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UiTM FC head coach Frank Bernhardt was sorry that his in-form charges’ progress in the Malaysia Super League was scuppered by an external factor.

UiTM FC head coach Frank Bernhardt was sorry that his in-form charges’ progress was scuppered by an external factor, in their 3-3 Malaysia Super League round nine draw against Selangor on Saturday.

Despite trailing 2-0 at halftime to the home side, the university side mounted a stunning comeback after the break through goals by Gustavo (48′, 58′) and Rabih Ataya (52′). But an unfortunate last-seconds handball awarded the Red Giants a penalty, which was then converted by Ifedayo Olusegun for the equaliser.

Speaking to the press after the match, Bernhardt revealed his team’s last-minute diffculty heading into the match.

“We got here with 10 players facing stomach problems from the hotel [food]. It started in the morning and two guys even had to be hospitalised. As a result, we were not really in the game in the first half. Selangor played powerfully, maybe a little too powerfully because they weren’t able to keep it up in the second half.

“I was a little angry that despite having discussed the instructions before the match and the players saying they understood them, they later failed to execute the plans. Thankkfully when Selangor’s intensity dropped in the second half, we were given the space and options. Gustavo did well to keep the ball up and score a brace. 

“We should have come away with the three points after the boys’ hardwork. It’s good that we were able to take our chances in the second, because now we’re 100 per cent safe from relegation,” explained the former Malaysia U-23 head coach.

Asked whether he would now use their remaining two league matches to provide their younger players with playing time, the German however said he was adamant to lead them to finish the league campaign as high as possible in the standings.

“We want to take it all the way to the end and finish the season in a good place, in the table. It’s a shame that we drew today because Kedah lost today, to Pahang, and the teams near us in the standings will face each other in the remaining matches.”

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September 27, 2020
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