Perak 1-1 Selangor: Honours even between Giants and Gaurs in Lumut
Abdul Hadi Yahya’s penalty goal nine minutes before the end saved the home side the blushes against ten-man Selangor, who took a first half lead through Francis Forkey Doe’s corker
By Prem Kumar
Ten-man Selangor battled heroically to come away from the Royal Malaysian Navy Stadium in Lumut, with a draw and an important point in an incident-packed game against Perak, to stay in the top three of the Malaysian Super League (MSL).
The visitors were reduced to ten men in the first half when former skipper Amri Yahya got sent off for two bookable offences, with four minutes left of the half. Earlier in the 35th minute, Amri was booked for simulation.
The first clear chance of the game fell to Perak captain Shahrom Kalam on 9 minutes when Rafiuddin Rodin’s corner found him unmarked in the box, but the former Kuala Lumpur defender somehow only managed to steer the ball over the bar from close range.
As the game went on, Selangor started to look the livelier of the two sides, while the home team relied on counter-attacks to trouble the Red Giants’ back-line. Both however, failed to create any chance of note for the first 25 minutes.
Ex-international Abdul Hadi Yahya got the Perak fans on their feet in the 27th minute when he powered the ball home past Norazlan Razali, but their joy was short-lived as his goal got wrongly ruled out for offside.
Then, Amri got his marching orders for a show of dissent towards the referee.
Aided by their one man advantage, Perak took the game to their opponents and a minute before half-time, Hadi tested Norazlan with a powerful shot from the edge of the box, which was tipped away by the custodian for a corner.
The Seladangs returned from the break in the same vein and had another pop at goal 10 minutes into the second half through M. Sivakumar’s header.
It was ten-man Selangor however, who finally broke the deadlock in the 66th minute through Francis Forkey Doe’s wonder strike. The Liberian, last season’s top-scorer in the league, showed some neat foot-work on the left to take the ball past a player before letting fly from 30-metres out for his first goal of the new season - to put the Klang Valley side one goal up.
Following the goal, Azraai Khor’s men upped the tempo in search of an equaliser, and got their due rewards 13 minutes later when referee Zulkifli Ahmad awarded them a spot-kick for Asraruddin Putra Omar’s foul on Failee Ghazali. Hadi stepped up and converted the kick with aplomb.
Two minutes after that, Perak thought they had scored the winner but goal-scorer Khairul Asyraf was this time correctly flagged offside by the linesman.
The two teams exchanged late attacks to find a winner but failed to convert the chances that fell their way, as the score-line stayed tied until the final whistle.
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