Singapore Premier League • September 20, 2015

Razip: We Should Have Beaten Warriors


Written by: Shawn Lim

Harimau Muda coach Razip Ismail was a crestfallen man after his side gave up a two-goal lead to allow Warriors FC to snatch a draw at Hang Jebat Stadium on Saturday night.

The hosts scored with their first two shots on target through Syafwan Syahlan and Faris Shah in the first half before a brace by Fazrul Nawaz in the second half allowed the visitors to snatch a point.

Razip felt the game was a story of two halves and expressed his disappointment at the way his side gave up their advantage.

“I’m very happy that we scored with our first two shots on target because it was very hard for us to score from outside the box and the way we played in the first-half was very pleasing because of our domination,” said the 53-year-old.

“However, the second-half was very tough to watch because we collapsed after taking the two-goal lead.

“We had a few chances to score to increase our lead in the second-half but we paid dearly for our mistakes and allowed them to score two goals instead.

“It was probably due to our lack of focus and tiredness. So I am quite disappointed with the outcome of the game because I thought we really deserved the three points today if we had maintained our performance.”

While the Young Tigers have already beaten Warriors FC once this season, they have struggled to put together a string of good results since then.

Razip was unable to place his fingers on the exact cause, but ventured that his players’ lack of experience was a key factor.

“Everything is possible if you believe in yourself and stick to the game plan. That’s what happened we beat the tougher teams like Warriors and Albirex Niigata (S),” asserted the Malaysian.

“We are capable of beating anyone, but because the players are still young, consistency is a problem for them. They find it hard to maintain the same level of performance after one or two games.

“That is an issue that I’m still trying to fix.”

As for Warriors coach Alex Weaver, the Englishman agreed with Razip that it was a game of two halves, but felt that his side’s experience allowed them to mount the comeback.

“I am pleased with the performance in the second-half, but I was not too pleased with the slow build-up play in the first-half,” asserted the 38-year-old.

“They started the game very well and put us under a lot of pressure. We should have expected that from younger teams like Harimau Muda and we should have played much quicker on the ball.

“We had a lot more time and space against Balestier and I thought we came into this game thinking that we were probably going to get the same game, but we didn’t.

“We paid the price for that and we shouldn’t be giving away goals like that in the first-half. So we changed things at half-time and addressed the slowness of our game.

“We came out for the second-half and played a lot quicker. We shifted the ball; two-touch build-up play and we managed to fight our way back into the game.

“In the end, our patience, experience and our fitness shone through. That’s a positive to take away from this game.”