Kelantan coach Steve Darby hailed striker Forkey Doe for his superb finish in the 2-1 win over reigning champions LionsXII in a Super League match at Jalan Besar Stadium on Saturday.
It was a sweet win for Kelantan as despite Shakir Ali's sending off in the 80th minute, they kept on attacking to inflict Lions' first league defeat since July, 2012.
Darby believes his team are finally showing their true potential and warned others that Kelantan could only get better.
The former champions lead the standings with 12 points followed by Darul Ta'zim and Terengganu, who have 10 each.
Doe netted from a defensive mistake one minute into stoppage time after latching onto Amar Rohidan's diagonal pass. The Liberia international dribbled past Lions goalkeeper Izwan Mahbud before slotting home from close range.
Lions, who fielded seven senior internationals, dominated proceedings in the opening minutes and deservedly took the lead in the 26th through Khairul Amri Mohd Kamal, who volleyed home a Shahfiq Ghani's cross for his fourth goal of the season. A mix-up between Lions' keeper Izwan and his backline led to Kelantan's equaliser through Ahmad Fakri Saraani five minutes after the breather.
Darby said his team showed character to bounce back with two goals after the break. "We were lucky. I would have been happy with a draw. I am pleased with my players' character and effort ... you can't coach these things," said Darby in Singapore on Saturday.
"I've got some great professionals in the team and I don't just mean the foreigners. Everyone played well, including our keeper Khairul Fahmi Che Mat who was great throughout the match. Doe scored with the hardest of three chances but I don't care as we won this match."
Lions' coach Fandi Ahmad attributed the defeat to miscommunication between his defenders.
"We lost concentration at the back. There was miscommunication. Kelantan played long balls and took their opportunities," said Fandi.
SOURCE - New Straits Times