Nafuzi: Terengganu FC’s chance to final still open despite first-leg draw

Terengganu FC’s Jordan Mintah celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against Johor Darul Ta'zim, November 22, 2021. ― Bernama pic
Terengganu FC’s Jordan Mintah celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against Johor Darul Ta’zim, November 22, 2021. ― Bernama pic

KUALA NERUS, Nov 23 ― Terengganu FC (TFC) chief coach Nafuzi Zain believes his team still can qualify for the Malaysia Cup final although the task ahead looks tough after their 1-1 draw with Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) last night.

In the first leg semi-final at Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium, Terengganu only drew with the Malaysian football giants despite enjoying home-ground advantage.

Nevertheless, Nafuzi, who had taken Terengganu to the Malaysia Cup final in 2018 by beating JDT on a 3-1 aggregate, refused to press the panic button and vowed to make his best preparation for the return leg at Sultan Ibrahim Stadium in Johor Baru on Friday.

“Indeed, the earlier plan was to prevent JDT from scoring. But that is football, and we will rectify our mistakes in the second leg.

“As far as I am concerned, the draw tonight is good enough. The opportunity is still wide open but there (Johor Baru) we must attack and score more goals to advance to the final,” he told reporters after the match last night.

Nafuzi said he was also satisfied with the performance of his young players as they had given their best.

Meanwhile, JDT’s chief coach Benjamin Mora said he had expected the stiff opposition from the Turtles squad which had undoubtedly gone all out in search of a comfortable lead ahead of their clash in Johor Baru.

He also expressed satisfaction with his team’s performance, saying the solitary goal gave them a valuable point.

“The game tonight was tough. We knew Terengganu were going to fight and they did.

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“We did not start well for the first 10 to 15 minutes. But we fixed the situation in second half, and I think one away goal is a good thing for us,” said Benjamin, who has been with JDT for five seasons. ― Bernama


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