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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