KUCHING: Sarawak bid farewell to their 2012 Malaysia Cup campaign with a 0-2 loss in the hands of the Red Giants at Shah Alam last Friday.
The Malaysia Cup campaign was seen by passionate fans of the Crocs as redemption for the team as they were earlier relegated to play in the Premier League in 2013.
Before the match, head coach Robert Alberts was optimistic that the Crocs could secure a famous away win in Shah Alam after Sarawak had earlier beaten the Red Giants 2-1 at home last August 22.
According to him and as widely reported, the Crocs were victims of poor refereeing in the Malaysia Cup which robbed them of good results.
Nevertheless, the fans are disappointed with the team for their early exit in the FA Cup, the agony of relegation and ignominy of a premature departure from the Malaysia Cup.
In their encounter against Selangor, Sarawak managed to bring the match to a stalemate until the breather but all their hardwork were undone when Red Giants’ captain Amri Yahyah scored for the homesters in the 66th minute. Sarawak look demoralised after the goal and sure enough, the same player doubled the tally seven minutes later to make it 2-0.
The scoreline remained until the final whistle much to the delight of the Red Giants’ supporters. A shocking 3-2 win by minnows T-team over Pahang in another group D match did not help the Crocs’ cause.
“Although I am obviously disappointed at the result of the match, I know the players did all they can tonight (last Friday night). Selangor were the better side as they were more clinical in their finishing,” commented Alberts after the match.
He continued that the match was a testimony of why all football teams need to have a reliable and potent attack force. It matters most when teams are playing for their lives in important matches.
“Selangor have good players who can deliver when it comes to the crunch. Nevertheless playing Selangor was never easy especially when they are at home,” added Alberts.
With the win against Sarawak, Selangor will now take on group A runners-up Johor FC in the quarterfinals of the 2012 Malaysia Cup. Pahang on the other hand will take on Singapore Lions XII who finished first in the same group with Johor FC.
Since the season is now disappointingly over for Sarawak, Alberts revealed the Crocs will now focus on team-building for the next season. A lot of work obviously needs to be done, especially in the strengthening of the strike force.
“We will resume training next week on Monday (tomorrow). I will also brief the players of our plans, goal and focus for the next season,” he said. At the end of the interview, Alberts also told thesundaypost yesterday that he was very grateful for the fantastic support that the Sarawak fans have shown during the match last Friday at Shah Alam. He too remarked that they are the best and he thanked them for coming all the way to Selangor to show their support for their beloved team.