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Brendan pleased with cup final contribution – football news

A combative midfielder, goals are not something that Brendan Gan is famed with but it’s not for the lack of trying. Throughout the last few matches in the Malaysia Cup in particular, Brendan has been getting on the end of goalscoring chances but had not been able to find the back of the net.

But on a night when his team and the 40,000 Perak fans in the stadium needed him to find one, Brendan found what could turn out to be the most important goal of his career when the directed the ball into the back of the net in the second minute of added time in the second half.

That goal ensured that Perak stayed in the game and forced Terengganu into extra time with the score tied at 2-2. It also completed Perak’s comeback from 2-0 down after a dismal first half.

“I feel amazing. For me it’s just good to be back on the field. Last year was a very hard year for me and I want to thank the coach for giving me the chance to get back on the field. To win the Malaysia Cup is a massive bonus for myself. The whole year we fought through many adversities and it showed today how we can fight back and get the win.”

“I say that all the time in training that I’m going to save the goals for the important games (chuckles). It just fell to me and it had to go in. Never used my left foot before but decided to use it just for that occasion. 

“There were just a lot of running at the end of the day. It was a heavy pitch and pretty much still flooded when we went out there for the warm up. It was testing on the legs and everyone felt it,” said Brendan after the match.

Brendan however did not last the full extra time and was replaced by club captain Nasir Basharudin. The match went into penalty shoot-out and the nervous Brendan felt helpless watching his team mates but paid tributes to the spectacular Hafizul Hakim who saved two decisive penalties. 

“Of course it’s nervous not being out there. It’s not in your control. We hadn’t really talked about who will take penalties, it’s about who were confident at that time. The boys did a fantastic job and held their nerves. Hafizul, you can see how good a keeper he is when he saved those penalties,” added Brendan.

The winner’s medal received last night in the Malaysia Cup was Brendan’s first taste of success in Malaysian football, having played here for the past six years. He has worked hard to come back to this level and his ability to be the leader on the pitch for Perak vindicates the hard work that he has put in.

At the end of the day, it also justified the club’s desire to push for Brendan’s signing before the start of the season as Perak lifted the 2018 Malaysia Cup trophy.

 

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Mehmet proud of Perak’s resilience in epic final – football news

Whatever game plan that Mehmet Durakovic and his team thought of going into the final, it was thrown out of the window within the first minute of the match. Idris Ahmad’s back pass to Hafizul Hakim was short and Tchetche Kipre opened the scoring for Terengganu.

Another mistake in the first half from Hafizul this time double Terengganu’s lead and at half time, it looked like that final was slipping away from Perak’s grasp. But credit to Durakovic and Perak who came out in the second half a different team.

Firdaus Saiyadi’s goal right after the restart in the second half sparked Perak’s revival and despite losing influential striker Gilmar Filho to a red card, The Bos Gaurus still managed to find a way back into the game in the dying embers of normal time through Brendan Gan’s equaliser.

“This game will go down in history. To come back after 2-0 and after 3-2, these boys never ever gave up. They deserve all the credit. I’m just a coach, these guys do all the work on the pitch. Very happy for them and their families, the supporters, my staff and my family.”

“Basically at half time, I told them to believe in themselves. There are mistakes in football but needed to forget about it and go again. I cannot ask for anything more, they gave their all. Even at 10 men, I knew these players can fight. They stuck by their guns and deserved everything they got,” said Durakovic in the post-match press conference.

It was another stirring effort from Perak in extra time and just when it looked like the chance had gone to cancel out Faiz Nasir’s goal, came Igor Zonjic with the unfortunate touch in the final minute of extra time to send the match into penalty shoot-out.

It was there that Hafizul redeemed himself for the first half error. Saving the first two Terengganu spot kicks from Zonjic and Thierry Chanta Bin, he set Perak up to eventually win 1-4 in the shoot-out.

Durakovic had nothing but praise for his young custodian despite his earlier mistake and stressed that in the final, only the final result mattered. The win sees Durakovic take his Malaysia Cup tally to five, three as a player and two as a coach.

“Hafizul has been different class and one of the best keepers in the country. Idris has had a fantastic season. The four players at the back are all local and tonight (Saturday) they were brilliant. People make mistakes, you forgive and forget.” 

“To be quite honest, everybody makes mistakes. My two players made mistakes but they came back big and strong. The referee make mistakes, the linesman, we all make mistakes, we are all human beings,” added Durakovic.

 

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