KUANTAN – The absence of several key players due to injury affected Pahang’s performance in the AFC Cup competition, thus enabling South China FC to score a goal in their Group G encounter at the Darul Makmur Stadium, here last night.
The coach for the Elephants, Zainal Abidin Hassan, said the absence of the key players like Matias Ruben Conti, Dickson Nwakaeme and Fauzi Roslan was sorely felt.
“Although Pahang was in control of the game, there was no finishing,” he told reporters after the game ended 1-0 in favour of South China.
Pahang were without the three key players as well as Razman Roslan who was sitting out a match suspension.
However, Zainal praised his players for their good performance in the match.
He said many of the young players who played last night were not experienced in the international level match and the AFC Cup competition was their first.
Zainal said he would try to ensure that in the remaining matches in the G Group, Pahang would use them as opportunities to move forward in the next round.
In the opening match, Pahang won 3-2 against Myanmar Yadanarbon FC in Mandalar Thiri Stadium, Myanmar, last February before drawing 0-0 in a match with Global FC, last Saturday,
After losing 0-1 to South China FC last night, Pahang under the tutelage of Zainal was scheduled to continue for the AFC Cup campaign on the second match with South China FC in Hong Kong, on April 15.
After the match with South China FC, The Elephants squad will meet Yadanarbon FC on April 29, playing at their home ground before leaving for the Philippines and playing against Global FC on May 13.
To date, Pahang have collected four points behind South China FC of Group G, followed by Yadanarbon FC (three points) and Global FC (one point). – BERNAMA