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February 19, 2013 8:45 PM MYT
Stadium Perak — Ipoh

Perak 1-0 Pahang: Elephants again lack cutting edge in narrow defeat to Seladangs

Pahang were made to pay for two dreadful second half misses, as they crashed to their second consecutive defeat without a goal, at Perak

By Mark Dawson

Perak FA
Yusrie Zulkifli

Going into this game, it was expected to be a low scoring affair with Perak having conceded only five goals in six games and not being involved in a game in which more than two goals had been scored.  And the first half confirmed these suspicions as it was a largely dull affair with both teams offering little in the way of attacking threat.

The visitors had perhaps the better of the chances, and their finest one in the first 45 minutes fell to their talismanic striker Fauzi Rozlan, who burst past a static Perak defence to latch onto Azamuddin Akil’s neat through ball.  Despite his low effort beating national teammate Farizal Marlias, he was foiled by covering defender Shahrom Kalam who cleared the ball behind.

Not long after this both Pahang wingers combined to good effect as R. Gopinanthan beat his man down the right hand side before delivering a cross to the far post which Hafiz Kamal skilfully controlled with his chest, however his resulting shot lacked any power and was comfortably gathered.

The Seladang’s were struggling to create many goal scoring opportunities. Their first effort of the half came after Karim Rouani chased down an over hit cross before laying the ball back to the supporting S. Chanturu, but his first time effort was tame. Perak’s next chance was a wild off-target effort by forward Abdul Hadi Yahya after strike partner Karim had again made a nuisance of himself.

The half looked to be petering out when disaster stuck for the visitors in the 42nd minute.  There seemed to be no danger as Karim’s cross made its way to the far post which defender Jalalluddin Jaafar was covering, however under pressure from Perak’s Rafiuddin bin Roddin he headed past his despairing keeper Nasril Nourdin who made no attempt to hide his fury at his captains slack defending.

Pahang should have been level ten minutes into the second half following a swift counter attack from a Perak corner.  It was Amirulhadi Zainel who started the move and his close range shot was amazingly headed onto the crossbar by a retreating M. Sivakumar.  With the home team unable to clear, Fauzi Rozlan had a clear shot of goal from less than 10 yards out, but screwed an ugly effort wide of the post.

Against the run of play the hosts almost made it 2-0 when Yahya’s deliciously disguised through ball found an onrushing Chanturu, but he blazed it over the bar after Razman Rozlan had come across to cover. 

The Elephants wasted yet another opportunity to equalise in the 64th minute, this time it was Gopinanthan who was guilty of an awful miss from close range as he fired Zainel’s terrific low right-wing cross over from only six yards.

The second poor miss of the evening seemed to visibly deflate Pahang, who despite enjoying more of the ball were unable to create any other real chances.  With 15 minutes remaining Zainal had an effort from 25 yards which should have tested Farizal in the Perak goal but did not.  Barely a minute later, substitute Azidan Sarudin also tried his luck from long range but it was another feeble effort.

Perak were reduced to 10 men in the 86th minute after substitute Rafiuddin received his second booking of the game for an off the ball incident.  However despite this, and sustained Pahang pressing, the home team held on through a mix of cunning time wasting and brave defending.

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