TEMERLOH, June 15 (Bernama) -- The high confidence of Penang FC players in taking penalty kicks was the key to their success in eliminating Sri Pahang FC in the 2024 FA Cup clash at the opponents’ ground here last night.

The Panthers head coach Akmal Rizal Ahmad Rakhli said that this confidence was achieved through the hard work of his players, who tirelessly trained to secure a place in the quarter-finals.

“I had great confidence in my players’ ability to take penalty kicks because they had trained diligently, including in this aspect.

“Apart from their excellent performance throughout the 120 minutes of the match, it was the penalty kick results that made me very happy tonight,“ he told the post-match press conference at the Majlis Perbandaran Temerloh Stadium here.

Commenting further on the match, Akmal acknowledged that his team, who scored the early goal, dominated the first half before the situation reversed in the second half.

“After Sri Pahang equalised at 1-1, it wasn’t easy as we were under pressure, but we asked the players to stay calm and confident to continue defending while also trying to create scoring opportunities.

“The Elephants attacked a lot, but our defence was very consistent, and I really hope this winning momentum can continue in the next match,“ he said.

Meanwhile, Sri Pahang FC head coach Fandi Ahmad said his team were unlucky despite putting up a good performance to challenge the Panthers.

“We attacked and created many chances to score, especially in the second half, but none went in, and the match had to be decided by penalties.

“Sri Pahang played well, but the weakness we need to address is our slow adaptation to the game, which made us less impressive in the first half,“ he said.