Selangor were made to pay for their wastefulness in front of goal as they were held by Arema Indonesia in the AFC Cup
BY MARK DAWSON
The home side needed little time to open the scoring, striking first in the 9th minute. The goal was in large part down to Andik Vermansyah whose energy in midfield allowed him to dispossess Arema's Juan Revi Auriqto, before he pressed forward and played in Paulo Rangel who finished with aplomb.
The visitors rebounded well and had much of the ball, albeit without threatening much in the way of chances. Juan Revi, the man culpable for Selangor's goal was replaced by Irsyad in a tactical reshuffle on 22 minutes in order to give him team further attacking momentum. Mere moments after this and the Red Giants were fortunate not to concede a penalty after Steve Pantelidis felled the substitute right on the edge of the area, a challenge that resulted in a booking. Skipper Ahmad Bustomi was unable to test veteran custodian Hamsani Ahmad from the resulting free kick though.
On 35 minutes it was one booking each as Arema's Victor Igbonefo stopped the progress of goal scorer Rangel who would have been through on goal if not for the defender. Junior Aparecido's free kick following this incident had good shape, but it was always too high to test the keeper.
Selangor began to dominate proceedings as the first half wore on, looking organised and working hard defensively. Arena did threaten sporadically on the break, with a tame long range effort from Irsyad the best chance they managed to fashion.
Shukor Jusoh was guilty of a dreadful miss early in the second half which would have doubled his sides lead. He initially did well to dispossess defender Purwoko Pratomo before being put through following another excellent through ball by Andrik, but he inexplicably shot wide with the goal at his mercy.
Hamsani Ahmad was finally tested on 58 minutes following a snap shot from inside the Selangor area by Cristian Gonzales, which the keeper was grateful to gather on the second attempt. Moments after this and Shukor again should have found the net after a great ball across goal by Junior, but he was unable to stretch out and tap into the empty net.
This second miss was to prove costly in the 72nd minute as the visitors drew level. Selangor were the architects of their own downfall as firstly Andik gave away a free-kick with a needless foul on Ahmad Bustomi, then the marking from his set piece was non existent allowing Victor Igbonefo to head home.
Suddenly in a match where the home tram had dominated they were on the ropes, and neat attacking interplay by Arema led to a chance for Dendi on 85 minutes, but his effort hit the side netting. The team from Indonesia looked the more confident in the closing stages, however in truth neither team ever looked like getting a winner. A foul by substitute Thamil Arasu and a missile thrown onto the pitch by the home fans were the biggest talking points from the final minutes of a match where Selangor undoubtedly dropped two points.