10 players for nearly 80 minutes in Yangon.
The former champions were a man down when right-back Hasbullah Abu Bakar was sent off in the 12th minute.
However, left-winger R. Gopinathan put the visitors ahead in the 27th minute, only for Darul Ta’zim to be denied a win by Sylla Sekou’s goal in the 89th.
Darul Ta’zim are second in Group F with four points while Global of the Philippines, who overcame Cambodia’s Boeung Ket 2-0, lead with six points.
Mora fielded a completely new line-up on Tuesday from the 3-2 Super League win over Pahang on March 3.
Farizal Marlias played between the posts with Aidil Zafuan Radzak, Fadhli Shas, Hasbullah and Fazly Mazlan in defence while Shakir Shaari earned a rare start in midfield together with Safawi Rasid and Amirulhadi Zainal.
The forwards were Gopinathan, S. Chanturu and Argentine Brian Ferreira. Safiq Rahim, Mahali Jasuli and Argentine Gabriel Guerra came on as second half substitutes.
“Despite playing with 10 players for almost 80 minutes, we managed to earn a point from this match. It is a positive sign for the club in the AFC Cup,” Mora told Johor Southern Tigers Facebook page yesterday.
“It was challenging as tactics needed to be changed immediately after Hasbullah was sent off. The players did their best to win the game.”
Mora said his team struggled slightly to play according to what was planned.
“We have to accept the result … there were several individual mistakes. There’s no excuse. We will have to fix them.
“However, we did not play too badly. A detailed and comprehensive analysis will be done immediately when we return to Johor Baru to identify our weaknesses,” Mora added.
Darul Ta’zim will host Premier League side Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UiTM) in an FA Cup third round match on Saturday at Larkin Stadium.
Mora is expected to make several changes to strengthen his squad for the game.
UiTM are enjoying a decent run in the Premier League and they will be depending on South Korea Do Dong Hyun and Nigerian Akanni Wasiu to trouble the defending champions.
Dong Hyun has netted eight goals in all competitions while Wasiu has scored seven.
In last year’s FA Cup, Darul Ta’zim hammered UiTM 5-0 in the second round but the match is expected to be tight on Saturday.
R. Gopinathan scored the Darul Ta’zim goal on Tuesday.