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  • January 18, 2014
  • • 20:45
  • • Stadium Sultan Mohammad IV, Kota Bharu
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Kelantan 2-1 Sime Darby FC: The Prodigal Son returns with a brace

Kelantan 2-1 Sime Darby FC: The Prodigal Son returns with a brace

Muhammad Izzat Akmal

The Red Warriors were saved by their prodigal son Mohd Ghaddar who scored twice to help Kelantan overcome Sime Darby 2-1

The Red Warriors started the match at a very high tempo with new signings Shawky and Forkey Doe both making their debuts. Forkey Doe, the off-season signing from Selangor, had chance to make it a perfect start for his new team in the first minute, but could not convert his opportunity.  However this early chance increased Kelantan's confidence as they were practically camped deep inside the opposition half.

However the match turned in the visitor’s favour in the seventh minute when Fadzli Shaari slotted home past Khairul Fahmi for a goal against the run of play. It was sloppy play by Kelantan’s defence to give away a free kick in a dangerous area, which Fadzli took full advantage of.

Kelantan to their credit were unaffected by the goal, with Shawky and Badri combining well to dominate possession and the central midfield area. But this partnership was short lived when in the 24th minute Mohd Shawky was stretched off due to an injury.

Coach Steve Darby introduced the Red Warriors' prodigal son, Mohd Ghaddar to replace the injured Shawky in what would be the turning point of the match.

Kelantan doubled their efforts and were almost level. Liberian striker Forkey Doe almost equalized through a free kick, but was denied by the post. Ghaddar, who was following up on the effort, could only force a corner kick thanks to some last-ditch Sime Darby defending.

The second half continued in the same style, with Kelantan in total control of the game, but struggling to draw level. On the break Sime Darby almost struck again as in the 53rd minute Wisdom Agblexo found himself in a decent position. However quick reflexes by the national custodian between Kelantan's goalposts saved the situation.

Ghaddar, who was once a hero in the Red Warrior’s camp when he scored in the 2012 FA Cup final against the same opposition, netted against them once again to bring his team level. Great footwork by Wan Zaharul Nizam and Forkey Doe opened up space for Ghaddar who made no mistake to fire home, livening up the environment in the Sultan Muhammad KeIV Stadium.

In the last 20 minutes of the game, Steve Darby decided to bring on another striker in Shakir Ali, who replaced Wan Zaharul.  The fresh legs looked like a good decision as the Red Warriors were able to keep dominating the match, taking advantage of Sime Darby’s fatigued condition.

The moment of glory for Mohd Ghaddar came in the 80th minute as Kelantan were given a penalty following a handball by the Sime Darby defence. Despite having to take the penalty twice, Ghaddar manage to fire home giving his team maximum points.

 

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