Kedah gave their all in their ACF Champions League (ACL) playoff match against Seoul FC but were shown the exit by a clearly superior team. Coach Aidil Sharin knows that and believes the defeat will be part of a learning curve for his men.
The 10-man Red Eagles side went down 1-4 at a chilly Seoul World Cup Stadium on Tuesday after Brazilian Renan Alves’ two bookings in the first half unravelled any chance of an upset against the hot favourites.
Park Chu-young converted the spot-kick resulting from the second booking in the 39th minute to open the floodgates before extending their lead through goals from Park Dong-jin (49th), Osmar Barba (63rd) and Ikromjon Alibaev (92nd) to send them on their way to the group stage.
Kedah’s consolation came through Barba who scored an own goal in the 52nd minute.
Aidil admitted that the match was beyond them after Renan was sent off.
“We are new to the ACL and we will definitely learn something from this game. The most important thing was that my boys worked very hard, they gave 100% and they lost to a better team, so congratulations to Seoul… as this is Kedah’s first time in the ACL, this is a learning process for us, ” said the Singaporean coach in the post-match press conference.
“The boys enjoyed the journey from the last game (against Hong Kong’s Tai Po) to this game.
“I definitely want the boys to improve themselves and learn from a good game like this. It was not easy for us to play with 10 men after 30 plus minutes… before the penalty, our boys did well to contain Seoul.
“Unfortunately, this is football and we lost one man at a crucial time. The boys will get tougher and stronger from playing matches like these.”
Kedah had kicked-off their ACL qualifying campaign with a 5-1 win over Tai Po in the preliminary playoff in Alor Setar last week but Seoul proved to be too strong.