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October 4, 2013 8:45 PM MYT
Stadium Shah Alam — Shah Alam
 
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PKNS FC 1(3) - (5)2 Pahang: Elephants trample Red Ants

Dollah Salleh's charges powered past the home side to book their place in the Malaysia Cup semifinals.

By Ooi Kin Fai

Conti, Gunalan - Pahang vs PKNS FC
Azreen, iimages.my

After the pulsating 3-2 first leg match which Pahang won, the action resumed in the 2nd leg of the Watson’s Malaysia Cup tie, here in Shah Alam Stadium. With the aggregate score being the deciding factor and only a goal separating the both sides, neither PKNS nor Pahang adopted the gung-ho approach to the match.

It was a cagey affair right from the kick-off, littered with unnecessary fouls all over the pitch. Back in his former roaming ground, Amirul Hadi Zainal couldn’t contain his excitement. Two quick successive fouls, first on Reeshafiq Alwi, then on Ronaldinho Wleh, saw him earned an early yellow card.

It was a matter of which side who shows the first sign of calming their nerves and it was the home side that did that. Nazmi Faiz shone in midfield for PKNS, dictating play in a roaming role just behind Wleh. It was his cross that created the first chance of the match but unfortunately, Wleh’s reverse flick wasn’t strong enough to beat Khairul Azhan.

The Pahang keeper was a bundle of nerves and his kicking was shot to pieces with it. He couldn’t find his team mate with any of his long kicks, it either went straight to the touch or to a PKNS player. With Pahang looking to be on the ropes, the exact opposite happened, their lead from the first leg was increased.

In the 28th minute, Gopinathan drove straight at PKNS’s defence before releasing Azammudin Akil on the left. The Malaysian winger then put it a weak cross that rolled onto the foot of Matias Conti. The Pahang import had Ahmad Azlan Zainal breathing down his neck but went down a little too easily. The referee bought it and Azlan was right to feel aggrieved.

Conti dusted himself off to set himself up for the penalty when PKNS players were still crowding the referee to debate that decision. The Argentine ignored what was happening behind him to plant his shot into the bottom right corner of Mohd Remezy’s goal. Remezy guessed the right direction but couldn’t get his hand on the ball.

However, the referee, Mohd. Amirul Izwan wasn’t particularly inclined to even up the odds in terms of the penalties. Wleh and Razman Rahman was challenging for the ball when the Pahang centre back appeared to have handled the ball inside his own penalty box. The referee looked like he was expecting his linesman to make the call but it didn’t come and he allowed play to go on.

The second half started the same manner in which the first half ended, with PKNS looking the stronger side with Pahang threatening on the breaks. Good interchange of passes in the 57th minute, saw Wleh with space inside the box but he hurried his shot, eventually sending well over the bar as he chose to go for power instead of precision.

PKNS’s hopes of advancing to the semi-final stage got significantly tougher as they conceded a further goal in the 59th minute, this time entirely down to their own individual error. Azlan inexplicably allowed a long kick from Pahang’s keeper to bounce over him, in hope that Remezy would come for the ball. What he failed to realise was Azammudin creeping in behind and the Pahang forward nipped in to loop a header past the advancing Remezy.

To their credit, Hj. Abdul Rahman’s boys kept trying and kept plugging away. They were rewarded 8 minutes later as they managed to halve the deficit. It looked like the most innocuous of threats when Khairu Azrin picked up the ball in the middle of the pitch. Somehow, the PKNS winger let ripped a shot that gave Khairul no chance to stop it. The rasping shot hit the top corner before the Pahang keeper even moved.

The goal breathed life back into the match as a contest as PKNS needed two more goals to level the tie and take the match into extra time. They were however left exasperated by the visiting side who used every professional trick in the book to deny PKNS any chance to build any sort of rhythm with constant fouls and request for medical attention. With Razman putting in a stellar shift alongside Damion Stewart, the home side’s attacks were easily repelled.

In the end, Pahang managed to hold off PKNS to win both matches of the quarterfinals to advance to the semi-final of this season’s Malaysia Cup. Given how well PKNS did in the group stage, it is a big wonder how their challenge petered out at this stage of the competition. Both sides do attempt to play the game in the right way and it’s a shame that one has to go out here. A loss to the competition but over the course of both matches, it is hard to argue that The Elephants were the better team.



PKNS FC

22
Remezey Che Ros
Goalkeeper
 - 
15
P. Gunalan
Defender
 - 
11
 - 
16
Zulharis Nor
Defender
 - 
6
Lot Abu Hassan
Midfielder
55′
 - 
8
 - 
24
Reeshafiq Alwi
Midfielder
85′
 - 
12
Alyy Imran Ismail
Midfielder
 - 
13
Fauzan Dzulkifli
Midfielder
 - 
33
Nazmi Faiz
Striker
76′
 - 
4
 - 

Pahang FA

 - 
1
 - 
2
 - 
4
 - 
13
 - 
7
R. Surendran
Midfielder
 - 
24
R. Gopinathan
Midfielder
 - 
20
 - 
13
 - 
12
Azamuddin Akil
Midfielder
59′
 - 
21
 - 
9

Substitutes

20
Nizad Ayub
Midfielder
55′
 - 
11
 - 
9
 - 

Substitutes

 - 
11
Faizol Hussien
Midfielder
 - 
8
Azidan Sarudin
Midfielder
63′
 - 
3
 - 
17
 - 
22

Coach/Manager

Coach/Manager

 - 
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Results
Second leg
Times In MYT
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Matías Conti Matías Conti
Striker
Pahang
7 1
Marlon Alex James Marlon Alex James
Striker
ATM
5 0
Badhri Radzi Badhri Radzi
Midfielder
Kelantan
4 0
Alen Guć Alen Guć
Striker
3 1
Nor Farhan Muhammad Nor Farhan Muhammad
Striker
Terengganu
3 0