If there is one aspect that frustrates every single football fan in the world, it is inconsistency. So much was said about this Perak side prior to the new season, about how they were solid defensively in the pre-season games, but struggled to impose themselves upfront. However, Azraai Khor was left clueless recently as his team succumbed to a 2-0 defeat to a struggling Terengganu team.
Now, this was a Terengganu side lacking not only confidence, but also cohesiveness. The monsoon floods pretty much disrupted their pre-season preparations back in December and the Turtles have struggled to assert themselves in matches this year. So it was normal for Perak fans to have high expectations heading into this match, as the Seladangs have been showing plenty of promising signs. The three-week break was deemed to have injected extra energy into the players and fans had expected them to steamroll past Terengganu, despite playing away from home.
But what happened in Kuala Terengganu on Friday, February 15 was something else. Perak proved a shadow of themselves as Terengganu dominated. The East Coast outfit had numerous chances throughout the game and netted two goals to gain their maiden win of the season in impressive fashion. It was, arguably, Perak’s worst performance of the season and it left Azraai Khor fuming on the sideline.
“I have no idea why we played so badly and allowed Terengganu to score two goals past us, considering that our defense looked solid this year,” he said.
The Seladangs regrouped and headed home to prepare for a clash against a high-flying Pahang side three days later. The Tok Gajahs were only recently promoted to the Super League, but they have been in imperious form this year. Facing up against them was always going to be a tough task, especially when you consider that Perak played so poorly in that defeat to Terengganu.
The day came, and both sides kicked off in Lumut. Perak was very cautious with their offensive approach early on in the game, not wanting to commit too many men forward and leave their defence empty. It was a edgy 90 minutes affair but Azraai Khor’s men were given a lifeline when Pahang skipper, Jalaluddin Jaafar scored an own goal just before half time. The Seladangs held on and secured a morale-boosting win, much to the delight of Azraai.
The victory over Pahang, however, depicted what appears to be an inconsistent Perak squad this year. They, undoubtedly, do have quality, but not maintaining the similar tenacity in every game appears to be a cause for concern. They will next face defending champions Kelantan in Kota Bharu on Saturday, March 2. It will be interesting to see how the Perak lads cope with the pressure of playing in front of a boisterous home crowd.