KUALA LUMPUR: Selangor FC central defender, Sharul Nazeem Zulpakar said fatigue was one of the reasons why the Red Giants lost focus in the second half, thereby missing a golden opportunity to win the Malaysia Cup in the final at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium here yesterday.

In the intense final before some 80,000 spectators, Selangor coached by former national coachTan Cheng Hoe lost 1-2 to Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT).

Sharul, more affectionately known as Afro, said if Selangor had seized the chances that came their way in the first half, the possibility was high that the end result would be in their favour.

“The gap could be seen in the second half as compared to the first, maybe we lost focus due to fatigue during the second half , we were not solid in defence or attacked even once.

“There were many opportunities in our favour during the first half where we could have scored two or three goals, so I am also disappointed. But this is football, anything can happen, we accept this defeat,“ he said at the press conference after the final.

However, the 23-year-old said credit should be given to his teammates who showed great fighting spirit in the 90 minutes of the match to try and secure victory.

He was confident that Selangor will be able to recover from yesterday's disappointment with a stronger playing pattern to face a more challenging competition next season.

The final of the prestigious tournament saw Selangor take the lead in the 45th minute thanks to Herlison Caion De Souza Ferreira's penalty kick before JDT bounced back to score two goals, with Bergson Da Silva on the mark in injury time of the first half and Fernando Forestieri in the 59th minute.

JDT’s success saw the Southern Tigers achieve the “treble” for the first time. JDT have also been crowned Super League champions besides lifting the FA Cup this season. They were also winners of the Charity Chield Cup.

They had also won the Malaysia Cup in 2017 and 2019.

On the other hand, Selangor's title drought entered the seventh year after last winning the Malaysia Cup in 2015.-Bernama