Kuala Lumpur City headcoach Bojan felt that his side’s performance against Penang on Saturday was the worst they have produced in the two years he’s helmed them.


The City Boys saw plenty of the ball but could not find a way past the Panthers defence despite having a few golden opportunities to put the matter beyond doubt at City Stadium.  Instead, it was the homesters, after spurning many chances of their own especially in the first half, who picked up maximum points with Lucas Silva’s headed goal in the 79th minute, separating both teams.


The result ends the Red And White’s unbeaten record after 7 matches in all competitions which began in early August with the conquest of Vietnam’s Viettel during the semi-final stage of the AFC Cup 2022 ASEAN Zone. Following that win in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) which came courtesy of a 6-5 penalty shootout lottery forced by a scoreless draw in 120 minutes of action, the Croatian’s men edged Negeri Sembilan 1-0 at home in the league, put aside PSM Makassar in the ASEAN Zone final 5-2 in Cheras, drew 2-2 at Sabah, surprised India’s ATK Mohun Bagan in Kolkata for the Inter-Zone semi-final (East Asia Region) 3-1, bested Sri Pahang 2-0 in slippery conditions in Kuantan then were held 0-0 at battling Melaka United.


While the result kept Kuala Lumpur City in sixth position, it only provided Kedah DA with more breathing space being a point ahead and having 2 matches in hand over the City Boys.  The loss also effectively ended any outside hopes for Bojan’s men to challenge for fourth position after dropping five points in two winnable matches against bottom teams in the standings.


Post-match, the City Boys boss was incredibly disappointed to see his players fail to reach the high standards they have regularly since losing to Johor DT on August 1, 2022.


Reacting to the 1-0 defeat, Bojan said to members of the media,


“I think that we entered the game really poor.  Our heads we’re not here.  I don’t know if our heads we’re still on holiday or maybe in Uzbekistan.  But definitely we were not in.”


“And we are hard-working team, we don’t have (the);quality that we can win these matches on quality.  So basically, every match if we’re not 200% in, we cannot win the game.”


“And to be honest, Penang (in the) first half create(d) 2, 3 chances (where) they could (have) score(d) goals. Kevin (Mendoza) was (in) that part (of the game) our best man.”


“We start(ed) to play something probably after 30, 35 minutes, then suddenly we start(ed) to wake up.  (In the) Second half, I think we play(ed) better, we have (had) chances but this is (the) second game in a row we cannot convert our chances.  So if you cannot score goal(s), you cannot win the game. This is very simple in football.”


Asked to pinpoint which of his boys fielded today should shoulder the blame for this debacle in Georgetown, the 51-year old master tactician did not specify, but mentioned that it was not just his men upfront but also other players. 


“To be honest not only strikers but there is (are) lots of (many) players that (who) did not turn up for the match.”


“And I said before (the game) Penang have good players.  They didn’t have injuries today, they have (had) full squad, and they fight.  At the end they deserve(d) this win.”


“For me, I believe this is probably our worst game in 2 years.”


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