A draw was a fair result as both teams, the two goals aside, did not have the quality to secure maximum points
BY MARK DAWSON
The visitors made a bright start, eager to atone for their midweek defeat by Johor, and could have gone ahead within five minutes. Unsurprisingly Wan Zahararulnizam was the creator down the left-hand side, easily going past Nordin, before his low cross found preferred forward Mohammad Ghaddar whose snap shot was dealt with comfortably by Sharbinee.
Kelantan took the lead on 15 minutes through their dynamic midfield Shawky Yazid. It was he who started the move, pouncing to disrupt Terengannu's midfield before launching the ball forward to Mohammad Ghaddar. Continuing his run, Shawky then received the ball back from Ghaddar before firing low and hard across Sharbinee in a fine finish.
Their lead was almost doubled four minutes later after a golden chance fell to new signing Brendan Gan. Again Shawky was involved, this time dispossessing Zairo Anuar, allowing Gan a run into the area where he took aim from almost the exact spot his teammate Shawky scored from. His effort had the required pace but went narrowly wide in what would have been almost a carbon copy of the first goal. Not long after this and Ghaddar tried his luck from distance forcing Sharbinee into a save which he palmed and gathered at the second attempt.
Against the run of play an equalizer came on 36 minutes, and it was a goal that Khairul Fahmi will not want to see too many replays of. It came from a free kick after Faiz was felled by Obinna, and although it was a good low strike from 25 yards out by Zairo Anuar, Fahmi should have got something on the ball as it was he who was covering the right-hand side of the goal that the ball flew into.
The home side were desperately unlucky not to be ahead at the break as they had an incorrect offside call go against them. It was Nor Farhan who was the creator, deftly turning away from both Obinna and Fitree Omar, before sliding a through ball to Manaf Mamat. He finished with calmness but was aggrieved to see the assistant referee raise his flag. On the stroke of halftime the home side almost snatched the lead through a sterling effort from distance by Ismail Faruqi, but Fahmi somewhat atoned for his previous error by getting across and pulling off an acrobatic save.
A minute into the second half and the home side should have taken the lead, again through a set piece. This time it was a corner that came all the way across the Kelantan goal where the dangerous Nor Farhan eventually got a boot to the ball from six yards out, but he could only sky over the bar. Minutes after this and it was the turn of the Red Warriors to almost take the lead from the corner, with Ghaddar heading Badri Radzi's cross against the bar from five yards.
As expected the game followed a frenetic pace throughout the second half, often with Terengannu looking dangerous breaking forward with pace, forcing Steve Darby's street-wise team into a number of fouls. On the hour mark Kelantan were aggrieved as they felt that a clumsy tackle by Terengannu's right-back Nordin on Gan should have led to a penalty, but the referee was unmoved.
Both teams bought on attacking reinforcements in the form of Francis Forkey Doe and Mamadou Barry, but clear chances were hard to come by with the majority of the game being played out in a fierce midfield battle, with little calmness when it came to the final ball. While Terengannu unquestionably had the most of possession, Kelantan did at times counter well, however on two of these occasions the end product by Amar Rohidan and Nik Shahrul was found lacking.
Barry did fashion a chance for the Turtles on 78 minutes as he came inside drifting past Shahrul, but his low strike was straight at Fahmi. The same player should have snatched victory for his team on 88 minutes as he was picked out by Ismail 10 yards out, but again his free header went straight at the Kelantan keeper who gathered easily. This opportunity was the last significant chance of a low quality second half, leaving both teams with a deserved point each.