FourthOfficial’s Man of the Match: Selangor 0-0 Kelantan

So yes, he probably deserved a red card at one point. But in what was a shocking game, Brendan was probably one of the better players on the pitch, with the exception of that unfortunate incident. Let’s objectively analyze everything else he did on the field.

If ever there was a game to perfectly depict how important Brendan Gan is to Kelantan, it was this one. As soon as they went one-man down, it was always going to be an uphill task.

But the Red Warriors held on bravely, thanks to Brendan Gan’s tireless performance in the middle. He had to cover extra spaces in midfield, and the former Sabah man did it to perfection, nullifying the threat posed by Nazmi Faiz and Hafiz Kamal.

In the first half, it was slightly easier with Patrick Ronaldinho leading the line for Selangor. His lack of pace allowed the Kelantan defenders to contain the threat effectively but as soon as Hazwan Bakri was brought on, Selangor’s became a lot more mobile upfront.

Brendan though, adapted brilliantly and continued shielding his defence in an impressive manner. His partner Piya eventually faded, but Brendan’s constant drive to intercept and win every challenge played a pivotal part in Kelantan’s ability to continuously remain a threat in the game.

Let’s not categorize his contribution though, as Brendan was equally convincing going forward. He found Indra Putra with fantastic through passes on several occassions, but the highlight of it all was undoubtedly the through pass he threaded for Dramane Traore in the second half. Had that went in, everyone would be rejoicing around Traore. But it was Brendan who started the move, it was Brendan who executed the build-up to it.

Either way, 0-0 represents a fantastic start for Velizar Popov, considering his team had 10 men on the pitch. And there were plenty of other encouraging signs as well. If anything, Kelantan should be a bigger threat moving forward. But mark my words, any potential revival will be due in no small part to Brendan Gan’s influence in midfield.

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