Kelantan put fatigue aside to display a ruthless performance by brushing aside a dreary PKNS to close the gap on leader Lions XII
This match was played on PKNS’ home ground, but they looked like the away team as almost 20,000 Kelantan turned up in a sea of red to support the Red Warriors.
But it was the PKNS who started the match brightly, former national striker Rudie Ramli hitting the bar with a 25-yard free-kick.
Stung by the early scare, Kelantan slowly got into the game and Nurul Azwan Roya match Rudie’s earlier effort by hitting the woodwork for Kelantan from a similar distance.
Then Nohshahrul Idlan Talaha had a glorious opportunity put Kelantan ahead, but he shot straight at PKNS goalkeeper Razi Effendi who stood his ground well.
But the striker didn’t take long to get into the scoresheet. Badri Radhi swept a glorious diagonal pass to Nohshahrul who controlled superbly, turned two defenders inside out before smashing the ball high into the net. He puffed his chest in celebration as Kelantan fans went into a frenzy celebration mode.
The Red Warriors could have added to their lead moments later, but Norfarhan’s effort by palmed away by Razi after Nohsharul’s back flick fooled the PKNS defense.
The second half was very much a pedestrian affair, until the game imploded in the final ten minutes. Obinna Nwaneri put Kelantan 2-0 up after Badri Radhi swung a brilliant teasing cross, and the defender rose highest to head into the far corner with Razi Effendi beaten all hands up.
Then Kelantan pierced the final dagger into PKNS’ heart right at the death through a route one goal. Khairul Fahmi pumped a long punt upfield and substitute Mohammad Ghadar brushed aside a challenge to drill past Razi who didn’t guard his near post with any conviction at all.
So with the win Kelantan close the gap on Lions XII to just three points having played four games less. This victory is certainly a perfect morale booster ahead of their FA Cup final clash against Sime Darby next Saturday.