|By Khalis Rifhan
Malaysian Super League side Terengganu FA cruised into the Malaysia FA Cup quarter-finals after seeing off third-tier Penang FA 3-0 at the Penang City stadium in George Town on Tuesday evening.
Malaysian international Ashaari Samsuddin scored once in each half, while substitute Khairul Rahmadhan Zauwawi scored 15 minutes from time to send the Merzagua Abderrazak out of the competition.
The hosts started on the wrong foot, as they fell a goal behind barely two minutes into the game.
G. Puaneswaran did well to shake off his markers down the right before cutting the ball to the far post for Ashaari, who gleefully tapped the ball into the empty net.
After the goal, the Panthers regained their composure and managed to conjure up several attacks, but most of their attempts were either weak or off-target.
Penang were then furious as they were denied a penalty in the 18th minute after Zubir Azmi had brought down Baser Nape in the penalty box. The referee had pointed to the spot initially, but reversed his decision after consultation with the assistant referee.
Replays showed however that the correct decision had been made, as initial contact on Zubir was made just outside the box.
The Panthers continued their search of a goal after the break and had several opportunities to level things, as Mohd Zulhadi Zulkepli's speculative effort five minutes after the restart flew inches above the bar.
Four minutes later, Baser went on an adventurous solo run down the middle but with only the goalkeeper to beat, the striker fluffed his lines with an agonizingly weak shot.
Penang were left to rue that missed opportunity five minutes later, when Ashaari scored his second of the game with a beautifully placed first-time shot from inside the area.
The match was then put beyond the reach of the home side with 15 minutes to go by substitute Khairul, who hit a scorcher from inside the box that left goalkeeper Solehin Rozi rooted to the ground.
With the win, the Turtles will next meet Negeri Sembilan in the quarter-finals, after the competition format was changed this season from a single round-robin to two home-and-away matches for the last eight.
Negeri had earlier secured progression from the Round of 16 after registering a 2-0 victory over Premier League side Pos Malaysia at the Majlis Perbandaran Selayang Stadium in Kuala Lumpur.