AMD Cougars’ Mohd Aznil Hafiz Azhar (centre) dribbles past Arsenal’s players during the match at Bukit Jalil. Pic by KHAIRULL AZRY BIDIN

BUKIT JALIL: A slow start by AMD Malaysia Cougars saw them going down 2-1 to Arsenal in their Supermokh Cup under-14 Group B match at the National Sports Complex field today.

Arsenal were 2-0 up in the first half, thanks to early strikes from Daniel Oyegoke and Omari Hutchinson in the ninth and 16th minutes. Cougars pulled one back through a Muhammad Aznil Hafiz Azhar strike in the 62nd but it was not enough to salvage a point.

Cougars coach Ahmad Nurfaizal Abdullah said his charges gave Arsenal too much space in the first half which the latter put to good use.

"It was actually quite a finely balanced match, they had the physical advantage but we were faster than them," said Nurfaizal.

"The boys took too much time to settle into the match and let Arsenal control the game in the first half.

"We were much better in the second and managed to score but it was already too late by then.

"We have to improve in a number of areas, especially in regard to defending."

Cougars, also the defending champions in the under-14 category, will next face Gyeongnam FC and must win to progress to the knockout stage.

Meanwhile, Cougars' under-12 and under-13 teams both advanced to the knockout stages after securing comfortable wins and will next face Aspire Academy and Az Alkmaar respectively to determine the group winners.

RESULTS:

Under-12

Group A

Sporting CP 3 AMD Malaysia Panthers 0

Kashima Antlers 3 FF South Australia 0

Group B

AMD Malaysia Cougars 4 HNK Hajduk Split 0

JJ Football Academy 0 Aspire Academy 1

Under-13

Group A

AMD Malaysia Panthers 1 PSG 3

Urawan Red Diamind 0 Buriram United 0

Group B

AMD Malaysia Cougars 12 Gyeongnam FC 1

AZ Alkmaar 3 FF South Australia 0

Under 14

Group A

PSG 2 Mito Hollyhock 0

AMD Malaysia Panthers 0 Foolad Sepahan 2

Group B

AMD Malaysia Cougars 1 Arsenal 2

Gyeongnam 1 Aspire Academy 2

Translated from Berita Harian

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