A goal from Albert Bodjongo proved to be the difference between the two teams in a closely contested match.
Norizan Bakar’s Perak tightened their grip on third position in the league with a narrow win in an entertaining match against the east coast outfit in Ipoh.
The first notable action of the game came through the home team’s Cameroonian import, Albert Bodjongo. The former Cameroon under 20 international held off two players before bending a pass to Rafiuddin Roddin, whose low cross was well gathered by T-Team’s ex national goalkeeper, Syamsuri Mustafa.
It was the visitors however, who took the lead in the 18th minute against the run of play. In a swift counter-attack, a clearance found the in-form Faiz Subri on the left, who did well to beat a man before shooting the ball past Nasril Nourdin from about 20 yards out.
The home team did not panic; continued playing their normal game and almost got level in the 27th minute through an unmarked Failee Ghazali, who headed against the post from a Rafiuddin corner.
The former league champions had total control of the midfield despite the poor playing surface with their captain, Shahrul Nizam combining well with his Slovak team-mate, Michal Kubala to keep hold of the ball. Their dominance paid off in the 27th minute when they equalized through a dipping Nazri Kamal volley from outside the box in the 38th minute.
Perak, nicknamed “The Seladangs”, returned from the break and continued to take the game to the visiting team but found it difficult to breach their tight defence in the early stages.
In the 54th minute, a nasty clash of heads between Zharif Hasna and Nasir Basiruddin resulted in both of them leaving the field. They were replaced by Badrul Hisani and Syazwan Rosli respectively. This didn’t put the home team off as they stroked the ball around patiently, waiting for a lapse of concentration from the visitors.
On 63 minutes, they got their due rewards through Failee. The impressive Bodjongo, who has been a menace all night long with his clever runs and imposing physique, played a big part in the goal. His swift turn caught the T-Team backline off-guard and he then laid the ball perfectly for Failee to tap in from close range. 4 minutes later, Perak went further ahead when Bodjongo got the goal he deserved. Perak’s African ace, beat Syamsuri at his near post with a powerful shot after being set up by a clever Kubala back-heel. Not to be outdone, Faiz pulled one back almost instantly two minutes later with a deflected free-kick.
Both teams tightened up after that and were mostly limited to long range strikes. Towards the end, T-Team tried to push for an equalizer but the home team held on to record their fourth consecutive victory.