Cheng Hoe gone but not for­got­ten

New Straits Times - - Sport -

KEDAH will con­tinue with for­mer coach Tan Cheng Hoe’s phi­los­o­phy for the re­main­der of the sea­son.

The reign­ing Malaysia Cup cham­pion ended their four­match win­less run when they edged Tereng­ganu 1-0 in Sun­day’s FA Cup semi-fi­nal first leg match at Daru­la­man Sta­dium in Alor Star.

The win also marked care­taker coach Nidzam Adzha Yu­soff’s first match in charge fol­low­ing the de­par­ture of Cheng Hoe on Sat­ur­day.

Sub­sti­tute Farhan Roslan scored the only goal by fin­ish­ing off Dane Ken Ilso’s cut­back in the 71st minute.

Kedah dom­i­nated play and cre­ated 17 chances as Tereng­ganu strug­gled with­out Uzbek­istan’s Lut­fulla Tu­raev and cap­tain Ab­dul Lat­iff Suhaimi in mid­field.

“We will con­tinue to adopt Cheng Hoe’s pat­tern of play and phi­los­o­phy for the rest of the sea­son.

“The win, the first in five games, is mean­ing­ful for Kedah and it also marks a good start for me,” said Nidzam yes­ter­day.

“The play­ers did not show any signs of miss­ing Cheng Hoe...they per­formed to their abil­i­ties. How­ever, the area we need to work on is fin­ish­ing. We should have scored more than one goal.

“The pos­i­tive thing here is we did not con­cede a goal against Tereng­ganu. We need to build from this win to get bet­ter.”

Team man­ager Datuk Jef­frey Low said Nidzam could be given a per­ma­nent role if Kedah con­tinue to progress.

“We will as­sess the team’s progress at least for the next five matches be­fore we de­cide whether we should of­fer Nidzam a per­ma­nent con­tract. Spa­niard Ra­mon Mar­cote is one of the coaches shortlisted for the job,” said Jef­frey.

Tereng­ganu coach Ir­fan Bakti said his team’s in­abil­ity to con­trol the mid­field led to the de­feat.

“The ab­sence of Tu­raev and Lat­iff af­fected our per­for­mance. Their re­place­ments were not con­fi­dent and could not hold on to pos­ses­sion. We did not have a mid­fielder who could dis­trib­ute the ball con­fi­dently.

“How­ever, the boys still did well. The 1-0 de­feat is a good score for us. I am con­fi­dent we can bounce back in the re­turn leg (on May 13),” said Ir­fan. Ajitpal Singh

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