JOHOR Darul Ta’zim (JDT) coach Ulisses Morais believes his team’s inability to score against a defensive-minded Kuala Lumpur yesterday will be a rare exception this season.
KL produced a battling rearguard display to hold on to their 1-0 lead when the game was halted on Saturday due to a water-logged pitch at KL Football Stadium following heavy rain for the city side’s first win of 2018 and also inflicted a first league defeat on champions JDT.
JDT rained 18 shots on the KL goal with goalkeeper Kamarul Effandi Rahim saving eight while defender Hisyamuddin Shaari cleared another off the line.
“For a big club like JDT, we don’t blame the players for losing a game like this,” said Morais.
“It happens in football but if we continue to play like that and create chances like we did then we will win more often.
“Normally, when we create so many chances like this we score one or two goals but we didn’t in this game.
“It’s not an excuse, it’s our fault that KL had two or three chances and scored one. If we don’t score then that situation can happen where the other team scores.”
As soon as the match resumed, Morais took off defender Adam Nor Azlin and sent in winger Safawi Rasid to help the attack.
“It was a strategic move as we needed to attack since we were losing,” said Morais.
“We were in KL’s half most of the time, so we had to take the risk.”
KL coach Fabio Maciel said the city side opted to be defensive given the firepower JDT possessed and found the irony in losing 2-0 to Selangor and Negri Sembilan earlier despite dominating possession.
“We controlled the last two games but we did not score,” said Maciel.
“Although, JDT dominated possession, we managed to create eight chances.
“We deserve the three points because of the effort we put in. It was a fantastic defensive game and I am happy with the performance.”