Wilayah Perseketuan dump Terengganu out of SUKMA; Negeri Sembilan shock Pahang
The SUKMA football competition is now down to it's last four teams with the semi-finals set to take place today (Thursday).
In the four quarter-final ties that were played on Tuesday, three of the pre-tournament favourites were surprisingly knocked-out. Defending champions Terengganu, hosts Pahang and Selangor, last edition’s runner-up, were all sent-packing by teams without huge expectations prior to the tournament.
Wilayah Persekutuan (WP) continued their impressive run in this tournament when they qualified to the semi-finals after a penalty shoot-out success over Terengganu. The game had ended 2-2 after 120 minutes of action. WP were 2-0 up in the first half through a Syazuan Hazani double but Terengganu, eager to complete a hat-trick of gold medals in the football event fought back to draw level despite playing the last fifteen minutes with ten men after the sending-off of Wan Mohd Firdaus Wan Demi. Faidzol Fazreen Shamsuddin scored Terengganu’s first before captain Fakhrurazi Musa equalized with a stoppage time free-kick. However Terengganu came up short during the penalty kicks, losing 5-4 after Hasrol Syawal Hamid’s spot-kick was saved by WP goalkeeper Fazil Rushdan Faizal.
Another game that was decided by penalties was between Perak and Perlis, after the match had ended goalless in regulation and extra time. Perlis, who soldiered on with 9 men after red cards to Khairul Izzuwan Shaari and Iffi Afinaz Ismail, were left to rue their luck in the shoot-out when they lost 4-3.
2010 silver medallist Selangor also saw their dream of going one better this time around dashed after losing 3-2 to Sabah. Leopold Alfonso Otong was the Borneo side’s hero with a hat-trick while Selangor’s two goals came from Nurshamil Abdul Ghani and Wong Kah Heng.
In the day’s only night kick-off, hosts Pahang’s participation in the competition came to an abrupt end with a 2-1 defeat at the hands of unfancied Negeri Sembilan. Goals from Adam Syahir Rosli and Nizam Ruslan ruined Pahang’s plans of winning the medal that is often dubbed as the “mother of all medals”. Pahang’s only goal was scored by Abdul Malik Mat Ariff.
Below are the semi-final fixtures: -
4.45p.m. – WP v Perak (Padang MPK 1)
8.45p.m. – NS v Sabah (Darulmakmur Stadium)