Longhi unhappy after JDT stalemate against PKNS on poor Shah Alam pitch

Nicolas Anil Nicolas Anil

Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) head coach Raul Longhi was frustrated that his players couldn’t find the breakthrough goal against PKNS FC after both sides were tied goalless in the Malaysia Super League (MSL).

The muddy, rain-soaked pitch at Shah Alam Stadium on Sunday was one of the main factors for the drab draw, with both sides unable to showcase their full potential after heavy rainfall had set in the Klang Valley.

“We had managed to dominate the second half, even with the pitch not in good condition. But I am not happy because we didn’t win this game. The players fought well, but we couldn’t score.”Longi said.

The Argentine also pointed out that the poor pitch didn’t help his team’s cause.

“Our style is to keep the ball, for this you need a good pitch. The poor conditions meant it was a problem for the players to control and drive with the ball.”

In a game that was understandably lacking in goalmouth action, JDT forced the issue in the second half, but found a resilient PKNS who were happy to defend in numbers.

The Southern Tigers forced a flurry of corners and Safawi Rasid and Jorge Santos Silva had chances, but couldn’t put them away.

PKNS striker Rafael Ramazotti also had a goal ruled out in the second half for infringement.

The draw meant the league leaders have failed to score for only the second time in 12 league matches. But it still leaves them six points clear of nearest rivals Perak FA.

JDT will get a chance to increase that gap to nine points when they welcome Perak to Larkin Stadium on June 2.

“Six points is still a good advantage for us. The next game is important when we play Perak. It is not a title decider, but nonetheless an important game for us to build on our lead.” added Longhi.

The four-time champions are looking to wrap up their fifth consecutive league title as soon as possible, as they gear up for the 2019 AFC Champions League.

The MSL champions get an automatic berth to Asia’s premiere competition next season, and JDT will be looking to rub shoulders with the big boys in the continent.

Photo credit: Johor Southern Tigers Facebook

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