Kedah must learn from lapse that cost them MSL top spot - coach Tan
Kedah coach Tan Cheng Hoe says his men will learn from their late lapse against Selangor, which cost them top spot in the Malaysia Super League after a 1-1 draw at Selayang Stadium on Wednesday night.
Dollah Salleh's Pahang have overtaken Kedah in first place on the table after they defeated PKNS FC 3-0 the evening before.
"I hope my players will learn from this game that we must be focused until the final whistle. We controlled the game, but switched off in the dying stages and it cost us dearly," Tan told ESPN FC.
The Malaysia Cup champions looked well on their way to a fifth league win after scoring from a Sandro Da Silva free kick in the 80th minute, but Selangor drew level deep into injury time through Juliano Mineiro.
Kedah will look to put that mini setback behind them when they welcome strugglers Melaka United to Darul Aman Stadium on Saturday.
"Our target is to be consistent. We played well against Selangor, but our defining pass did not happen at times which is why we only scored one goal," Tan said.
The Canaries are also hoping their influential captain Baddrol Bakhtiar, who has scored four league goals in 2017, recovers from injury.
Tan added: "You can see that we missed Baddrol today. Syazwan Zainon is still not fully fit, so he wasn't as effective on the right. We are hoping Baddrol is fit for the next game."
Penang coach Ashley Westwood, meanwhile, may have bought himself some more time ahead of the game away to PKNS FC on Saturday after Reinaldo Lobo's late goal earned a 1-1 draw against Melaka on Wednesday night.
The under-fire Englishman is facing pressure from Penang fans after no victories in the first seven matches to start the 2017 season. His predicament was made worse by a four-match ban for insulting Perak officials on Jan. 27.
Already, Penang are stranded five points adrift at the bottom of the MSL table, and six points from safety.
Kalah menang mmg adat permainan..tapi kalau lah pengadil terus kejam mcm ni mmg xkemana lah..hanya berpihak kpd satu team..insiden mcm ni sepatut nya kad merah tapi itu lah reff di malaysia..this player dont have respect at all..this is quality of naturalized player??? ��������⚽ #respecteachother #thisismalaysia #ssten #keepfight #pkns #terribleaction #lesson #2017
PKNS veteran striker Safee Sali voiced his fury against the match officials this week after they failed to penalise Pahang's Kiko Insa for a crude foul in the 3-1 defeat, accusing the Spanish-born defender of a lack of respect.
"Losing and winning is part of the game, but if the referee is this ignorant we will never get anywhere," Safee lamented on his Instagram page.
"This incident should be a red card, but that says a lot of the referees in Malaysia."
From Alicante on the Mediterranean coast, Insa is eligible to represent Malaysia after obtaining his citizenship through his grandmother, who is from Kuala Lumpur.
Nicolas Anil is a former Malay Mail and Goal.com Malaysia editor/writer who appears on BFM Radio as a football analyst. Twitter: @nicolas_anil.