Kelantan 2-1 Sarawak: Kalang Tie grabs late goal to give Crocs hope
Joseph Kalang Tie steals a late goal to dent the Warriors’ chances on a comfortable trip to Sarawak for the second leg.
By Muhammad Izzat Akmal
It was supposed to be an easy match for Kelantan agaisnt the Crocs as they were still unbeaten at home for almost two seasons.
Norfarhan Mohd who was rested when the Red Warriors beat ATM last week, did not hold back as he triggered the attack right after the kick off. Badhri Radzi and Indra Putra were the earliest to test Sarawak’s goalkeeper, Sani Anuar, but they both failed to score.
It was a great night for Faiz Subri when he scored a wonderful goal in the seventh minute. A great solo effort from Faiz when he received a clearance from Obinna Nwaneri before he struck the ball from 30 yards out beating the Crocs’ goalkeeper who was off position.
Kelantan seem to be pleased to pass the ball in midfield led by Badhri and Shakir. However, several counter attacks from Sarawak did cause trouble in the Red Warriors’ defence.
In 22nd minute, Kelantan captain, Badhri, was yet again a thorn for the Crocs after his marvelous lob found Khairul Izwan’s foot before going into net. It was similar to Demba Ba’s against Manchester United in the FA Cup replay last weekend. Kelantan then lead 2-0.
Indra Putra had his chance to increase Kelantan’s lead, but, Sani’s quick reaction saved the Crocs.
Ivan Babic and Booby Gonzales’ beautiful one-two movement almost caught out Kelantan’s defence. However, a quick recovery from Nik Shahrul denied the pair their happy ending. Near the end of the first half, Babic, once again, managed to penetrate Kelantan’s back four to strike the ball, but yet again, the defence handled it well.
Both Kelantan and Sarawak started the second period with fresh legs. The Red Warriors introduced Norfarhan to rest their scorer, Faiz Subri.
The former Terengganu striker, Joseph Kalang Tie, was the one who exploited Kelantan’s complacency. A poor clearance by the Red Warriors’ defender fell nicely for Joseph who did well to knock the ball forcefully past Khairul Fahmi Che Mat.
Fahmi, should have done better to block the shot but credit should be given to the striker for the wonderful shot.
Sarawak seemed to double their efforts in the second period with their effective defending which allowed them to trigger several counter attacks to hassle Kelantan’s defence. But the momentum didn’t last long when Kelantan dominated possession once again.
Joseph almost equalised for Sarawak through a great move with Bobby Gonzales but Khairul Fahmi was alert to tip the ball out for a corner.
Kelantan fought hard against a changed Sarawak side but they couldn’t do much to extend their lead. Near the end of the match, Indra Putra had his chance to put his name on the score sheet, but he was flagged for offside.
It was a relief for the visitors as Joseph stole one back late in the game. Robert Alberts’ men made a swift recovery to score in the second half to dent Kelantan’s two-goal lead.
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