AFC Cup: KL City split points, KDA FC goes down against Bali FC

KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia Cup champions, Kuala Lumpur (KL) City FC failed to win at home and had to satisfy themselves with a goalless draw against Indonesian club PSM Makassar in the sole Group H match of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup tonight.

Both teams started aggressively at the Kuala Lumpur Football Stadium in Cheras, with PSM Makassar threatening in the 10th minute with a shot outside the penalty box by team captain Willem Jan Pluim. KL City came close to scoring in the 21st minute when their captain Paulo Josue managed to dupe two defenders, only to see his blistering shot deflected by goalkeeper Muhammad Reza Pratama.

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The teams ended the first half goalless, after KL City’s import player Kevin Koubemba’s attempt at goal in the 39th minute and PSM Makassar striker Yakob Sayuri’s try four minutes later both ended in faliture.

KL City were diligent in the second half, but striker Romel Morales and defender Muhammad Irfan Zakaria both squandered their chance at glory by hitting the post instead.

Bojan Hodak’s men ended up splitting points with the 2019 Indonesia Cup champions and will meet Singapore’s Tamping Rovers here on June 30. Incidentally, Tampin Rovers will be going up against PSM Makassar next Monday at the same venue.

“I’m always disappointed if I don’t win but sometimes you need to look the reality and I think we did everything well.

“In defence I’m happy we didn’t concede goals, finally we played how we supposed to play, how we played in the final Malaysia Cup but in terms of attacking, this is our problem and that’s the reason why we signed new striker,” Hodak said in a post-match press conference here, tonight.

Tavares added, “We had chances, they had chances, we can score, they can score. I think if the match had goals, it will be much better because people come to the game to see goals.”

Meanwhile, Malaysia’s other representative in the AFC Cup, Malaysia Cup runners-up Kedah Darul Aman (KDA) FC lost 0-2 to Indonesian club, Bali United FC in their Group G match at Kapten I Wayan Dipta Stadium in Bali. The first of the two goals was an own goal by KDA FC captain Wanja Ronald Ngah in the first half’s injury time while the second came from Bali United FC winger Muhammad Rahmat in the 82nd minute.

KDA FC will play their second group match, against Philippines Club Kaya FC–Iloilo, next Monday, who lost 1-2 against Cambodian club, Visakha FC today.

The AFC Cup is a round-robin format tournament with the group champions and the best runner-up from the three ASEAN zone groups qualifying for the next stage.