HEATED BATTLE ON AND OFF THE PITCH
Melaka coach accuses JDT coach of being disrespectful
AJITPAL SINGH email@example.com
MELAKA coach Eric Williams has accused his Darul Ta’zim counterpart, Benjamin Mora of being disrespectful after the heated 1-1 draw in a Super League match at Hang Jebat Stadium on Saturday.
Darul Ta’zim thought another win was in the bag when Safiq Rahim drove in his free kick in the 59th minute.
But Melaka frustrated Darul Ta’zim with an equaliser through South Korea Jeon Woo Young in the 88th minute for their third straight draw in the league.
Overall, Darul Ta’zim players showed poor discipline in the match but managed to escape the red card on several occasions.
The match turned heated in the opening minutes of the second half when Darul Ta’zim’s Gabriel Guerra appeared to have kicked captain G. Puaneswaran on his face when the Malacca captain was on the ground.
In stoppage time, Melaka resorted to playing the ball to the corners to buy time before the final whistle and this frustrated the visitors.
There were also several minor altercations but referee Suhaimimat Hassan managed to control the situation.
The draw was a huge blow to Darul Ta’zim as they had expected another routine win after thrashing Melaka 7-0 in the first round at Larkin Stadium on April 9.
Englishman Williams was unhappy with the behaviour of Mora and both had an ugly exchange of words after the final whistle.
“I made a remark to Mora that when his team had thrashed Melaka 7-0, he did not have the time to shake my hand… and today, he shook my hand like he wanted to fight me,” said Williams on Saturday.
“He then responded that next time his team will beat Melaka 70 again. I told him that if he is a good coach then come and train my team, and let’s see how good you are.
“A coach’s job is not about training players. One needs to motivate his boys every week especially after a heavy defeat.
“Those were my parting words to Mora who must start showing humility. He is young and got to learn. Mora has the best players in Malaysia, he should be winning every week.”
Williams added: “The match went a little bit wayward towards the end… I think Darul Ta’zim were not happy when we equalised.
“There comes a time a team need to be humble and accept that fact that sometimes you cannot win every game. I am very disappointed with their reaction after the final whistle.”
Williams hopes the draw will help his team regain confidence for upcoming matches. For the record, Melaka have not won a game since February.
“I am very proud of my boys… they showed character and stability. They dug deep and were determined today.
Mora said three points should have been in his team’s pocket on Saturday.
“Melaka punished us for a lapse of concentration in the closing stages. We still, however, got a point and also managed to extend our lead in the league to six points as Pahang lost to Kelantan.
“We need to work harder and fix our mistakes. We hold advantage in the league and we will not sit back and allow others to catch up,” added Mora.
Darul Ta’zim skipper Safiq Rahim (second from left) is shown the yellow card by the referee in a Super League match against Melaka at Hang Jebat Stadium on Saturday.